Happy are the Happy
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The internationally acclaimed playwright and novelist Yasmina Reza stages a band of eighteen characters at war with their lives, with only humor to sustain them
Happy are the loved ones and the lovers and those who can do without love. Happy are the happy. —Jorge Luis Borges
Schnitzler’s La Ronde gives these twenty short chapters their shape while Borges’s poem gives them their content. As we move from story to story, thrilled to reconnect with an old acquaintance from an earlier scene, we can’t help but admit that we are very much at home in this human comedy that understands all too well the passing thoughts, desires, actions, fears, and mistakes that we have and make day after day, but that we would be incapable of rendering with such acuity and compassion.
came back up with the CD, Luc was already holding the case. Still driving, he took the CD out of my hands and put it back in its container himself. Then he stored it in its former place, tapping it a little to get the alignment right. All this was done without sound. Without words. I felt clumsy and maybe even guilty of an indiscretion. I could have considered the obsessiveness of his actions and deduced that Luc Condamine was a maniac, but instead I felt a stupid urge to cry like a child caught
big hug. She’s minuscule, my Marie-Paule. It breaks my heart to leave her there all alone. On my way down the stairs, I hear Édith Piaf again. She’s singing a catchy tune, and it sounds like someone’s singing with her. I go back up a few steps, and then I can make out my aunt’s thin voice: “It’s strange, what a change, / I’m yours in word and deed. / You’re the man, you’re the man, you’re the man that I need.” Rémi Grobe So I’m supposed to be what? I asked her. —An associate. —An associate? I’m
dependent on that man. A no-neck guy who comes up to my shoulder. A standard-issue sweet-talker. He immediately presented himself as a great libertine. Like, I’m going to corrupt you, little girl, that sort of thing. He always called me little girl. I’m fifty-six years old and five feet ten inches tall, with an Anita Ekberg – type chest. Being called little girl moved me. It’s stupid. A great libertine, and you can say it again. I still don’t know what it means. As for me, I was ready to
make? While listening to Darius, I was watching my IV drip. The drops looked strangely irregular, and I was on the verge of calling the nurse. I said, would you have accepted it if she lived the way you do? —What does that mean? —If she had insignificant affairs. He shook his head. Then he reached into a pocket, extracted a white handkerchief, and folded it carefully before blowing his nose. I thought, that gesture’s the exclusive property of this particular type of man. He said, no, because
release the pedal completely. I’m extremely tense. The car starts moving. I say, it’s moving! —Now put your foot on the accelerator. —Where is it? —Right next to the brake, right next to it. I poke around with my foot, I feel a pedal, I press it. The car stops violently, throwing us forward. The seat belt slices into my chest. What’s happening? —You hit the brake again and killed the engine. We’ll start over. Shift into P, Park. Start the car. Bravo. Now, move the shift to N. —What’s N? —Neutral.