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Summary

 

 

As per usual, Witold Gombrowicz offered a summary of the text himself, as follows. This text can be found in A Kind of Testament: Interviews with Dominique de Roux :

JPG - 12 ko
2009, Opéra Garnier, Paris. Music: Philippe Boesmans; Director: Luc Bondy.


The tragic-comic history of Ivona can be summed up in a few words. Prince Philip, the heir to the throne, meets this charmless and unattractive girl as he goes for a walk: Ivona is awkward, apathetic, anaemic, shy, nervous and boring. From the start the prince cannot stand her; but at the same time he cannot bear to see himself obliged to hate the wretched Ivona. He suddenly rebels against those laws of nature and gets engaged to Ivona.
JPG - 16 ko
Mireille Delunsch as Ivona, Opéra Garnier, Paris, 2009. Photos by Ruth Wolz.


Introduced to the court as the prince’s fiancée, Ivona becomes a decomposing agent. The mute, frightened presence of her innumerable deficiencies reveals to each courtier his own blemishes, his own vices, his own dirtiness... . In a short time the court turns into an incubator of monsters. And each monster, including the fiancé, longs to murder the unbearable Ivona. Finally, the court mobilizes its pomp, its superiority and its splendor and, with full grandeur, kills her.