With Amelia Parenteau, Leslie Kaplanread the following excerpts from her plays after she gave the eighth William Phillips lecture on November 5, 2013 at Theresa Lang Student and Community Center/Arnhold Hall of The New School.

All my life I’ve been a woman


all my life I’ve been a woman

a woman

all my life

does that sentence seem

odd to me



sometimes it seems odd to me

all my life

I’ve been

a woman


how can you talk that way

all your life you’ve been a woman

how can you say that


I’m saying it, that’s all


but you don’t realize

how can you say that



it’s not sure I’m saying it calmly


you’re saying it


if not you’d be climbing up a wall


a wall ?


yes a wall

you can’t say that

« all my life I’ve been a woman »


I can’t say it ? I can’t say it ?

I’m saying it

all my life I’ve been a woman

I’m saying it


if you say it

if you say it


O.K., then if I say it


if you say it

nobody will understand you


it’s impossible to understand ?


I said One cannot understand you


I don’t understand


what don’t you understand


what you are saying

I don’t understand what you are saying


I think you don’t understand




I don’t understand myself

all my life I’ve been a woman

what a huge sentence


huge ?

huge ?

what do you mean, huge ?


that sentence has such potential

so many possibilities

that sentence includes

I’m saying : includes

so many other sentences




a blender

liberates a woman


oh no

not that



yes yes yes

a blender

liberates a woman


I’m saying all my life I’ve been a woman

that sentence is huge



and you

your answer is

a blender



a blender

that’s right

a blender


I’m leaving

you’re too limited


you’re leaving me ?

why ?


I’m leaving you

you’re too limited

I am in front of a huge sentence


all my life I’ve been a woman


I just wanted to talk to you about blenders





don’t you think household items

are important ?


I’m in front of that sentence

all my life I’ve been a woman

I’m in front of it

got it ?

in front ?


aren’t you interested

in carrot scrapers ?

carrot scrapers

have changed my life


have they changed your life

or have they changed life ?


they have changed my life

the vegetables are perfectly scraped

I save money

I save time


I’m talking about a huge


in front of which I am

all my life I’ve been a woman


all the little vegetables are respected in their diversity





egg plants



all those little veggies


you’re the vegetable


the blender also changed my life

a simple purée is much more

than just a simple purée


you’re really limited



to blend

to crunch

to cut

to slice

to press

and juices

ah juices


what about juices


they are infinite



you are trivial

I talk to you about a huge sentence

all my life I’ve been a woman

and you answer with the infinity

of juices






ah strawberries

citrus fruits













all my life I’ve been a woman

that’s something else for infinity

that’s something else


and soups


what about soups


broth and soup

soup and broth

in the singular

in the plural

infinite liquid

liquid infinite

the liquid penetrates you

fills you up

flows into your intestines

flows in your veins

becomes your blood

your identity

tell me which soup you eat

and I’ll tell you who you are

it warms you up

that soup

it cools you too



cucumber soup

eat your soup

I’m enthusiastic

soup is total


is it sexual ?


of course it’s sexual

it’s total

it’s sexual

proof being

when you don’t like soup

you’ve got a problem


who says problem

says sex

all problems

are sexual

at bottom


everything is sexual

even masturbation

is sexual



or mastication ?



is sexual

mastication as well




to go in

to go out

to go up

to go down

to run

to stop

to pant

to dream

to dream is totally sexual

when you say, I’m dreaming

or : Pinch me, I’m dreaming

it’s totally sexual

to pinch

to shake

to tickle

to hit

to tremble

to shiver

to die


Louise, she is crazy (translated by Amelia Parenteau)


There are those days when everything seems flat


a puddle


everybody feels that


I don’t care about everybody

I’m talking about myself

there are those days

when I feel so insignificant

nearly nothing


everybody feels that


I don’t care about everybody

I’m talking about myself

for me, there are those days

where I say to myself, the proof

that a women doesn’t amount to much

is that God isn’t married


what do you mean? what do you mean?


the proof that a women doesn’t amount to much

is that God isn’t married



you are really depressed


of course I’m depressed

how can you not be depressed

is God married

yes or no?


maybe He’s married

maybe He’s not married

God does what He wants



if God were married everybody would know about it

God is not married


He isn’t?


God is self-reliant


if you get married

you aren’t self-reliant?

I don’t see God as single


you don’t?

if you get married, you depend on someone

God doesn’t depend on anyone


God is love


of course

God is love


God is love

He depends on those He loves


on those He loves

or on those who love Him?


on those who love Him

and on those He loves

God needs us


He needs us?

He is all-powerful

He doesn’t need anybody


God is all-powerful

but He isn’t crazy


God isn’t crazy?

maybe He’s crazy

maybe He’s not crazy

God does what He wants


do you give Him

a capital H?


of course

I give Him

a capital H


God isn’t crazy

God speaks to me


He speaks to you? He speaks to you?

sure He does


God does speak to me

I hear Him


what do you hear?

in what language does He speak to you?


He speaks to me in a very beautiful language

with exquisite words


exquisite words? exquisite words?

you make me laugh

you give me a good laugh

in what language does He speak to you?


a better language than yours, in any case


God speaks Latin

everybody knows that


He speaks to me

He speaks to me specifically

He says, My little chicken, My chickie


Move the sky


I am in love but I prefer breaking our relationship

That way he’s not the one who leaves


I prefer staying with some one I don’t love

That way I don’t suffer if he goes away


I prefer living with someone I despise

That way I’m not afraid he doesn’t love me


I prefer ruining my life

That way I don’t regret anything


I prefer fretting my heart out

That way I accuse no one


I prefer saying nothing

That way I stay with my longing


I prefer failing

That way I don’t make anyone jealous


I prefer looking awful

That way I have my revenge


I prefer being ugly

That way my mother hates me


I prefer being stupid

That way I disappoint


I prefer making mistakes

That way I reassure every one


I prefer being stupid

That way, it’s over, I’m stupid


I prefer living with a sick person

That way I know I’m in good health


I prefer working with fools

That way you can see where the ideas come from


I prefer hiding

That way nobody can find me


I prefer breaking every thing

that way there is nothing left


I prefer living on nothing

that way I keep every thing


I prefer giving orders

That way I am sure I am free


I prefer hurting

That way I can see hate in the other


I prefer humiliating

That way I am the queen


I prefer destroying the other

That way I am safe


I prefer nothing goes on

That way I’m not afraid something will happen



people always say monkeys look like human beings

I think it’s silly


yes but




what, frankly


that little monkey

he is the exact copy of my brother


you exaggerate


not at all

I don’t exaggerate at all


how can you say that

a monkey is a monkey

O.K., he’s cute

but nevertheless, he’s a monkey


do you see his ears?


how could I not see them?

that’s all you can see


well, my brother has the same


the same?


the same ears

I’m telling you


it’s not because you think

I’m saying because you think

they have the same ears

that there is a real likeness

a true likeness

a deep likeness


the face is the same, too

all creased, crumpled, worn

when my brother was a baby

my mother left him with me all the time

I was so annoyed

he was all creased?

yes all creased

all crumpled

he looked like a little old guy

the monkey looks just like that


no, it’s not the same thing

we are human beings

absolutely not the same thing


That might not be true


of course it’s true

you can’t compare


of course you can compare

every body compares


to compare is not scientific

a monkey is limited, a limited being


limited? limited?

you make me laugh

have you seen Nenette

the way she wipes the widow

crr crr crr

she takes a Kleenex, she wipes the window

crr crr crr

and that little monkey

look at him

look how delicate he is

how graceful

he plays

he hides


You ‘re talking rubbish

You say “he plays”, “he hides”

You are projecting, projecting


I am not projecting

I am watching

He is very concentrated

he plays he hides

he wants to find out

he explores

his forehead is all creased from paying attention



he has creases, his skin is creased, that’s all

you know there are nations

and not just any

the great Chinese nation for example

who eat monkeys


that’s disgusting


why disgusting?

they are animals


it’s disgusting

it’s as if you were eating

I don’t know

it’s as if you were eating

an ancestor


an ancestor?

an ancestor?


do we go back to monkeys, yes or no

you are not going to repudiate Darwin, evolution

science, progress

I will never eat a monkey


don’t say a monkey

you should say : eat some monkey

use a partitive, a partitive preposition

some cake, some pie

it’s not a personal problem

between you and the monkey


look, a monkey is too near

you cant’ t eat it



you have to eat it

it’s obvious

you have to

you have to eat monkey





otherwise you are going to mix every thing up

you are going to lose your marks


we are in times of confusion

where marks…

where marks….


Where marks?


Marks are unsteady


They disappear

Nobody knows where they stand


In any case

A monkey is a monkey


Have you seen his hands?


Of course I’ve seen his hands


He has a thumb


Yes, it’s true

He has a thumb


And his feet


What about his feet


You’re not going to call them paws

Paws are coarse




O.K, OK. They look like feet




So what?


Come on, doesn’t it make you feel nervous?


Do you see a difference?


I see little difference

Very little difference

That’s why you have to eat him