Posts Tagged ‘Edmond Rostand’

Sir. Herbert Beerbohm- Tree (1853-1917)
Hesketh Pearson, the writer was waiting at His Majesty’s Theater for Herbert-Tree. There was also another gentleman waiting for him. Finally Beerbohm-Tree came and flung himself in a chair between them. ‘Consider yourself introduced,’ he said looking at the ceiling, ‘because I only remember one of your names and that wouldn’t be fair to the other.’
He once broke news to an author like this,’ My dear sir, I have read your play. Oh my dear sir!’
Charles Frohman (1860-1915)
The celebrated theatrical manager once cabled a European actress asking what salary she wanted to appear in a play in N.Y. She demanded $1000 a week.
‘Accept thousand with pleasure.’
‘Thousand for acting ,’ she promptly wired back, pleasure extra.’
W.B Yeats(1865-1939)
At Dublin’s Abbey Theater, poet-playwright Yeats was searching for a particular effects for a glorious sunset. He wanted realism and he coaxed the electricians to try harder with the colors and equipments at their disposal to come up with the effect he could approve. The technicians did all that they could and their experiments at one point elicited a cry of approval. ‘That’s it! Yeats cried stepping forward,’ Hold it, Hold it!’
‘We can’t hold it, sir’ came the stagehand’s apologetic voice,’ The theater is on fire.’
(Sir. Cedric Hardwicke-A Victorian in orbit/Methuen, London)
Edmond Rostand(1868-1918)
He visited an estate put up for sale and found it too big and expensive for his purse.’ One of my plays is going to be put on at the Porte Saint-Martin theatre’ he confided to the seller, ‘If it is a hit I’ll buy it.’
Cyrano de Bergerac was a great success. The seller wrote Rostand to congratulate him and reminded him of his plans.
Rostand wrote him back saying, ‘Property now too small for me.’

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Thoreau’s essay on Civil Disobedience inspired MK Gandhi to hone his own idea of passive resistance into an effective weapon. His ‘Walden’, though were ignored by his contemporaries -only 2000 copies were sold during his lifetime, no other American books have been discovered into more languages. His books and essays which he wrote about his struggle to stay free became one of the world’s great testimonies to the values of personal independence.
His first book,’A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers’ sold only 219 copies, and one day an express wagon drew up before his house with 706 unsold copies. Later Thoreau scribbled cheerfully in is journal ‘I have now a library of nearly 900 volumes, over 700 of which I wrote myself.” Each copy of the book published at just over a dollar is worth up to 600 dollars today.(this was written some 30 years ago.So the present exchange rate will vary. b)
In India Gandhi’s name is a cloak for politicians to fool the public. How many Indians do really care for his ideals or practice his homespun way of life? In this present day of market economy everybody has become a mountebank than march to his own beat. We wear Levis, Versace, Ralph Lauren or some other because these are famous brands. Many uphold their labels because themselves are zeroes.
There is one passage from Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac that I recall often:”…There is one crown I bear away with me,/
And to-night, when I enter before God,/My salute shall sweep all the stars away/From the blue threshold! One thing without stain,/Unspotted from the world, in spite of doom/Mine own!-
And that is /-That is…
My white plume…”

mon panache is what you and I have let drag through mud and for another to spit upon just because he has money to pay for the damages.
Isn’t time we stopped playing the fool and discovered afresh our heritage as shown by Gandhi and Thoreau?

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