Date of Award

12-2008

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Modern Foreign Languages

Major Professor

Paul Barrette

Committee Members

Álvaro Ayo, Robert Cunningham, Eurídice Silva Filho

Abstract

Michel Tremblay, the most important contemporary playwright (and novelist) in Quebec, has written for the theatre for over forty years. The study of his plays, beginning with the very first ones, reveals the capital importance that he attributes to the problem of the past and of memory.

This dissertation examines how memory plays the role of protagonist in Tremblay’s drama: the study of Les Belles-Soeurs, (the writer’s first famous play, where memory is a tool for building gender identity), of Le Vrai Monde? (one of his most complex plays, where memory is concretely represented on the stage) and of Encore une fois, si vous permettez and Bonbons assortis au theatre (two autobiographical plays) demonstrates the accuracy of this proposition.

Tremblay’s work is evidently integrated into the historical and social context of Quebec, where a preoccupation with memory, registered in their slogan Je me souviens (I remember), is a fundamental component of the imaginary of this people in constant quest for and affirmation of their identity, as well as a testimony to their resistance to the threat of assimilation by the Anglophone world that surrounds them.

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