By Michel Ouellette

Au centre d'un village qui se meurt, une enseignante s'est barricadée à l'intérieur de l'école, une ceinture de dynamite autour du ventre. Elle tente d'empêcher que « son » école soit démolie. Ironie, c'est le démolisseur, Jeff, qui tente de l. a. dissuader de tout faire sauter.

Entre les deux, un jeu de lettres qui tient lieu de compte à rebours...

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Lopakhin and The Cherry Orchard Together with Lyubov Andreyevna, Lopakhin occupies the dramatic center of The Cherry Orchard. His persistent yet self-contradictory motives – first to convince Lyubov to sell the estate for parcels and cottages, and then to buy the land himself – provide a full demonstration, not only of the blind helplessness and inertia that afflict the estate owners but also of the sheer power of social change that will oust them from the ancestral property. Lopakhin’s traits and qualities are such that he comes across as well-intentioned as against opportunistic, sensitive and alert to circumstances as opposed to coarse or bumbling.

Elaborating on this fundamental motivation in The Real Chekhov, Magarshack speculates on Lopakhin’s state of mind: He had a plan which would not only save her estate from being sold, but would make her a rich woman. It seemed so simple and reasonable to him that he had no doubt that she would not 43 irony and the modern theatre hesitate to accept it. That was why he had come specially to the old house so as to be in time to meet the train, help her with the luggage, see whether she had greatly changed, and, above all, tell her that she need not worry any more.

To lend a visible order to such a multivalent environment, Ibsen employs irony not only in characterization but also in his dramaturgical strategies. Even as he personifies irony in character, he builds it into the fabric of the dramatic construction, and into a pattern of enactment that includes the stage spectacle. Characters such as 19 irony and the modern theatre Solness, Aline, and Dr. Herdal maintain and express their own, individuated ironic views and beliefs, but their collective interrelations, movements, and behaviors are also the perceivable symptoms of a sensible, if ironically conceived, order.

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ABC démolition by Michel Ouellette
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