Skip to main content

Sameness and difference in Les Belles-surs: A Canadian spectator's reflections on two Polish productions of Michel Tremblay's play

Buy Article:

$18.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Abstract:

The viewing of two Polish productions of Qubcois playwright Michel Tremblay's play Les Belles-surs gives rise to a reflection on the ways in which foreign reception can change theatrical works, both through translation into another language and through the physical othering of performance and staging. At the heart of Tremblay's play, in which a million trading stamps bring a fleeting vision of material happiness to a Montreal working-class housewife and send a gathering of other women into paroxysms of jealousy, is condensed a particular experience of poverty and a lived relationship between that poverty and consumerism. These very different Polish productions, occurring seven years apart, at different moments in the post-Communist era, represent two diverse attempts to imagine not only a more or less distant, more or less understood North American socio-cultural phenomenon, but also the impact of emerging consumerism in a rapidly changing Polish society. In the imagining of the other is implied a re-imagining of self. For the Canadian spectator, the experience of viewing these two productions, comparing them and reflecting on them over an extended period of time, has yielded insights into an evolving feat of cross-cultural imagining, as well as a heightened awareness of the consumerism at the centre of the belles-surs' universe, a new appreciation of the power of Tremblay's stamps to signify.

Keywords: Michel Tremblay, Les Belles-surs; Polish reception; consumerism; cross-cultural imagining; performance and staging; translation

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1386/ijfs.13.2.315/3

Affiliations: Dalhousie University.

Publication date: 2010-10-01

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Francophone Studies offers a critical preview for a new development in the understanding of 'France outside France', with a thorough insight into the network of disciplinary issues affiliated with this study. The journal complements the thriving area of scholarly interest in the French-speaking regions of the world, bringing a location of linguistic, cultural, historical and social dynamics within a single academic arena.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free ContentFree content
  • Partial Free ContentPartial Free content
  • New ContentNew content
  • Open Access ContentOpen access content
  • Partial Open Access ContentPartial Open access content
  • Subscribed ContentSubscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed ContentPartial Subscribed content
  • Free Trial ContentFree trial content
UA-1313315-26
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more