The Driving Force

By Michel Tremblay
Translated by Linda Gaboriau

The Driving Force
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In Act 1, Claude, 55, visits his father Alex, 77, in an Alzheimer’s ward, intimately tending to his bodily functions and needs while hopelessly trying to reach his silent, vacant father with a series of monologues—to settle old scores and misunderstandings between them. ... Read more


Overview

In Act 1, Claude, 55, visits his father Alex, 77, in an Alzheimer’s ward, intimately tending to his bodily functions and needs while hopelessly trying to reach his silent, vacant father with a series of monologues—to settle old scores and misunderstandings between them.

In an astonishing and eerie reversal of roles, in Act 2 it is Alex who visits his son Claude in the same Alzheimer’s ward and it is Alex’s turn to rant and rail at what he perceives to be his mute son’s contempt for his own working class life.

With a cruel and disconsolate irony, we come to see that his father’s lifelong attempt to mock and censure Claude’s work as consisting of nothing but mediocre, misrepresentative lies, has been the very driving force behind Claude’s compulsion to continue to reveal the “truth” of human relationships as he so desperately wants his father to understand it.

Michel Tremblay

A major figure in Québec literature, Michel Tremblay has built an impressive body of work as a playwright, novelist, translator, and screenwriter. To date Tremblay’s complete works include twenty-nine plays, thirty-one novels, six collections of autobiographical stories, a collection of tales, seven screenplays, forty-six translations and adaptations of works by foreign writers, nine plays and twelve stories printed in diverse publications, an opera libretto, a song cycle, a Symphonic Christmas Tale, and two musicals. His work has won numerous awards and accolades; his plays have been published and translated into forty languages and have garnered critical acclaim in Canada, the United States, and more than fifty countries around the world.

Linda Gaboriau

Linda Gaboriau is an award-winning literary translator based in Montréal. Her translations of plays by Québec’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 is the founding ­director of the Banff International Literary Translation Centre. Gaboriau has twice won the Governor General’s Award for Translation: in 1996, for Daniel Danis’s Stone and Ashes, and in 2010, for Wajdi Mouawad’s Forests.

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"The text is as severe, intense and implacable as the reality of each character. " — CBC Radio Canada

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