Fall 1954 • Vol. XVI No. 4 NonfictionOctober 1, 1954 |

Giraudoux’s Other Muse

Jean Giradoux wrote eleven full-length plays. Of these he labelled only one, Judith in 1931, a tragedy. One might well have expected Electre (1937), Pour Lucrèce, written not long before he died in January, 1944, and even perhaps Sodome et Gomorrhe (1943), his most pessimistic play, to have borne the label of the genre, for these three also are serious, and each ends, one might well feel, tragically. But I think there is a reason which can be got at for his singling out of Judith. Since this reason would seem to lie in a somewhat special and characteristic notion on the part of Giraudoux as to the nature of tragedy, it might be worth while to try to dig it out. A clearer picture of what Giraudoux is driving at in his theatre in general is likely to result from the exercise. Since Broadway has seen only the Marivaux—and not the Racine—side of Giraudoux thus far, this would seem to be a good idea. That Giraudoux is a serious playwright, as well as a fantastical one, has been

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