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Long Voyage vers la Nuit d’Eugene O’Neill : Edmund aurait voulu être une mouette…

Dean Stockwell Long Day's Journey Into Night Eugene O'Neill Sidney Lumet film

Dean Stockwell dans l’adaptation cinématographique de Sidney Lumet (1962).

Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Long Voyage vers la Nuit) est considéré comme le chef d’oeuvre autobiographique d’Eugene O’Neill. Le dramaturge américain y peint sans détours l’histoire tragique de sa famille, détruite de l’intérieur par les fantômes du passé, la mélancolie, l’alcoolisme et la morphinomanie. Ici, Edmund-Eugene est face à son père, un acteur vieillissant qui justifie sa radinerie maladive par le sempiternel récit d’une enfance misérable. Le jeune homme lui répond par une tirade dans laquelle il conte les seuls instants d’oubli de soi et d’harmonie qu’il a connus… 

EDMUND (with alcoholic talkativeness): You’ve just told me some high spots in your memories. Want to hear mine? They’re all connected with the sea. Here’s one. When I was on the Squarehead square rigger, bound for Buenos Aires. Full moon in the Trades. The old hooker driving fourteen knots. I lay on the bowsprit, facing astern, with the water foaming into spume under me, the masts with every sail white in the moonlight, towering high above me. I became drunk with the beauty and singing rhythm of it, and for a moment I lost myself — actually lost my life. I was set free! I dissolved in the sea, became white sails and flying spray, became beauty and rhythm, became moonlight and the ship and the high dim-starred sky! I belonged, without past or future, within peace and unity and a wild joy, within something greater than my own life, or the life of Man, to Life itself! To God, if you want to put it that way. Then another time, on the American Line, when I was lookout on the crow’s nest in the dawn watch. A calm sea, that time. Only a lazy ground swell and a slow drowsy roll of the ship. The passengers asleep and none of the crew in sight. No sound of man. Black smoke pouring from the funnels behind and beneath me. Dreaming, not keeping lookout, feeling alone, and above, and apart, watching the dawn creep like a painted dream over the sky and sea which slept together. Then the moment of ecstatic freedom came. The peace, the end of the quest, the last harbor, the joy of belonging to a fulfillment beyond men’s lousy, pitiful, greedy fears and hopes and dreams! And several other times in my life, when I was swimming far out, or lying alone on a beach, I have had the same experience. Became the sun, the hot sand, green seaweed anchored to a rock, swaying in the tide. Like a saint’s vision of beatitude. Like the veil of things as they seem drawn back by an unseen hand. For a second you see — and seeing the secret, are the secret. For a second there is meaning! Then the hand lets the veil fall and you are alone, lost in the fog again, and you stumble on toward nowhere, for no good reason! (He grins wryly.) It was a great mistake, my being born a man, I would have been much more successful as a sea gull or a fish. As it is, I will always be a stranger who never feels at home, who does not really want and is not really wanted, who can never belong, who must always be a little in love with death!

(Traduction en français à venir)

Monologue pour un jeune homme (5 minutes environ) extrait de la pièce Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Long Voyage vers la Nuit) d’Eugene O’NeillN’oubliez pas qu’il est impossible de travailler un texte sans l’œuvre complète. Vous pouvez acheter le livre sur ce lien : Long Voyage du jour à la nuit – Eugene O’Neill

Voir aussi notre liste de textes et de scènes issus du théâtre, du cinéma et de la littérature (pour une audition, pour le travail ou pour le plaisir)

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