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Papa doit manger
Papa est parti depuis si longtemps que personne n'espère plus son retour. Mais voilà que Papa revient, voilà que Papa exige de rentrer, sûr de son bon droit, dans la vie qu'il a fuie dix ans auparavant. Qui aime encore Papa ? Qui peut prétendre avoir besoin de lui ? Il a les apparences de la richesse et d'une jeunesse improbable. Il resplendit d'un éclat peu commun à Courb ...more
Paperback, 95 pages
Published March 29th 2006 by Les éditions de minuit
(first published January 30th 2003)
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papa a gâché la vie de maman. papa est un menteur. papa est un profiteur. papa rend malheureux tous les gens qui l'entourent. papa pose problème avec sa couleur de peau. papa revient en héros alors qu'il est loin d'en être un. Marie NDiaye, par cette écriture hybride qui lui est propre, entre le théâtre et le roman, nous livre un drame familial qui dérange, d'autant plus avec la mise à distance que produit ce ton presque léger, cynique. elle parvient malgré les apparences à faire de maman la gra ...more
Students of French would find this a quick read. Papa disappears for 10 years then returns to his wife and daughters asking for money before going away again. The play reads like a radio play with long jumps between scenes. I would like to read a longer work by this author.
This play has the brutal satire of 'Hilda' but introduces a new element: the stubborn irrationality of love. All the characters are flawed, but some of them (notably Papa himself) are the more compelling for it. I also appreciated the Odysseus-like theme of the hero returning home after ten years, to find a new man in the house. And Maman is in her own way a kind of Penelope. I'm very pleased that this play is going to be on Oxford's first-year syllabus starting this year.
Interesting story of unrequited love, salvation from a liar, and then return to the jerk! I didn't quite pick up easily that the family was white and the estranged husband was black. It was odd there were no settings or stage directions or character descriptions.
Marie NDiaye was born in Pithiviers, France, in 1967; spent her childhood with her French mother (her father was Senegalese); and studied linguistics at the Sorbonne. She started writing when she was twelve or thirteen years old and was only eighteen when her first work was published. In 2001 she was awarded the prestigious Prix Femina literary prize for her novel Rosie Carpe, and in 2009, she won ...more