Idea and design:
Klaus Buhlert, Gaby Hartel
Production: BR Radio Drama and Media Art / ORF / DLR / Kunsthalle Wien / ZKM Karlsruhe
Important texts (Molloy, Company, L'Image) by Beckett concerned with motion, in the original English. With the famous actors of Beckett's works Barry McGovern and Natasha Parry, the Beckett researcher and author Raymond Federman and the musician Uwe Dierksen of the Ensemble Modern.
...the whole thing’s
The recordings in this production provide an impressive documentation of beckett's 'visual writing'. To the fore in the selection of texts for this cd (texts which also provided the basis for a subsequent audio-visual performance in the kunsthalle in vienna) were the author's so-called ”eye pieces” together with some of his observation and movement sketches: Molloy (1951), L’image/the image (1959) and Company (1980) – three texts from different phases in the life of the irish author and nobel literature laureate. They are read by the actress Natasha Parry and the actor Barry McGovern and by the american author Raymond Federman.
The playing directions for the instrumentalist on this CD (Uwe Dierksen) are derived directly from the so-called sucking stones sequence in Beckett's novel Molloy, where the author has his protagonists invent three variations of the correct way to suck 16 pebbles – distributed between two coat or trouser pockets.
...out of the
"Beckett's plays have the character of armoured cars and idiots", director Peter Brooks once wrote, "you can fire at them, you can throw cream cakes at them: they just go their own way regardless. Apart from their other astonishing assets, they are immune to critics. Beckett always annoys people with his honesty. He fabricates objects. He presents them to us. What he presents is terrible. Because it's terrible, it's also funny."
In "...the whole thing's coming out of the dark" Samuel Beckett's disturbing, butter humour finds its place in the body of the speakers, the ones described (a distinction which is basically incorrect). Molloy's compulsive actions to systematise his movements appear grotesque, like those of a mechanical marionette taking on a life of its own. Where the meaning is no longer tangible, simple repetition triumphs. Words remain whose meaning has made off.
In Company, a text used for this radio play, it is said right at the beginning: "But by far the greater part of what is said cannot be verified." What remains consists of rituals of language and speech, the exorcism of meaning and its simultaneous invocation. "In the long madness of the body everything hangs together," it is said in Molloy. Beckett's protagonist bodies dissolve slowly in the course of time. Limbs disappear, first still perceivable as a loss, then later we find the naturalness of a woman reduced to a mere, constantly chattering mouth – as in Not I. Eva writes that this disappearance of limbs and organs is a kind of stigmatisation, an external sign that man has been touched by Nothing. The body's gradual decay begins "when man becomes increasingly incapable of moving through space. It is by this inability to walk that we recognise Beckett's branded ones, his heroes." These spaces are in the dark. In a kind of self-isolation. Beyond time, outside and empirically backed-up reality. There in the dark, this cipher for the formless, for the body's origin and refuge, there arise the imaginary pictures and landscapes from the persistent flow of speech of the figures.
Everything takes place inside the head, and yet these image-provoking speech rituals find their way to the outside. Everything becomes the listener's projection room. We look on the speakers as we would an open, exposed interior. Speech is its own dissecting instrument. Existence is transferred into speech, being is removed from its time. The images remain, the sound of speech remains in which the secret of an entire world is concealed.
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