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Professor Taranne


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A: Arthur Adamov Pf: 1953, Lyons Pb: 1953 Tr: 1962 G: Drama in 2 scenes S: Police station and hotel, France, 1950s C: 9m, 5fA middle-aged man has been arrested by the police for indecent exposure. He protests his innocence, insisting that he is the famous Professor Taranne who has recently been lecturing in Belgium. However, he is unable to prove his identity, and the one woman who recognizes him thinks he is Taranne's colleague, Professor Ménard. Later in his hotel, the police charge Taranne with a further offence, of littering his beach cabin. The nightmare worsens, when he finds himself unable to read the notes for his lectures, which are in an almost blank notebook. He receives a chart from the liner he is to board, indicating where he should sit at the captain's table, and a letter from the Belgian university where he gave his lectures, which will finally establish that he is Taranne. However, the letter accuses him of plagiarizing his lecture from Ménard. When he hangs up the seating chart, it is blank. Slowly he begins to undress.

A: Arthur Adamov Pf: 1953, Lyons Pb: 1953 Tr: 1962 G: Drama in 2 scenes S: Police station and hotel, France, 1950s C: 9m, 5f

This short absurdist piece, considered by Adamov to be his finest, was based on a dream. In it, Adamov expresses the repeated 20th-century concern with individual identity and a Kafkaesque feeling of undefined guilt.

Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights).


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