La dialectique de l'espace-temps comme élément constitutif de l'univers dramatique de Bernard-Marie Koltes

Source document: Études romanes de Brno. 2011, vol. 32, iss. 1, pp. [129]-137
Extent
[129]-137
  • ISSN
    1803-7399 (print)
    2336-4416 (online)
Type
Article
Language
French
License: Not specified license
Abstract(s)
The manner in which Bernard-Maria Koltès treats space in his dramatic productions lets us discover not only a certain world philosophy emanating from his works but also the process of construction of his plays. The issue of place, of space, lies at the very heart of Koltès' dramaturgy; the playwright was always seeking for such settings for his plays that could accommodate the entire drama that would, in a way, summarize the entire action. It is the space that, very frequently, acts as the starting point for the creation of the play. The place in question is a concrete place the one once viewed or even "experienced" by the author himself, a place which he himself encountered and lived through (like, for instance, in the play Quai ouest), a determined place which, in the process of creation, is transformed into a metaphoric space but which, nevertheless, in the already composed drama, continues to be a very concrete place. Thus space becomes simultaneously concrete and metaphoric. This is the first of the contradictions characteristic for Koltès' dramatic works. Another contradiction is related to the aspect of openness and closure of space, both being discerned on the level of the dramatic text and of the performance. This dialectics of the open and the closed may be analyzed from two perspectives: in a material sense, as a struggle between what is inside and that what is outside, beyond the stage (Quai ouest, Le retour au désert, Combat de nègre et de chiens), or, in a mental sense, when the space is open, not limited by anything, but when, at the same time, its freedom proves to be false because the true boundaries, the limits (closure) are anchored in the glance of the Other or in a constant sense of lack of something, which sense pushes the characters of the play to flight, makes them leave the place in which they are fixed. That is why the movement of a character in the stage space is that of escape; it is a movement with an intention of leaving the place (centrifugal motion). The dramatic places are often in Koltès' world the places of anxiety, they are dangerous places (abandoned hangar, metro at night, remote and deserted street). Nevertheless, this anxiety is generated by such tool as concentration, condensation of time. Like in classical theatre, the condensation of time gives one a feeling of haste, a sense of necessity of soonest possible fulfill ment of the tragic fate. The present study attempts also to explain how Koltès combines this sense of haste with simultaneous sense of duration. This issue is taken into consideration in the present study because the problem of time, besides the problem of space, is a decisive element of dramatic construction in the output of the author of In the Solitude of Cotton Fields.
Document
References:
[1] KOLTÈS, Bernard-Marie. Dans la solitude des champs de coton . Paris: Les Editions de Minuit, 1986.

[2] KOLTÈS, Bernard-Marie. La nuit juste avant les forêts . Paris: Les Editions de Minuit, 1988.

[3] KOLTÈS, Bernard-Marie. Le Retour au désert . Paris: Les Editions de Minuit, 1988.

[4] KOLTÈS, Bernard-Marie. Roberto Zucco . Paris: Les Editions de Minuit, 1990.

[5] KOLTÈS, Bernard-Marie. Un hangar à l'ouest . In Roberto Zucco. Paris: Les Editions de Minuit, 1990.

[6] SEBASTIEN, Marie-Paule. Bernard-Marie Koltès et l'espace théâtral . Paris: L'Harmattan, 2001.

[7] UBERSFELD, Anne. Bernard-Marie Koltès . Arles: Actes Sud, 1999.