In ?The Axe” a literature professor arrives at the door of one of his students in the middle of the night. On his way he has stumbled (with a flask of whiskey) through the pouring rain, stopping in a city park to vandalize the statue of an angel, tormented by the image of his life’s work, ninety-seven poems he has left behind in flames in his apartment. The student has turned in an assignment (which the professor has brought along in his briefcase): a carefully wrapped hatchet.
In ?Piercing” a teenage runaway, Marie-He´lene, seeks to escape the mediocrity of her small-town family life, only to end up in a very different kind of urban ?family,” a cult of dominance and body piercing presided over by Kevin, the maimed and orphaned son of a millionaire. They live in a church converted into luxury condos, with a strange ageless and toothless woman who plays guardian to him and his test-tube son Raphael: a 20 year old computer nerd working on an MA thesis on securitization.
In ?Anna on the Letter C” a lonely, virginal typist transcribing the ?c” words for a dictionary project lives just blocks away from the church where Rasputin-like Kevin holds court. But her world is not inhabited by the angels and demons of ?Piercing.”
Taking pity on a middle-aged stalker (a seedy, sweating chain-smoker, retired from his job as a projectionist in soft-core porn cinemas), she invites him to her apartment for tea. As they sit, awkwardly making conversation, she confesses that she is a virgin. Her feelings for him waver between repulsion and compassion. His desire for her is palpable as heat lightning flashes in the summer night.
Larry Tremblay is a writer, director, actor and specialist in Kathakali, an elaborate dance theatre form which he has studied on numerous trips to India. He has published twenty books as a playwright, poet, novelist and essayist. The recent publication of Talking Bodies (Talonbooks, 2001) brought together four of his plays in English translation.
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.
?What lingers is a degree of delight at Tremblay’s ability not so much to weave a storyline as to unravel one with such finesse ? ?
? Toronto Sun
“What lingers is a degree of delight at Tremblay’s ability not so much to weave a storyline as to unravel one with such finesse … ”