Az Ember Tragédiája. Drámai költemény. (The Tragedy of Man. A dramatic poem).Pest: Emich Gusztáv, 1861 Stock Code: 142746
Rare first edition of Madách's most important work, The Tragedy of Man, a dramatic poem that evokes comparisons with Milton's Paradise Lost. Considered one of the major works of Hungarian literature, the play is one of the most often staged Hungarian plays today.
"It would seem that the main external sources of inspiration were Byron and Goethe, especially 'The Deformed Transformed' and 'Cain' by the former and 'Faust' by the latter. The Passages in 'The Tragedy of Man' which are parallel to others in 'Faust' are sufficiently obvious at a superficial reading. But it would be a fundamental mistake to suppose that the work of Madách is other than profoundly original." (J. C. W. Horne, Introduction to the English translation, Corvina Press, 1963, pages xi-xii).
"The philosophical and moral ideas expressed in this work contain eternal human values, and exercise a constant, timeless influence on its readers... Madách presents in fifteen scenes the fate of mankind through the historical ages, but his prophetic vision anticipates the unknown form of future society beyond the description of past and present events. In spite of the disillusionments of the two main characters, Adam and Eve, throughout the ages, their role is not desperate, nor is the conclusion pessimistic. The man represents the logical element, while the woman emodies the emotional life in this dramatic poem. Lucifer is not the demon of supernatural force but the personification of negation, that art of the human soul which opposes the Creator" (Wojatsek, Charles: The philosophical and ethical concept of the Tragedy of Man, Slavic and East-European Studies Vol. 6, No. 3/4, 1961).
Octavo (167 x 109 mm). Contemporary quarter cloth and pebble grained boards, spine ruled and lettered gilt.
Complete with the errata slip after page 218.
Spine ends a little rubbed, corners worn with exposure of underlying boards. Light staining to one or two leaves; a very good copy.
WorldCat locates copies at Columbia, Chicago, and Groningen universities, the British Library, and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, KVK adds only later editions.
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