Alexandre Dumas, fils

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Alexandre Dumas, fils

Alexandre Dumas (July 27, 1824November 27, 1895) was a popular French novelist and playwright, best known for his novel and play, La Dame aux camélias. The word fils (son) is usually added to his name to distinguish him from his father, Alexandre Dumas, père.

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  • Établissons donc ici, pour les dictionnaires à venir, que le Demi-Monde ne représente pas, comme on le croit, comme on l'imprime, la cohue des courtisanes, mais la classe des déclassées.
    • In the interest of the dictionaries of the future let me lay down the principle that the Demi-Monde, contrary to the common belief and in spite of what is printed, does not represent the ruck of courtesans, but the class of women that have lost caste.
    • Preface to Le Demi-Monde (1855), in Théatre complet de Al. Dumas fils (Paris: Michel Lévy Frères, 1868-98) vol. 2, p. 9; translation from Albert D. Vandam Undercurrents of the Second Empire (London: William Heinemann, 1897) p. 246.
  • Ce monde commence où l'épouse légale finit, et il finit où l'épouse vénale commence, il est séparé des honnêtes femmes par le scandale, des courtisanes par l'argent.
    • That world begins where the lawful wife finishes; it finishes where the venal wife begins. It is divided from the world of honest women by the public scandal it provokes; it is divided from the world of courtesans by money.
    • Preface to Le Demi-Monde (1855), in Théatre complet de Al. Dumas fils (Paris: Michel Lévy Frères, 1868-98) vol. 2, p. 10; translation from Albert D. Vandam Undercurrents of the Second Empire (London: William Heinemann, 1897) p. 247.
  • Les affaires, c'est bien simple, c'est l'argent des autres.
    • Business? Why, it's very simple: business is other people's money.
    • La Question d'argent (1857), Act II, sc. vii; translation from Frederick Brown Theater and Revolution (New York: Viking Press, 1980) p. 5.
  • On peut devenir un peintre, un sculpteur, un musicien même à force d'étude; on ne devient pas un auteur dramatique. On l'est tout de suite ou jamais, comme on est blond ou brun, sans le vouloir.
    • It is possible to become a painter, a sculptor, or a musician by study, but not a dramatic poet; a man is so either at once or never, as he is blonde or brown, and cannot help it.
    • Preface to Le Père Prodigue (1859), in Théatre complet de Al. Dumas fils (Paris: Michel Lévy Frères, 1868-98) vol. 3, p. 199; translation by E. P. Evans from The Atlantic Monthly, May 1890, pp. 584-5.
  • N'estime l'argent ni plus ni moins qu'il ne vaut: c'est un bon serviteur et un mauvais maître.
    • Esteem money neither more nor less than it deserves, it is a good servant and a bad master.
    • Preface to Théatre complet de Al. Dumas fils (Paris: Michel Lévy Frères, 1863) vol. 1, p. 4; translation from Ernest Smith Fields of Adventure (Boston: Small, Maynard, 1924) p. 99.
  • Il faut aimer n'importe qui, n'importe quoi, n'importe comment, pourvu qu'on aime.
    • We must love, no matter whom, no matter what, no matter how, provided only we do love.
    • Les Idées de Madame Aubray (1867), Act I, sc. ii; translation from Louis Proal (trans. A. R. Allinson) Passion and Criminality (London: Imperial Press, 1905) p. 563.
  • Les hommes et les femmes ne se réunissent au théâtre que pour entendre parler de l'amour, et pour prendre part aux douleurs et aux joies qu'il cause. Tous les autres intérêts de l'humanité restent à la porte.
    • Men and women go to the theatre only to hear of love, and to take part in the pains or in the joys that it has caused. All the other interests of humanity remain at the door.
    • Preface to La Femme de Claude (Paris: Michel Lévy, 1873) p. xxxiii; translation from Henri Pène du Bois (trans. and ed.) French Maxims of the Stage (New York: Brentano's, 1894) p. 49.

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