The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane

Title Details

Pages: 730

Trim size: 152.400mm x 228.600mm

Formats

Paperback

Pub Date: 01/15/2014

ISBN: 9-780-8203-4602-1

List Price: $49.95

Hardcover

Pub Date: 02/15/2011

ISBN: 9-780-8203-3572-8

List Price: $99.95

Related Subjects

FICTION / Classics

The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane

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  • Description

Tobias Smollett, in the preface to his first novel, The Adventures of Roderick Random (1748), acknowledges the influence of Alain René Le Sage's L'Histoire de Gil Blas de Santillane (1715-35 in four volumes) on his work. By far the most successful of "useful and entertaining" romances, Smollett writes, Gil Blas describes "the knavery and foibles of life, with infinite humour and sagacity." "The following sheets," he adds significantly, "I have modeled on his plan."

Smollett's translation of Gil Blas appeared nine months after the publication of Roderick Random. This chronicle of a merry, philosophical young man whose adventures lead him into all levels of society from the highest to the lowest, presents special problems for a translator. Smollett, without always adhering to the literal expression of the novel's language, is true to its style, spirit, and ideas. After two and a half centuries, his remains the finest translation of this humorous, satiric, and classic French novel.

In his early years in London, Smollett struggled to find a way to distinguish himself through his medical practice, medical writings, poetry, and plays. None of these attempts, however, allowed him to demonstrate the full range of his personality and talents. Only when he combined his own boundless imagination with the skills he had learned from translating Gil Blas was he able to create energetic narratives filled with vivid and original characters.

About the Author/Editor

Alain René Le Sage (Author)
Alain René Le Sage (1668-1747) was a French novelist and playwright. He is known for his comic novel The Devil Upon Two Sticks, his comedy Turcaret, and his novel Gil Blas.

O M Brack Jr. (Editor)
O M BRACK, JR., a professor of English literature emeritus at Arizona State University, is coauthor of Samuel Johnson's Early Biographers and coeditor of The Early Biographies of Samuel Johnson. He has edited volumes of the Works of Samuel Johnson published by Yale and is textual editor for the Georgia series the Works of Tobias Smollett. Brack is the curator of the 2009 Johnson tercentenary exhibition at the Huntington Library.

Leslie A. Chilton (Editor)
LESLIE A. CHILTON is a faculty associate in English at Arizona State University.

Alexander Pettit (Editor)
ALEXANDER PETTIT is an associate professor of English at the University of North Texas. He is also the general editor of three series: The Works of Tobias Smollett (Georgia), British Ideas and Issues, 1660-1820, and Selected Works of Eliza Haywood.