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  • At a Certain Hour of the Night
  • Etel Adnan

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Etel Adnan, Paris, October 2016. Photo: Antonio Maria Storch.

[End Page 82]


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Top: A Tremendous Astronomer VIII, 2016. Ink on paper, 11 13/16 x 18 1/8 in.


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Bottom: Le poids du monde 23, 2016. Oil on canvas, 10 5/8 x 8 11/16 in. Courtesy Galerie Lelong, Paris.

[End Page 83]


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Kalimat I, 2016. Ink, wash drawing, pastel. Folded: 11 7/16 x 3 9/16 / length: 167 7/16 in. Courtesy Galerie Lelong, Paris.

[End Page 84]

This play could be produced in three different ways: with two women, one older than the other; two men, one older than the other; or a man and a woman, one older than the other. The older person would be in her or his late seventies, or early eighties, and the younger would be fifty-five years old, or near that age. The text will remain the same for each case; only the grammar will have to be adjusted.

My intention is to show the oneness of love.

In a corner of the stage is a couch on which a woman is lying; she is dying. Towards the morning we hear the siren of an ambulance coming to take her dead body away. It’s the end of the play.

The dialogue is taking place in a single night.

A:

In this dark night we are at last reunited. But what has become of us during these long, long years … (Turning slightly toward the couch.) She has been lying there for a week, two weeks, dying without dying? (Back to B.) For how long have you been here, why did you wait so long to let me know?

B:

You’re always on the go, at least that was usually the case. One never knows how to find you, where, but I tried. In these last weeks she was particularly eager to see you again. “So many years,” she was saying.

A:

You mean I was always going away from you? Yes, I was.

B:

Your timing was always wrong … who knows, you may have been right. I can’t tell anymore.

A:

And you have been thinking of me, all those years? [End Page 85]

B:

These long years. Thinking of what happened to both of us.

A:

You can’t speak of “both of us.” Why should you open such an old wound?

B:

I thought of you so intensely, so much, when I received this letter, this short letter that you sent. When you heard about the fire that had devastated my whole neighborhood … you feared for me, for us … but we were safe, thankfully.

A:

Yes, it was on national news. I was afraid that the fire had reached your home. It’s true, so much time had gone by, but you were alright, comfortable in your job, in your life.

B:

We’re happy. Yes, I’m always happy.

A:

Always, always. At the end of your letters you were adding “always.” That’s years ago. What did it mean? Did it mean I don’t love you, but I do? Is that what it meant?

B:

If it meant that you’re dear to my life, yes. But where’s my life? You were part of it, certainly, at the beginning, for sure, oh that light through my windows that you liked so much, your dreams, oh were you not dreaming!

A:

I used to think of you even when you were standing in front of me, running away from you to meet you in my thoughts. I was quivering, I was lost. Remember, I was not twenty yet.

B:

We’re not going to make a tale out of our lives … Our lives. So many things have happened since. You have had involvements with so many people, how can I ignore all that.

A:

I used to wait for you from the beginning of the day, waiting for the evening, waiting for you to come...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1537-9477
Print ISSN
1520-281X
Pages
pp. 82-98
Launched on MUSE
2017-09-13
Open Access
No
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