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Musica Second Version


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AT: La Musica A: Marguerite Duras Pf: 1985, Paris Pb: 1985 Tr: 1992 G: Drama in 1 act; French prose S: Entrance lounge of luxury hotel, northern France, c.1985 C: 1m, 1fTwo years after separating, ‘She’ (Anne-Marie Nollet, née Roche) and ‘He’ (Michel Nollet) meet in a hotel where they lived for the first three months of their marriage. He telephones reassuringly to his present partner, pretending to her that Anne-Marie is staying at another hotel. He is a moderately successful architect working in Paris; she now lives in Lübeck and is soon going to remarry and move to the States. They begin to analyse the agony of their failed marriage, sifting through their memories, and he learns for the first time that she attempted suicide when he asked for a divorce. She tells him too how she began her affair with her present partner when she went to Paris and visited a nightclub. She stayed on in Paris, and Michel bought a revolver to kill her with when she stepped off the train, but he relented. The actors pause, and the second version of Musica starts. Michel's mistress phones, and this time he tells her the truth. He begs Anne-Marie not to go to America, fearing he may never see her again and speaking of his continuing love for her, but she has lost hope of rediscovering their passion. She leaves the hotel, and goes out into the night.

AT: La Musica A: Marguerite Duras Pf: 1985, Paris Pb: 1985 Tr: 1992 G: Drama in 1 act; French prose S: Entrance lounge of luxury hotel, northern France, c.1985 C: 1m, 1f

This is a reprise of La Musica of 1965. Like the love between Anne-Marie and Michel, the play continued to haunt Duras, until she felt obliged to rewrite it. Like Cocteau's Human Voice, this is a disturbingly authentic account of the end of a relationship, here a love that was hell at the time, but from which there seems to be no escape. Memory ambushes rather than illuminates the former lovers: ‘Don't you think it's strange that we remember so little?’

Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights).


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