The Glorious Acceptance of Nicolas Chauvin
While accepting a lifetime achievement award, Nicolas Chauvin—farmer-soldier, veteran of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, and the father of chauvinism—launches into a grand monologue reflecting on his life, sending him back in time and space…until, at a bend on a moonlit road, an encounter with a spectral figure will change his (non-)existence forever. —Benjamin Crotty
Opening to the vigorous strains of ‘Hooray for Hollywood’, The Glorious Acceptance of Nicolas Chauvin is a grand fête of the possibly- apocryphal French soldier, providing a convincing argument that Chauvin was the meme of his era. Commanding the stage with swagger of a stand-up comedian—complete with jabs at docile audience members and a drummer punctuating jokes with rimshots— the battle-worn soldier, clad in eyepatch and tattered military garb, launches into a speech which takes him all the way back to his birth, on ‘the best day of the best year of the best country of the best planet of the best solar system in the world’. Out of time in any era, Chauvin’s retrospective journey is interrupted by a mythical encounter which alters the course of his personal history.
Benjamin Crotty handily stretches out both meanings of chauvinism—extreme nationalism and misogynist bigotry—with a character who is simultaneously contemptible and utterly charming. He tosses off contemporary references from Deliveroo to Depardieu; describes himself as ‘a grenadier [by profession]…but a machine- gunner in the sack’; and, for no other reason than to get a rise out of his audience, exclaims ‘Jew!’ A timely study of social and political mores especially relevant to contemporary Europe and North America, The Glorious Acceptance of Nicolas Chauvin interestingly connects history to current events through a satirical, surprising and altogether quite inventive approach. —Herb Shellenberger
Division Movement to Vungtau (2017), Collapse! Chroniques d’un monde en déclin (2016), Fort Buchanan (2014), Fort Buchanan: Hiver (2012), Liberdade (2011), Visionary Iraq (2008)