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Tadzio Speaks . . . Death in Venice Revisited
by Martin Foreman


"I began to feel I possessed him. I recognised his clothes, how recently he had shaved,
the books and newspapers he read, the food he preferred."



"words always deeply poetic" Views from the Gods


In Thomas Mann's novella Death in Venice, memorably filmed by Luchino Visconti, the ageing Gustav von Aschenbach becomes obsessed with the beauty of a boy he sees on the beach, the fourteen-year-old Tadzio. Although the two never speak, a silent relationship grows between them, a relationship which binds the older man inexorably to Venice even as his health fails and the city is beset by cholera.


Death in Venice has become a modern classic, a discourse on beauty that can be interpreted on many levels - from art to philosophy, from age to eros - interpretations that inevitably change as each new generation imposes its own perspective on the attraction of youth and beauty for the old and undesired.


Whatever the broader implications of the story, two clearly defined individuals stand at its heart - the German writer Aschenbach and the Polish schoolboy Tadzio. Mann 's story allows us to peer deep into Aschenbach's soul, while Tadzio remains opaque. Yet if we accept the fiction that Aschenbach was real, we must also allow Tadzio life - and if we allow him life, we cannot help but wonder, what did the boy feel, what did he think?


In Martin Foreman's masterful retelling of Death in Venice, we meet Tadzio decades later as he remembers that fateful summer. What went through the boy's mind when he realised what was happening? Did he welcome or resent Aschenbach's gaze? What impact did it have on his adult life? Finally, Tadzio Speaks . . .


A moving portrayal of adolescence and its impact on the years that follow. Includes
Tadzio Speaks . . .  by Martin Foreman

extracts


ISBN 978-0-9933546-1-8
soft cover, 52pp
(app 45 mins on stage)


Tadzio Speaks . . . : post to


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more information on Arbery Productions
background material on Mann, Death in Venice and the "real" Tadzio, as well as an afterword on the implications of the events on the Lido beach.




Martin Foreman is the author of two novels, two short story collections and several plays, all available from Arbery Books. He is the winner of the 2012 London Solo Festival New Writing Award and the 2018 Pitlochry Festival Theatre Short Play Award. In August 2018 directed two of his plays - his adaptation of Ben Jonson's Jacobean comedy Volpone and a new one-act drama Casanova Dreaming - at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Martin was born in Dundee, went to school and university in Edinburgh and spent many years working and living in London and across the world. He has returned to live in Edinburgh and does not expect to move from the city again. For those who insist on categories, he is a British writer who happens to be gay and whose primary themes are love, loss and the intensity of emotions. As well as writing, he occasionally directs theatre and acts in short films.

writing website: martinforeman.com               theatre / film website: martinforeman.me.uk



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