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Title: 'Writing on the frontier' : European identification and the drama of Bernard-Marie Koltès
Author: Summers, Julie Anne.
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2004
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The overarching aim of this thesis is to give an account of the theatre of Bernard-Marie Koltes in relation to contemporary France and Europe. It highlights the aspects of his work that convey a sense of Europe's common cultural heritage, and considers its potential role in promoting processes of identification across national frontiers. The study is divided into two distinct sections. Part 1 focuses on textual analysis, and Part 2 on performance. Part 1 analyses the thematic structure of Koltes's drama, together with the myths and language therein. A key argument is that, whilst Koltes's drama is firmly located within the national context of France, traditional notions of `Frenchness' are challenged. The ideas the plays address can be seen as also relevant to a wider European audience, and can help define a contemporary view of `Europeanness'. Part 2 examines how Koltes's themes and ideas have been conveyed on stage. It considers productions of his drama in the differing contexts of France, Africa, Germany and Britain, in relation to the themes and ideas outlined in Part 1. The analysis teases out those aspects of the work that are perceived as `French' - such as the language and style of the drama - and those which have apparently crossed cultural frontiers - such as its settings and themes. The thesis concludes that Koltes's drama is both French and European. It suggests that his theatre opens channels for European identification between France and other cultures - particularly those that share western capitalist values and a history of colonial adventure. However, a further conclusion is that Koltes's plays do not furnish audiences with a comfortable image of the individual in contemporary Western European society.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available