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Book 30

  1. Grossmith, George & Weedon — The Diary of a Nobody (166 pages)
  2. McCarthy, Cormac — Blood Meridian (334 pages)
  3. Moore, Alan & Dave Gibbons — Watchmen (399 pages)
  4. Moore, Christopher — Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal (507 pages)
  5. Murger, Henri — The Bohemians of the Latin Quarter (381 pages)
  6. Walk with Me: A Lenten Journey of Prayer for 2009 (98 pages)
  7. Douglas, Lloyd C. — The Robe (438 pages)
  8. Robinson, Marilynne — Gilead (281 pages)
  9. Jerome, Jerome K. — Three Men in a Boat (182 pages)
  10. Satrapi, Marjane — Persepolis (343 pages)
  11. Dodge, Jim — Fup (121 pages)
  12. Bauby, Jean-Dominique — The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly (114 pages)
  13. Fleming, Ian — Casino Royale (219 pages)
  14. Blake, Quentin — Clown (30 pages)
  15. Weigel, George — The Courage To Be Catholic (249 pages)
  16. Ishiguro, Kazuo — The Remains of the Day (255 pages)
  17. Orwell, George — Animal Farm (125 pages)
  18. Garner, James Finn — Politically Correct Bedtime Stories (81 pages)
  19. Robinson, Marilynne — Home (339 pages)
  20. Opera Magazine — Basses in Opera: Profiles of thirteen great basses (96 pages)
  21. Beaumarchais, Pierre-Augustin Caron de — The Figaro Trilogy (David Coward, transl.) (335 pages)
  22. Keyes, Daniel — Flowers for Algernon (217 pages)
  23. Bök, Christian — Eunoia (94 pages)
  24. Zweig, Stefan — Chess (76 pages)
  25. Kinney, Jeff — Meet the Wimpy Kid (55 pages)
  26. Lovecraft, H.P. — At the Mountains of Madness (188 pages)
  27. Blatty, William Peter — The Exorcist (307 pages)
  28. Williamson, Jack — Darker Than You Think (266 pages)
  29. Pelevin, Victor — Omon Ra (152 pages)
  30. Molière — Five Plays: The Misanthrope, Tartuffe, The School for Wives, The Miser, The Hypochondriac [transl. Richard Wilbur, Alan Drury] (428 pages)

Page count: 6876.

I began reading this collection of Molière plays back in the summer right after reading the Beaumarchais, when I was preparing for the Figaro opera. My reasoning was twofold. First, increased exposure to Commedia dell'Arte would no-doubt help my understanding of the Figaro material. Second, the character I played in Milhaud's Figaro adaptation, Begearss, was often referred to as "Tartuffe Begearss" by Figaro and I figured I'd better refresh my memory of Tartuffe.

I very much enjoyed my readings. While perhaps lacking the complexity of Beaumarchais' comedies, Molière is funnier. Stock comedy, as all Commedia dell'Arte is, but raised to another level of wit. (The only one of the five plays I didn't enjoy so much, The Hypochondriac, might have the most potential as an opera libretto, interestingly enough.)

While I began reading this more for the benefit of Begearss in The Guilty Mother, I found that the first play, The School for Wives, has very strong parallels to The Barber of Seville, and my reading helped inform my portrayal of Bartolo. After reading The School for Wives and Tartuffe I set Molière aside but found myself revisiting him when preparing for La finta semplice. Digging up Carlo Goldoni's play proved difficult enough that I decided to read the last three plays in the Molière volume instead to get myself back in the Commedia dell'Arte mindset.

While I can't compare them to the original French, I must say these are brilliant translations, especially Richard Wilbur's (who translated the three verse plays, The School for Wives, Tartuffe, and The Misanthrope), which use modern language and retain all the wit and pacing I imagine of Molière's language.

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