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Death of A Salesman d’Arthur Miller : Biff et Hap

Death Of A Salesman Volker Schlöndorff film Arthur Miller John Malkovich Stephen Lang

Stephen Lang (Hap) et John Malkovich (Biff) dans l’adaptation de Volker Schlöndorff.

Les frères Loman passent quelques jours chez leurs parents. Dans leur chambre d’adolescents, ils discutent de la maladie nerveuse qui est en train de ronger leur père. Biff, l’aîné, se met à faire des plans pour l’avenir, et tente d’associer son frangin Harold à ses projets, mais le rêve américain empoisonne toute la famille… (Le texte en anglais est suivi d’une traduction en français.)

Version originale

HAP: I wanted to talk to you about Dad for a long time, Biff. Something’s— happening to him. He— talks to himself.

BIFF: I noticed that this morning. But he always mumbles.

HAP: But not so noticeable. It got so embarrassing I sent him to Florida. And you know something? Most of the time he’s talking to you.

BIFF: What’s he say about me?

Happy: I can’t make it out.

BIFF: What’s he say about me?

Happy: I think the fact that you’re not settled, that you’re still kinda up in the air…

BIFF: There’s one or two other things depressing him, Happy.

HAP: What do you mean?

BIFF: Never mind. Just don’t lay it all on me.

HAP: But I think if you just got started— I mean, is there any future for you out there?

BIFF: I tell ya, Hap, I don’t know what the future is. I don’t know what I’m supposed to want.

Happy: What do you mean?

BIFF: Well, I spent six or seven years after high school trying to work myself up. Shipping clerk, salesman, business of one kind or another. And it’s a measly manner of existence. To get on that subway on the hot mornings in summer. To devote your whole life to keeping stock, or making phone calls, or selling or buying. To suffer fifty weeks of the year for the sake a two-week vacation, when all you really desire is to be outdoors, with your shirt off. And always to have to get ahead of the next fella. And still, that’s how you build a future.

HAP: Well, you really enjoy it on a farm? Are you content out there?

BIFF: Hap, I’ve had twenty or thirty different kinds of jobs since I left home before the war, and it always turns out the same. I just realized it lately. In Nebraska when I herded cattle, and the Dakotas, and Arizona, and now in Texas. It’s why I came home now, I guess, because I realized it. This farm I work on, it’s spring there now, see? And they’ve got about fifteen new colts. There’s nothing more inspiring or— beautiful than the sight of a mare and a new colt. And it’s cool there now, see? Texas is cool now, and it’s spring. And whenever spring comes to where I am, I suddenly get the feeling, my God, I’m not gettin’ anywhere! What the heck am I doing, playing with around with horses, twenty-eight dollars a week! I’m thirty-four years old, I oughta be makin’ my future. That’s when I come running home. And now, I get here, and I don’t know what to do with myself. (After a pause.) I’ve always made a point of not wasting my life. And whenever I come back here, I know that all I’ve done is to waste my life.

HAP: You’re a poet, Biff. You know that? Yeah, you’re a— you’re an idealist.

BIFF: No. I’m mixed-up very bad. I oughta get married. Right? [He chuckles] Maybe I’ll get stuck into something. Maybe that’s my trouble. I’m like a boy. I mean I’m not married, I’m not in business, I just— I’m like a boy. Are you content, Hap? You’re a success, aren’t you? Are you content?

HAP: No!

BIFF: Why? You’re making money, aren’t you?

HAP: All I can do now is waitfor the merchandise manager to die. And suppose I get to be a merchandise manager? He’s a good friend of mine, and he just built a terrific estate on Long Island. And he lived there about two months and sold it, and now he’s building another one. He can’tenjoy it once it’s finished. And I know that’s just what I do. I don’t know I’m workin’ for. Sometimes I sit in my apartment – all alone. And I think of the rent I’m paying. And it’s crazy. But then, it’s what I always wanted. My own apartment, a car, andplenty of women. And still, I’m lonely.

BIFF: Listen, why don’t you come out West with me?

HAP: You and I, heh?

BIFF: Sure, maybe we could buy a ranch. Raise cattle, use our muscles. Men built like we should be working out in the open.

HAP: The Loman Brothers, heh? That’s what I dream about, Biff. Sometimes I want to just rip my clothes off in the middle of the store and outbox that darn merchandise manager. I mean I can outbox, outrun, and outlift anybody in that store,and I have to take orders from those common, petty people till I can’t stand it anymore.

BIFF: I’m tellin’ you, kid, if you were with me I’d be happy out there.

HAP: See, biff, everybody around me is so false that I’m constantly lowering my ideals…

BIFF: Baby, together we’d stand up for one another, we’d have someone to trust.

HAP: If I were around you–

BIFF: Hap, the trouble is we weren’t brought up to grub for money. I don’t know how to do it.

HAP: Neither can I!

BIFF: Then let’s go!

HAP: The only thing is— what can you make out there?

BIFF: But look at your friend. Builds an estate and then hasn’t the peace of mind to live in it.

HAP: Yeah, but when he walks into the store the waves part in front of him. That’s fifty-two thousand dollars a year coming through the revolving door, and I got more in my pinky finger than he’s got in his head.

BIFF: Yeah, but you just said—

HAP: I gotta show more of those pompous, self-importance executives over there that Hap Loman can make the grade. I want to walk into the store the way he walks in. Then I’ll go with you, Biff. We’ll be together yet, I swear.

Version française

(à venir)

Scène pour deux jeunes hommes tirée du chef d’oeuvre d’Arthur Miller, Death of A Salesman (Mort d’un commis-voyageur). En ce moment, vous pouvez regarder le film de Volker Schlöndorff sur Mubi (30 jours d’essai gratuit) en cliquant sur ce lien.

→ 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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