Cyrano de Bergerac
My hero. Cyrano de Bergerac. And I’m reading again the superb translation of Rostand’s original script by Anthony Burgess in rhyming couplets (a perfect reflection of the era — I think I lived as a troubadour then too). His translation was first used nearly 30 years ago in a Royal Shakespeare Company production. Then it was used for the subtitles in Jean-Paul Rappeneau’s 1990 film production withGérard Depardieu as Cyrano. My favourite film of all time. That ending is just magical, with Cyrano staggering around as he dies of what was probably a cerebral haemorrhage due to an assassin dropping a huge wooden beam on his head (truthtellers always get taken out) and lunging blindly with his sword at his old enemies: Falsehood, Compromise, Prejudice, Cowardice and Stupidity — to the last of which he says: “You above all others perhaps were predestined to get me in the end”. Haha! Indeed. Couldn’t have put it better myself. Then, his dying words, addressed to those old enemies:
“You take everything — the rose and the laurel too.
Take them and welcome. But, in spite of you,
There is one thing goes with me when tonight
I enter my last lodging, sweeping the bright
stars from the blue threshold with my salute.
A thing unstained, unsullied by the brute
broken nails of the world, by death, by doom
unfingered — See it there, a white plume
over the battle — a diamond in the ash
of the ultimate combustion —