Beyond the Ruins


78 pages
ISBN 0-920717-86-1
DDC C842'.54





Translated by Jill MacDougall
Reviewed by Ian C. Nelson

Ian C. Nelson is assistant director of libraries at the University of
Saskatchewan and président, La Troupe du Jour, Regina Summer Stage.


In its original French version, Déjа l’agonie won the 1989
Grand-Prix du Journal de Montréal for drama. Marco Micone is the
pre-eminent representative of a new generation of writers of varied
backgrounds who have made their home and reputation in Quebec, but who
have retained an individual identity not necessarily limited by
maple-flavored boundaries. Author of his own growing opus in French
(Voiceless People and Addolorata, also available in English), Micone is
a littérateur of note, having translated plays by both Goldoni and
Shakespeare into French.

Beyond the Ruins takes place in two times (1972 and 1987) and in two
places (a village in Italy and in Montreal). It is a closely nuanced
exploration of relationships among family members—mother and father,
son and his wife, parents and progeny—and the pull of old-country
roots as new ambitions and a new generation are formed. The dialogue in
both the original and MacDougall’s translation is clean and rather
international in flavor. But the contrasting family and generation
values are specifically Italian and Montréalais. The tensions are
intimate but not intrusive, with just enough surprise to be satisfying


Micone, Marco., “Beyond the Ruins,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 19, 2024,