Hi friends, how do you fancy a little trip to Haiti? A virtual, female playwright, one of course. Via Marie Vieux Chauvet: writer and dissident.
? Began writing dramatic sketches for her family and friends when she was a child.
? Studied at l’Annexe de l’École Normale d’Institutrices, where she graduated in 1933 with a degree in elementary education.
? In her personal life she married three times. Her first husband was a doctor, Aymon Charlier, they divorced. Her second husband was a travel agent, Pierre Chauvet. After she moved to New York, she married again.
? Also wrote under the pen names Colibri and Marie Vieux.
? Her first published work was the play ‘La Légende des Fleurs’ in 1947. It was reprinted in 2009.
? Her second play, ‘Samba’, was produced in 1948. It went unpublished.
? She was also a poet and novelist. Following the rise of François Duvalier in 1957, Vieux Chauvet’s work became controversial and she worked under heavy surveillance.
? Despite this she hosted meetings of the Les Araignées du Soir (Evening Spiders) which was a group of writers and poets where she was the only woman.
? Her most famous work, the trilogy ‘Amour, Colère, Folie’ (Love, Anger, Madness) of 1968 had to be sent to Paris to be published where it found support from Simone de Beauvoir.
? The dictator saw it as an attack. Having already lost three family members to the regime, Vieux Chauvet persuaded Gallimard, the publisher, to withdraw the book to avoid retaliation. Her husband bought all the copies he could find in Haiti. Later, after her death, her daughter bought the rest from publisher.
? She then went into exile in New York where she worked as a housekeeper until her death, in relative poverty, in 1973.
Wait… but there’s more …
? ‘Amour, Colère, Folie’ was thought to be lost, until an pirated copy emerged in thirty years after her death. It was officially published two years later, in 2005. In 2009 it was translated into English as ‘Love, Anger, Madness’.
? ‘Amour’ and ‘Colére’ were adapted for the stage in Guadalupe at L’Artchipel in 2008 with a production of ‘Folie’ appearing the next year.
? While most of her work was in novel form much of her prose was written as dramatic dialogue. ‘Anger’ in particular has the structure and feeling of a Greek tragedy. She is remembered as being a seminal writer of post-occupational Haiti.
HER FULL STATS: Born on 16th September, 1916 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Died on 19th June, 1973 in New York City.
?: © Haitian writer Anthony Phelps.
And here’s another curated video playlist. As always, I do not own the copyright to any of these, they are simply gathered here for ease of viewing pleasure. Enjoy.
Haitian Women of History | Marie Vieux Chauvet | Episode 8Get my book Haiti History 101 and learn even more about Haiti's historical women! https://amzn.to/2sWmwiy
Visit http://kreyolicious.com and don't forget to subscribe. Episode 8 of the series features Marie Vieux Chauvet, Novelist and Writer. Don't forget to check out the other episodes.
Marie Vieux Chauvet, témoignages (The Person and the Writer)Témoignages de Lilian Vieux Corvington et de Marie-Cécile Corvington, soeur et nièce de Marie Vieux Chauvet.
"Marie Vieux Chauvet, The Person and the Writer," testimony by the writer's sister and niece.
Filmé à / filmed in New York en 2001. Music: Marcelino Thompson.
A Production of Haitian Cultural Institute / Loujanjak.
Mise en ligne sur Dailymotion le 14 novembre 2009, le lendemain d'une célébration de Marie Chauvet à CUNY, avec la présence de ces deux femmes témoins. Mise en ligne sur YouTube le 15 avril 2013.
00:00 - Lillian Vieux Corvington (soeur de Marie Vieux Chauvet, en français, sous-titrée en anglais).
08:24 - Marie-Cécile Corvington (the writer's niece, in English).
On behalf of Île en île, thanks to Vladimir Cybil Charlier & Loujanjak for offering this video testimony.
Présentation de Marie Vieux Chauvet : http://ile-en-ile.org/chauvet/
Notes détaillées de ces entretiens : http://ile-en-ile.org/marie-vieux-chauvet-temoignages/
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