An Exploration of The Lover Open Access

Marianes, Lia Marie (2010)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/3t945r04r?locale=en
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Abstract

Abstract

An Exploration of The Lover
By Lia Marianes


The goal of this thesis was to explore, through the performance of my adaptation of The Lover by Marguerite Duras, the interplay between memory and the factual reality of events, to discover the responsibilities of an adaptor and an actor in a potentially autobiographical work, and to use a new piece of theater to cause audiences to examine the impactful events of their own lives. Additionally, with over 70 published plays, novel, and screenplays, Marguerite Duras was one of the most prolific modern French writers, and yet she remains relatively unknown in the United States. Therefore, another of the project's goals was to introduce Duras to American academics. I also intended to further Duras' established tradition of cross-discipline production through the adaptation of The Lover into a play.

The research questions I pursued centered on the interplay between memory and reality in Duras' work. The novel was written in 1984 when Duras was an old woman, and yet is about a time in her life of enormous youthful exuberance growth, and change; this raises the question of whether this is autobiography, fiction, or both. Duras wrote several accounts of this story (The North China Lover, Wartime Writings, Eden Cinema, The Sea Wall), and the account of that lover and her relationship with him is entirely different in each retelling. Therefore, what of the novel belongs to fact, and what to fiction? Additionally, what is the adaptor's responsibility to represent fact in a fictional, potentially autobiographical, work? This question had an impact on me as the adaptor of the piece, as I too had a responsibility to the text. To answer these questions, I explored Duras' life and her fiction, as well as the existing criticism on her oeuvre, through dramaturgy. I then applied the dramaturgy to the adaptation and rehearsal process to create a theatrical production of The Lover that was firmly rooted in research.


Table of Contents



Table of Contents


Chapter One-The Dramaturgical Protocol

1

The Life of Marguerite Duras
3

The Place of The Lover in Duras' Oeuvre
16

Outside Influences on The Lover
31

Historical Dramaturgy and Duras' Contemporaries
44

Critical Reactions to the Novel
54

Textual Difficulties
64

Explanation of my Adaptation Choices
79

Chapter Two-The Adaptation Process
89

Chapter Three-The Rehearsal Process
119

Chapter Four-The Performance Process
144

Appendix A-The Performance Draft
161

Appendix B-Adaptation Exercises
184

Appendix C-Rehearsal Exercises
198


Appendix D-Lighting Design Research
204

Bibliography
207

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