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What Samuel said ….. May 5, 2006

Posted by unamable in Beckettiana.
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After such a pause let me reconnect with the muse of this blog

"It will be the silence, where I am? I don't know, I'll never know: in the silence you don't know.

You must go on.

I can't go on.

I'll go on."

[from the Unnamable]


Patron Interaction January 27, 2006

Posted by unamable in Beckettiana, Libraries, Library 2.0, Repatronising.
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Sidney Homan recounting his experiences of presenting Waiting for Godot for an audience of inmates at Florida State Prison:

“Knowing nothing of the stultifying theatre etiquette that often characterises Broadway, the inmates, on every other line it seemed, rose from their seats and shouted out comments or questions to the actors, who were desperately trying to stay in character: “why did you speak that way to him?” “Hey, what the hell do you mean by that remark?” “You two, come down here [downstage]—I’ve got a few things to say to you!”

At first, these interruptions were frustrating; while always aware of the audience on the periphery, the actors were now being asked—forced—to speak directly to them, during the performance! Soon, however, our frustration turned to exhilaration: here was an audience, these men waiting, who demanded to be part of the production, who took what we said so seriously that they could not remain silent. We were actually performing two plays, the one scripted by Beckett and a complementary one, this extension of the text fashioned by our unique audience.”

Courtesy – “Wham Bam Thank You Sam” A website by Penelope Merritt

Beckett – Yes and Noh January 6, 2006

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Apologies for the resistible pun, which links to Beckett’s influence on contemporary Japanese theatre specifically “The Little Theatre Movement” – shogekijo – which was kick-started by young performers dissatisfied with the existing theatre forms seeking their own forms of expression. It is based on small venues and individuals who take on multiple roles as playwrights, directors, and lead actors. The Beckett connection stems from a student Ando Shin’ya, who was so knocked out by the landmark 1953 Paris performance of “Waiting for Godot” that he then went on to direct the Japanese premiere of Godot sparking a resurgence in avant garde theatre form in Japan.

Noh is Japan’s “most classical” form of drama akin to Greek tragedy. Its roots lie in religious ritual, where the miraculous appearance of old gods, releases the players from the rigours of earthly life into the purity and clarity of the spirit world. The purpose of Noh is neither narrative nor moral, but is simply an attempt to express beauty – the essence of Noh is that true art is felt, not understood.

This may seem a little removed from Beckett’s tramps, dustbins and reel-to-real replays. However the spaces, the purity and clarity are there (although as in Godot are we asked what is where?) In Noh the drama strives to reveal its own essence. In Beckett, all we (we all) face is situation, just situation. The essence never arrives, except that the non-arrival itself, may be the essence. Just as Noh flows between reality and dream, life and afterlife; Beckett challenges dualistic thinking and crosses borders of language, genre, culture, bringing the ultimate questions into the commonplace – and then asking if the questions matter.
To further explore this deep, clear pool (aka murky lagoon) turn up at Tokyo’s Waseda University between 29 September and 1 October for Japan’s first international Beckett Symposium entitled “Borderless Beckett.”

Beckett at Reading January 4, 2006

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Another “puff” for the events in the Beckett year. Reading University, as part of their Beckett’s birth celebrations between March and June 2006, will host an an exhibition ’Samuel Beckett – The Irish European’ covering the story of Beckett’s life and achievements from 25th March to 25th June 2006 . It promises to have interactive, video and audio elements with a highlight being an installation with significant stage images and props. It is held as part of the Beckett at Reading 2006 which also includes a conference, the premiere of an new adapation of the novella ’First Love’ and a display of the work done on the digital manuscript project, a joint collaboration between the Universities of Reading and Antwerp, will be on display. There will be various other things going on including a gala evening in aid of the Macmillan Cancer Relief

the naming December 19, 2005

Posted by unamable in Beckettiana.
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I had to come up with a name so, contrariness consulted, that’s why this is called what it is called. It comes (of course) from Samuel Beckett, who I find both profound, tragic and funny, which kind of sums up where I am as a person who works in/with/beyond libraries.To be more precise:
“Lacking any plot in the conventional sense, The Unnamable ….is the search for the self within the tragic realm of human suffering.

The obsessive narrator–who opens the novel asking, “Where now? Who now? When now?”–is a disembodied person, living in a large jar in a restaurant window in Paris. Essentially “unnamable,” the narrator is referred to as Mahood, Worm, and Basil, in a series of tales. The final sentence in the novel is a long dramatic monologue. The narrator concludes with the desire to continue living despite an inescapable sense of anguish and entropy: “I can’t go on, I’ll go on.”

taken from 1997 Encyclopædia Britannica

Which perhaps goes some way to describing my ‘tude in the current climate of pessimistic optimism or optimistic pessimism within the “library and knowledge profession” depending on which side of the digital divide you wake up on. It also has some kinship with my outlook on life, the multiverse and anything..but only when I am feeling romantic.

Beckett will be 100 December 17, 2005

Posted by unamable in Beckettiana.
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Just to pay homage to the blog title a little, I should mention that next year is the centenary of Samuel Beckett’s birth (1906 – 1989). Lots of things going on but, to me, the highlight, for those who can be there, is from April to May 2006 in the Gate Theatre productions of nine of Beckett’s plays including “Waiting for Godot”, “Krapp’s Last Tape” (starring John Hurt), Endgame and the three double bills: Play/Catastrophe, Rockaby/Ohio Impromptu and Footfalls/Come and Go. A veritable feast of othermindlyness.