This play was written in the 17th century and it is so contemporary, because of that feeling of rejection towards society and almost everything that surrounds it. And… the subsequent isolation that the person feels, of course.
It happens all the time. People who are sick of other people but then, they can’t stand that deep loneliness they find. They were never ready for it, and they end up believing they are indeed cursed or something and kind of give up, accepting that miserable existence; very Harry Haller. They might accept it until they find that special someone that dislikes that side of the world, too. That “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself…” moment. Or they die alone, whatever comes first.
So, 17th century, today. No matter the time or place, some people feel like outsiders, and that brings, inevitably, alienation. That “other people” start to look at them like the personification of abnormality. Like human beings that just hate humanity for the hell of it. Like misanthropes. And that is the word that led me to this book. I wanted to read this one because I used to think I was one of them.
Back to the book. It is an insightful play about the essence of human nature, our virtues and flaws. Molière brilliantly portrayed the hypocrisy of its time through Alceste, the protagonist. A man with a profound existential conflict that fell in love with Célimène, a 17th-century French Holly Golightly. Oh, yes, that can’t go wrong, right?
I really enjoyed reading this book. Funny stuff with actually some meaning.
* Photo credit: Book cover via Goodreads.