Remember Me

Description

58 pages
$5.95
ISBN 0-88922-219-3

Publisher

Year

1984

Contributor

Translated by John Stowe
Reviewed by David E. Kemp

David E. Kemp is a drama professor at Queen’s University and the
author of The Pleasures and Treasures of the United Kingdom.

Review

Michel Tremblay is Quebec’s best known playwright. He is author of Les Belles Soeurs; Forever Yours, Marie Lou; Hosanna; Bonjour; la Bonjour; and Sainte-Carmen of the Main as well as six other plays and two novels. Tremblay’s characters have been described as “a distinguished company of fat women, unhappy sisters, transvestites and singers,” and certainly in his latest play, Remember Me, the characters of Lee and Jean-Mare could be added to his collection of near-tragic misfits.

The two characters — the only characters, in fact — are only just recovering from the wounds inflicted during their seven-year love affair. Each of them also has his own personal concerns.

Jean-Marc, 38-year-old French teacher, although apparently secure and well off, has realised he will never be the great novelist he had hoped to become. He feels, in a word, mediocre. Luc, after years as an obscure stage actor, has found popular success playing “a nut case with a lisp” on a TV sitcom. Together with his success, however, has come an unexpected and unwelcome loss of privacy and a struggle for self-respect. To make matters worse, his father is dying.

The two men meet for an evening at Jean-Mare’s house after not having seen one another for some time. During this evening they dredge up the good and bad memories; they confront each other about past unjustices; they concern themselves with their mutual loss of youthfulness; finally, they confess their fears and disillusionments and they comfort each other.

Remember Me is a play of great beauty, great tenderness, and acute poetic sensibility. As well as portraying a homosexual relationship with naturalness and sensitivity, Tremblay also endows his plays with an insight that cannot fail to both move and enlighten us all. Remember Me is not only a sincere, important, and deeply affecting play, it may very well be a great one; with it Michel Tremblay can be considered Canada’s most significant dramatic voice.

Citation

Tremblay, Michel, “Remember Me,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 19, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/37388.