leaving questions about the motives and ideas, even the identity of the speakers unanswered.
In applying the above statement to the plays
Pour un oui ou pour unnon
), this essay will attempt to examine the relevance of such concepts to theplaywrights and identify specific examples which justify the claim that the auditoryimagination is at the heart of the principal appeal of their theatre.The Auditory ImaginationIn
The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism
T.S. Eliot, in a discussion of Matthew
Arnold, writes a passage of critical theory noting Arnold‟s lack of sensitivity to „the musicalqualities of verse.‟ For Eliot, the auditory imagination
s the feeling for syllable and rhythm, penetrating far below the conscious levels of thoughtand feeling, invigorating every word;
sinking to the most primitive and forgotten, returning tothe origin and bringing something back,
seeking the beginning and the end.
The idea of a return to the origin, to the pre-verbal state of being, one defined by our lack of ability to communicate with language is, according to Duras and Sarraute, one which lives onin us as part of our being.
The addition of the word „primitive‟ is interesting
analysis above. It is a feeling, more than a particular emotion, as labelling it so wouldautomatically and intrinsically link it to the entire history associated with that emotion. It issubmitted that an incline, a pre-disposition or a physiological magnetism might describe thesub-conscious intuition which is integral to the concept of the auditory imagination. The
Modern French Drama 1940
Cambridge University Press, 1991.
Duras, Marguerite, 1914-1996. Paris: Minuit, 1983.
Sarraute, Nathalie, Paris: Gallimard, 1982.
Eliot, T. S. (Thomas Stearns), 1888-1965, London Faber and Faber 1964
The Cambridge Introduction to T.S. Eliot,
by John Xiros Cooper, Cambridge University Press, 2006. (EmphasisAdded: This is the crucial element which f
eatures in Duras’s and Sarraute’s writing for theatre.)