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.close this panel
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 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.