Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Krapps last tape

Krapp is the old man we can all visualize. He is the one left behind with regrets unwilling to move out of the world he has created. He sits staring out at an internal world full of doors to move about, but has no entrance or exit. His only friends are his own voices so carefully recorded.

 "Here I end this reel. Box--(pause)--three, spool--(pause)--five. (Pause. Perhaps my best years are gone. When there was a chance of happiness. But I wouldn't want them back. Not with the fire in me now. No, I wouldn't want them back."

What fire is Krapp speaking of above? Certainly not a physical one and doubtful of a mental fire. Krapp's fire lies in a bottle. His drink comforts him and befuddles his mind. He no longer trusts himself and therefor relies upon his tape. He has created a space in the world for him alone. Coming to terms with his past, he mocks his previously youthful voice and aspirations.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


The similarities between Molloy and Moran appear innumerable. To name a few, Moran finds himself in need of crutches just as Molloy. He murders a man in a similar nature to Molloy's act of murder, and both follow the command of a voice whose origins are unknown. Initially I felt Molloy and Malone were one, which they very well may be, but the more I read the more I picked up on the 'criminal/detective mindset'.

I can see myself watching a black and white crime type movie while reading Molloy. The elusive criminal boggles the mind of the detective who vehemently puffs on his cigar, billowing smoke about the local bar he's gone into for information. The criminal and detective have a unique, intertwined relationship, but never meet. The criminal drives himself mad due to paranoia of capture. He must outwith the detective. The detective in turn must outwit the criminal in order to capture him, but neither can complete their goal without studying the other and thinking as if they are in the others position. The criminal must become the detective and the detective the criminal. The two play out these reverse roles so well that they drive themselves mad, losing their sense of self, sinking into insanity.

This is the theme that oozes from Molloy. The piece is 'Cops and Robers' gone mad, lost in the world of Beckett, left to his beautiful mutilating devices.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Bicycles are commonly applied throughout The Selected Works of Samuel Beckett.  As the wheels of a bicycle rotate, their motion continually increases and decreases, but the wheels have no end just as the writings of Samuel Beckett. The cyclical writing and constant questioning of realities and facts leaves the reader without an answer, without end. Beckett end? No end, endless Beckett, ending never. There is no sure truth in Beckett's words. This causes confusion, and initiates critical thought in the reader.

 As I contemplate the words of Beckett and come to a conclusion I am forced to drop back and punt. Yes, possibly my conclusion would be right, but because of Beckett's elusive writing I may be basing my opinion off of his lies and not the truth. Beckett is direct in his indirect use of words. There is no end and so the reader will never be entirely convinced of their interpretation of his works.  Beckett was aware of this. Although his physical body is dead, Beckett is immortal and will outlive us all through his words. 

Bicycles symbolize Beckett's the only thing that brings both himself and his characters true happiness, love, and joy. In "Fingal" Belacqua finds happiness in neither his female companion Winnie, himself, nor the landscape. It is not until his discovery of a bicycle that he is aroused to life. 

"It was a fine light machine, with red tires and wooden rims. He ran down the margin to the road and it bounded alongside under his hand. He mounted and they flew down the hill and round the corner till they came at length to the stile that led into the field where the church was. The machine was a treat to ride, on his right hand the sea was foaming among the rocks, the sands ahead were another yellow again, beyond them in the distance the cottages of Rush were bright red. Belacqua's sadness fell from him like a shift" (96).

Not only does Belacqua's sadness fall away upon discovery of the bicycle, but he treats it as a companion full of life. It is not he that flies down the hill, but they, he and the bicycle. Reference to Beckett's affinity is found in "Molloy" as well. 

"Dear bicycle, I shall not call you bike, you were green, like so many of your generation, I don't know why. It is a pleasure to meet it again. To describe it at length would be a pleasure. It had a little red horn...To blow this horn was for me a real pleasure, almost a vice. I will go further and declare that if I were obliged to record, in a roll of honour, those activities which in the course of my interminable existence have given me only a mild pain in the balls, the blowing of a rubber horn-toot!- would figure among the first" (12).

The bicycle does not reappear further in "Molloy" past the first chapter, but this love of his bicycle contrasts the tone of apathy and forgetfulness that consumes this first chapter of "Molloy". 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

"Ill Seen Ill Said"

The old woman is slowly giving away to age, becoming blind, and scatterbrained. She begins to question every intangible truth in life she once knew such as time, direction, truth, good and evil. Memories lull in and out of her mind. She no longer knows the day, but only the night and twilight, but even these she has suspicions for. She no longer knows what to say for she cannot trust her mind or eyes "Ill seen Ill said."

"Such-such fiasco that folly takes a hand. Such bits and scraps. Seen no matter how and said as seen. Dread of black. Of white. Of void. Let her vanish. And the rest. For good. And the sun. Last rays. And the moon. And Venus. Nothing left but black sky. White earth. Or inversely. No more sky or earth. Finished high and low. Nothing but black and white. Everywhere no matter where. But black. Void. Nothing else. Contemplate that. Not another word. Home at last. Gently gently" (460). 

This old woman is stuck on the unknowings of her mind, and slowly becoming one with her home, the shack. She will not leave, cannot leave for good. It is the last sure thing she has and must grasp hold of it. The two of them, slowly dying, sit and stare out at the world, but cannot stray far into it. All her ramblings and suspicions are pointless. She won't remember her starting thought when she reaches a conclusion, and will be left confused, better to sit and stare in her chair, in her shack.

 "Incontinent the void. The zenith. Evening again. When not night it will be evening. Death again of deathless day. On the one hand embers. On the other ashes. Day without end won and lost. Unseen" (463). 

The unnamed woman tortures herself in knowing that she does not know. She is not afforded blissful blindness to the maze between her eye and mind. She knows that she knows not certainties any longer.

Monday, August 27, 2012


Beckett runs circles around his mind and the readers. I feel his self reflectiveness is personal yet at the same time universal in this piece. "Company" reflects the edge of insanity, and is the result of what would happen if one could not escape the thoughts that can so easily become personified. The voices we all create for ourselves can consume the mind even in the simplest of contemplations, questioning everything we think. With each challenge to a thought comes a new voice. This process then continues, slowly slipping into paranoia, but we have the power to snap out of it, to come back to awareness of the self both physically and  mentally. "Company" never stops this process until the end line of "Alone."

The world of internal repetitious thought is pushed to the edge of sanity until the tangible self is gone, lost, estranged. The truth in the acknowledgement made of being alone in "Company" is what makes it beautiful. The fact that everyone comes into the world alone and ultimately dies alone is a most truthful and complete recognition of the self.

 The way Beckett writes "Alone" at the end is profound in its finality, its acceptance of self and only self. "Alone" is neither entirely positive or negative, but one of relief in the fact that truth is found. Still, it may be regrettable to have found it. There is a sense of death in this finality. Possibly not a physical death, but a death that results when an acknowledgment is made. At the time of admission, acceptance, a part of yourself dies, changes form. Any truth can be fought, but once it is unearthed perspectives changes. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

2nd post. Poem

I came across this and it reminded me in some way about Beckett. It could be the tone, but either way I like it and wanted to share. I've pasted it in below. It is a bit of an odd one though, fair warning.

Please sir,
Do you have a Mother?
Perchance I may purchase her.
Do you ever yearn for tit to tongue?
Of Course,
I know you do
I can smell the stench of that Betty on lips,
under your tongue and upon the pulsing of the blood under the skin of your neck 

I see her marks running up your arms
She's ruined you
The least one such as yourself could do
In your obvious position
Would be to share the load,
To push her into a fellow such as myself

Do it the same as yours
But cleaner
I can see it festering black upon you
The gruesome stench of her disease erupts from your untreated appendages
The spoil of it mushrooms forth
You have no use any longer

Give Mother to me
Share the load
Load the sweet disease for me
Watching is at least a quarter of the fun

I, unlike you
Have not succumbed to necrotic uselessness
Your member has practically eroded away
You and I both know
 Give me Mother

There's a good rube
A good son
That's it, you can watch if you like
See my head begin to lull in tune with the Bitches drums
Coursing through every fiber of my being?
Of course you do
Its only the beginning
You know Mother
That Bitch

You've already succumbed to her
You are her
And I must warn you
If your pasty, scared
Sweet chemically potent bag of diminishing flesh you still call your own
Were to fall out before my eyes I would not hesitate
To pump the last drop of you into me
Straight to the forearm
Or maybe the tongue, makes the taste more alive
 A chemical tang
Like a sour patch chew

Don't worry old friend
For the same shall befall me at a later date
Or sooner perchance
We'll never know for certain,
But you must know this
And have known

That Black Beauty
She's in the likes of us
She never releases her soothing grip
That Whore 

day 1. Imagination Dead Imagine

The following passage is an interpretation based on only one perspective possibly taken by Beckett in "Imagination Dead Imagine."

 After reading, I felt the piece could be interpreted in a variety of themes ranging from strictly philosophical, self reflective, or to target society. Either way irony lay at its base.

The opening line, "No trace anywhere of life, you say, pah, no difficulty there, imagination not dead yet, yes, dead, good, imagination dead imagine," is a challenge. The line above, "You say," is faintly mocking. I felt the passage was either imagining death or literally dead imagination. Ironically this dead imagination seems to be alluding to life, the permanence of life's chaos, and how briefly moments of extremes  last. 

 Beckett continually enters and exits the rotunda of the imagination. Change between theses two extremes is constant. A stable state lasts no longer than twenty seconds and then everything either rises or falls. Life mirrors this. People are always rising or falling in one way or another. This imagination, life, is torture. The mind is chaotic and controlling. The bodies are merely puppets standing at attention waiting for the torment of the mind, the unbeatable maze. Herein lies the irony. The individual, the group, the ones crying out are masters of their own demise. People give control of the their decisions to everyone and thing but themselves,  to society.

 Society won't change. It would rather continue going about the same circle every day, as in the labyrinth leading to the gates of Tartarus, constantly moving and pausing only for a second as all the pieces match up in a moment of perfection, gone in a blink of the eye.