Maya: A Play in a Prologue, Nine Scenes and an Epilogue

By: Gantillon, Simon; Boyd, Ernest

Price: $100.00  $80.00

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Very Good

First English translation. Boards faintly foxed, 1 inch closed tear to front jacket corner with tiny associated chip, jacket spine faded. 1928 Hard Cover. xvi, [4], 16-147, [1] pp. 8vo. An English translation of the French play which was suppressed by legal authorities in New York City after fewer than two weeks at the Comedy Theatre in 1928, after being deemed an 'immoral' play. Drama critic Alexander Woollcott, who called it so beautiful a play... that it cannot fail. But... there is always the chance that New York will fail... later commented that the play was censored in almost medieval secrecy... [by the] murderously effective and, to my notion, entirely vicious law. The play examines the world of prostitution in a controversial manner similar to Shaw's Mrs Warren's Profession, which suffered the same treatment by authorities. This censorship inspired an outpouring of equally controversial dramatic productions, leading to the Wales Padlock Law of 1927, which allowed playwrights, producers, and actors to be criminally prosecuted for their roles in these allegedly immoral works. Maya was the first play against which the law was used (Wainscott, The Emergence of the Modern American Theater, 1914-1929, p. 76). This publication in book form followed the suppression of the play, and the jacket illustration by Darcy (this is probably Art Deco illustrator Lyse Darcy, who produced a number of well-known advertisements for the French cosmetics company Guerlain) showing two pairs of hands suggestively reaching upward towards the title character seems to be an open act of defiance against the law. The play inspired a film of the same name in 1949 starring Jean-Pierre Grenier and Viviane Romance, which was directed by Raymond Bernard.

Title: Maya: A Play in a Prologue, Nine Scenes and an Epilogue

Author: Gantillon, Simon; Boyd, Ernest

Illustrator: Darcy, [Lyse]

Categories: Modern First Editions, Continental, Plays,

Edition: First Edition

Publisher: Robert M. McBride & Company / J.J. Little & Ives Company: 1928

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition: Very Good

Jacket Condition: Very Good

Seller ID: 2199130