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Thursday June 30, 2016 in Books
Memory â€“ personal, familial, and societal â€“ is the central theme of this new play by Governor Generalâ€™s Award-winning playwright FranÃ§ois Archambault. Translated by Bobby Theodore, this work follows a familyâ€™s struggle with dementia. Edouard is a university professor and historian, a figure prominent in the public eye, and a long-time sovereignist. He has been proud throughout his life of his prodigious memory. As memory fails, Edouard tests the ability of family members to care for him.
The play also examines collective memory and the current state of affairs in Quebec. Edouard has been appearing on talk shows since his retirement, railing against the dumbing down of society and the adverse effects of technology. Archambault uses personal memory as a foil and metaphor to explore social memory, particularly re-examining moments from the history of the Parti QuÃ©bÃ©cois.
Subtle, moving, and funny, You Will Remember Me shows that living completely in the present moment is a nightmare. Hearkening to the past, and memory, are essential for the human condition.
You will Remember Me opened in French in 2014 and was produced in English in 2015 at the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto.
Cast of 2 men and 3 women.
ISBN 13: 9781772010190 | ISBN 10:
5.5 W x 8.5 H inches | 112 pages
$17.95 CAN / $17.95 US
Drama | Backlist
QUOTES OF NOTE
â€œWhat really moves the play beyond medical melodrama is the connection Archambault makes between personal and national memory â€¦ Will Quebecâ€™s memory of itself one day disintegrate, Archambault asks through Edouard? And are we short-circuiting our own synapses by living in a permanent, social media-driven present? â€¦ A thrillingly multi-layered playâ€
â€œArchambaultâ€™s knack for combining painful tragedy with laughter is partly what lifts the play from being what he calls â€˜a disease play.â€™ â€¦ What seems to have struck a chord with audiences, not just in Quebec but all over Canada, is the way the play uses Alzheimerâ€™s as a metaphor to talk about wider political issues.â€
â€œA curious and evolving portrayal of family dynamics and how memory and identity plays into that. What emerges are some touching and unexpected connections. â€¦ On one level, this is a play about a specific family dealing with dementia, but it also speaks to a wider social phenomenon. â€¦ What does it mean for a society to have a kind of collective dementia when it comes to its own history? Archambault offers no answer, but he leaves us with memorable questions.â€
â€œ[A] thought-provoking, mind-bending drama â€¦â€
â€”Tap Into Mahopac
â€œBobby Theodoreâ€™s adept English translation [of] FranÃ§ois Archambaultâ€™s acclaimed 2014 play Tu te souviendras de moi, a big hit, [was first produced in Calgary and is now on stage in Toronto.] â€¦ Memory is a central preoccupation, of course, in Quebec, where the imperative to remember the province/nationâ€™s ongoing fight for recognition is embossed on its licence plates: Je me souviens. â€¦ Part of the success of Archambaultâ€™s play is his lightness of touch with the national metaphor: this is principally an intergenerational family story exploring the painful effects of memory loss with sensitivity and wit.â€
â€œThere’s a kind of genius in You Will Remember Me. â€¦ What really makes the play work, though, is its narrative flexibility. â€¦ itâ€™s core is compelling.â€
â€”The Georgia Straight
About the ContributorsFranÃ§ois Archambault
FranÃ§ois Archambault graduated from the playwriting program at the National Theatre School of Canada in 1993 and has also completed a major in French Studies at the UniversitÃ© de MontrÃ©al. Between 1989 and 1998, he wrote twelve plays and his work appeared in seven anthologies. You Will Remember Me (Talon, 2016) is his latest play.Bobby Theodore
Bobby Theodoreâ€™s first translation, FranÃ§ois Archambaultâ€™s 15 Seconds, was produced across Canada and earned him a nomination for the Governor Generalâ€™s Award for Literary Translation in 2000. Since then, he has gone on to translate more than 12 plays, including the works of some of Quebecâ€™s most talented playwrights.
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF); and the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia Arts Council for our publishing activities.