By Maria D. Valderrama
Paris, Jan 14 (EFE).- French playwright Molière defied the censorship of the Church and carved himself a central role in Louis XIV’s court with his raucous comedies, but despite being an icon of French culture, not much is known of the artist who was born 400 years ago.
There are many gaps in Molière’s biography.
But it is also the artist’s mysterious aura that cultivated an almost cultish following.
Ahead of presidential elections, a debate on whether Molière should be moved from the Parisian Père Lachaise cemetery to the Pantheon has grabbed headlines.
Valérie Pécresse has pushed for the playwright’s inclusion in the French monument but the Elysee, the seat of the French Presidency, has rejected her call, arguing that only post-Enlightenment figures can enter the Pantheon.
Whether or not Molière is moved, the population will have the opportunity to rediscover the author at the Comédie-Française, where many of his works will be staged to commemorate his anniversary.
The Molière season, first founded by Louis XIV seven years after the death of the comedian, starts on Saturday, January 15, with a reconstruction of The Impostor, which has only been staged once before undergoing heavy censorship.
The unpublished version of the original Tartufo script, entrusted to Belgian director Ivo Van Hove, will be broadcast live on television and in cinemas.
“Louis XIV saw in Molière’s theater a form of embassy, a product for export, but at the end of the 19th century his figure took on a greater dimension and they spoke of the patriotic, secular, republican Molière,” curator, Martial Poirson said at the launch of the event.EFE