The Dramatic Transformation of Food in Tristan L'Hermite's Le Parasite
Contribution to Book
Tristan l'Hermite's Le Parasite, written in 1653, was an immediate and enduring success. This, his last play, was unlike anything he had produced earlier. While the subject was not original (it is based on a 1585 Italian play entitled Angelica by Fabrizio de Fornaris), Tristan's treatment of the subject was indeed innovative. The figure of the Parasite had fallen out of favor in the 1630s and had largely disappeared from the stage by the time Tristan wrote this play, so it was incumbent upon the playwright to do something innovative with the traditional comic figure. Indeed, it is precisely in the treatment of food - so closely tied to the parasite - that this comedy, which Claude Abraham calls "a gigantic burlesque feast" (Tristan 115), breaks new ground.
Roxanne Lalande & Bertrand Landry
Ekstein, N. (2010). The dramatic transformation of food in Tristan L'Hermite's Le Parasite. In R. Lalande & B. Landry (Eds.), Nourritures (pp. 165-172). Tübingen, Germany: Narr.