The Edge of Earth is too Near, Violette Leduc

Written by:

Jovette Marchessault, translated by Susanne de Lotbinière-Harwood

Cast Size:
20

Roles For:

  • Men: 3
  • Women: 4

Genre:

Feminist Theatre
Historical
Quebec Theatre
Translation

Themes:

Art
French
History
Women
Writing

Year Written:

1981

Synopsis:

The Edge of Earth is Too Near, Violette Leduc (La Terre est trop courte, Violette Leduc) is a play in eleven Tableaux about words and creative writing. Its main character, Violette Ledic, is a writer, for whom verbal expression is a visceral necessity. She is dedicated body and soul to her writing projects, despite her hesitations and innumerable difficulties… [The play] is a fictionalized dramatization of the life of French Author Violette Leduc (1907-1972)… Leduc wrote with intense passion, yet notoriety and no recognition was largely her lot. Although she has the same publisher as Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sarte, Jean Genet, Maurice Sachs, Albert Camus, and many others, her books were expurgated, censored, and poorly marketed. Her story is entwined with several of these other writers, some of whom also appear in the play.” (From “Introduction to The Edge of Earth is Too Near, Violette Leduc by Jovette Marchessault, Introduced by Louise H. Forsyth” in Anthology of Quebec Women’s Plays in English Translation Volume One (1966-1986))

Characters:

VIOLETTE LEDUC

SIMONE de BEAUVOIR

JEAN GENET, who will also play the part of the FIRST HUSTLER, of a DRAG QUEEN and of a WAITER in a café.

MAURICE SACHS, who will also play the part of the THIRD HUSTLER, of a DRAG QUEEN and of a WAITER in a café.

VIOLETTE’S MOTHER, who will also play the part of a SWITCHBOARD OPERATOR, of a SALESWOMAN, and of CLARE MALRAUX.

HERMINE, who will also play the part of NATHALIE SARRAUTE.

GABRIEL, Violette’s husband, who will also play the part of the SECOND HUSTLER, of a BUM, and a PSYCHOANALYST.

First Produced:

Théâtre Expérimental des Femmes, Montréal, 1981. English translation dramatic reading, Ubu Repertory Theater, New York, 1984. Then produced by Nightwood Theatre, Toronto, 1985.

Resources:

The Edge of Earth is Too Near, Violette Leduc is available through Playwrights Canada Press in Anthology of Quebec Women’s Plays in English Translation Volume One (1966-1986), edited by Louise H Forsyth.

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