Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


This dissertation examines the application of Michel Garneau's theoretical writings to his early dramatic works. Michel Garneau has become one of Quebec's foremost literary figures over the last twenty years. We demonstrate how Garneau is trying to establish the role that writing, and in particular theatre, can, and according to him, should play in society. This approach to theory, an applied approach, is contained in his creative works. His theatrical techniques are unique, closely related to his beginnings as a poet.;Through a critical analysis of his theoretical writings in the last two volumes of the collection of poetry entitled Langage as well as his book on theatre Pour travailler ensemble, we discover his unique conception of the function of writing. We show the link between this original conception and the application of this theory in his theatre. We also develop the manner in which his commitment to social change has had an effect on his writing.;A study of four of his early plays underlines the transition from theory to practice. Garneau's writing passes from poetry to the theatre which he considers a more social medium. What sets Garneau apart is his attempt to incorporate his poetry in his dramatic writing. The links between imagination and social reality are his affirmation of the social role for his writing as well as for political action.;Garneau's theatre is thought provoking and establishes, through his work with the "the cx atre sur commande", a democratization of the way in which theatre works. Garneau's goal is to subvert the traditional theatre as well as social and political realities. Garneau's contributions to the evolution of theatre in Quebec are based on his innovative dramatic techniques which create a new type of theatre called the "the cx atre-poeme".



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