On a book page, this tab will allow you to add a book to one of your lists.
Please login or register to use this feature.
9780921870609_cover Enlarge Cover
4 of 5
1 rating
rated!
rated!
list price: $14.95
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
category: Drama
published: Sep 1998
ISBN:9780921870609
publisher: Ronsdale Press

Wintersleep

by Marie-Claire Blais, translated by Nigel Spencer

reviews: 1
tagged:
add a tag
Please login or register to use this feature.
4 of 5
1 rating
rated!
rated!
list price: $14.95
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
category: Drama
published: Sep 1998
ISBN:9780921870609
publisher: Ronsdale Press
Description

Wintersleep (Sommeil d'hiver) is a collection of five short plays by internationally acclaimed Quebecois author, Marie-Claire Blais. Appearing for the first time in an English translation, these plays allow anglophones to appreciate Marie-Claire Blais' range as a dramatist. The plays are known to francophones in their original publication by Les editions de la pleine lune; four of the plays have also been broadcast in French on the F.M. network of Radio Canada.

The works themselves arewritten in the form of chamber plays with the addition of elements from the ballet and recitative. Three of the plays are for two voices, one has three voices, and the other is written for 13 characters with additional voices. The plays can be produced on radio, T.V. or on stage, in each case with varying effects. Nigel Spencer's translation recreates the disturbing yet lyrical, ethereal yet gritty, effect of Marie-Claire Blais's evocative French prose.

Written with great prescience in the late '70s and early '80s, the plays have gained a sharp new resonance in the '90s. They present a shattered psychic landscape, yet one that is not lacking in hope nor in the daring and balance they demand of author, actor and director alike.

About the Authors
Marie-Claire Blais is the internationally revered author of more than twenty-five books, many of which have been published around the world. In addition to the Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction, which she has won four times, Blais has been awarded the Gilles-Corbeil Prize, the Médicis Prize, the Molson Prize, and Guggenheim Fellowships. She divides her time between Quebec and Florida.
Author profile page >

Nigel Spencer has won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation with three novels by Marie-Claire Blais: Thunder and Light, Augustino and the Choir of Destruction, and Mai at the Predators’ Ball, which was also a finalist for the QWF Cole Foundation Prize for Translation. He has translated numerous other works and films by and about Marie-Claire Blais, Poet Laureate Pauline Michel, Evelyn de la Chenelière, and others. He is also a film-subtitler, editor, and actor now living in Montreal.
Author profile page >
Contributor Notes

Marie-Claire Blais is a defining figure in Canada's literary landscape, with over 30 books to her credit, including Wintersleep, La Belle Bete (Mad Shadows), published when she was twenty, Une Saison dans la vie d'Emmanuel (A Season in the Life of Emmanuel), which is now taught regularly in university and college courses, and Soifs (These Festive Nights), which won the Governor General's Award in 1996.

Reader Reviews

Sign Up or Sign In to add your review or comment.

"Lyrical, elliptical musicality…"

In an excellent introduction, Nigel Spencer, the translator, contextualizes these lyrical, elliptical works...all five plays feature female voices asserting themselves in painful dialogue with male partners.  Oscillating between intimate personal detail and philosophical abstraction, between tentativeness and aggression, each play probes a different sensibility, a different tension.
The dialogue is rendered even more poignant by the accompanying musicality of Blais' long poetic lines.
Perhaps the most evocative of all is the study in contrasts, "FEVER"--a beautifully orchestrated dialogue between a wife and a husband in which she unveils his hypocrisy and her complicity against the exoticized backdrop of Morocco.
Reading these enigmatic musings set amidst highly visualized backgrounds or sets, one participates in the equivocal, tenuous relations between men and women, speech and silence, oppression and freedom.  As Blais, through the voice of her translator, so eloquently puts it: "But here I am, and he listens.  It is late.  At least, he seems to listen."
-Cathy Mezei--BOOKS IN CANADA, Summer 1999.

Other Titles by Marie-Claire Blais

Other Titles by Nigel Spencer

Evolution

Evolution

The View from the Cottage
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
tagged : evolution
More Info

User Activity

X
Contacting facebook
Please wait...