Fragments of a Farewell Letter Read by Geologists

By Normand Chaurette
Translated by Linda Gaboriau

Fragments of a Farewell Letter Read by Geologists
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Fragments of a Farewell Letter Read by Geologists is a dramatized inquiry in which five geologists are interrogated about the death of one of their colleagues in the Mekong Delta, Cambodia.

It is a play about the beginnings and endings of all things. It is a ritualized drama ... Read more


Overview

Fragments of a Farewell Letter Read by Geologists is a dramatized inquiry in which five geologists are interrogated about the death of one of their colleagues in the Mekong Delta, Cambodia.

It is a play about the beginnings and endings of all things. It is a ritualized drama in which meaning is stripped first from reason, then from authority, then from language, then from geography, and finally from the body. Washed away by the rain, both deafening and silent. It is an investigation into the mystery of the wound of life opened up by a bolt of lightening striking a primordial, featureless sea, and the return of all things to that sea. There is no mystery here but The Mystery. It is a play of specific speech, probing dialogue, investigative interrogation, but no narrative.

This is experimental theatre of the very best kind because it succeeds in extending the possibilities of what can be contained by the conventions of the dramatic form in a way that does not betray either the subject or the form.

Cast of one woman and six men.

Normand Chaurette

Normand Chaurette
Normand Chaurette was born in Montreal in 1954. His published plays include: Rêve d’une nuit d’hôpital; Provincetown Playhouse, juillet 1919, j’avais 19 ans; Fêtes d’autome; La Société de Métis; and The Queens (Talonbooks 1998). Fragments of a Farewell Letter Read by Geologists (Talonbooks 1998) was nominated for a Governor General’s Award in 1987 and won the Prix de l’Association québécoise des critiques de théâtre for Best Play Produced in 1988. His novel, Scènes d’enfants, was nominated for a 1989 Governor General’s Award. His most recent play, available from Talonbooks, is All the Verdis of Venice (2000).
Linda Gaboriau
Linda Gaboriau is an award-winning literary translator based in Montreal. Her translations of plays by Quebec’s most prominent playwrights have been published and ­produced across Canada and abroad. In her work as a ­literary manager and dramaturge, she has directed ­numerous translation residencies and international exchange projects. She was the founding director of the Banff International Literary Translation Centre. Most recently she won the 2010 Governor General’s Award for Forests, her translation of the play by Wajdi Mouawad.

Linda Gaboriau

A major figure in Quebec theatre, MICHEL TREMBLAY has built an impressive body of work as a playwright, novelist, translator, and screenwriter. To date, Michel’s complete works include 29 plays (including 2 theatrical adaptations of his own work); 30 novels; 6 collections of autobiographical stories; a collection of tales; 7 screenplays; 46 translations/adaptations of works by foreign writers; 9 plays and 12 stories printed in diverse publications; an opera libretto; a song cycle; a Symphonic Christmas Tale and 2 musicals. His plays have been published and translated into 40 languages and have garnered critical acclaim in Canada, the United States, and more than 50 countries around the world. His name can be found in the Larousse and Robert Dictionaries, the Who’s Who Encyclopedia, the Dictionary of International Biography and the Encyclopedia Britannica. During his career, Michel has received more than 80 prizes, citations and honours including the Grand Prix de la Francophonie, awarded by the Académie française in 2018, as well as the Prince Pierre de Monaco Literary Prize and the Prix Gilles-Corbeil for his contribution to the arts in 2017. A six-time winner of grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, he won nine Chalmers Awards and five Grand Prix du public presented during Montreal’s annual book fair le Salon du livre. In 1999, he was awarded the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards. He has also received six honorary doctorates.

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