02 June 2013

Godot

As Susan Sontag said about Beckett's work, 
"Beckett is dealing with emotions, however abstractly, and there is a progress from one emotion to the next that feels inevitable. Not only are his plays narrative but, as Joe Chaikin once observed, Beckett has actually discovered a new dramatic subject. Normally people on stage reflect on the macrostructure of action. What am I going to do this year? Tomorrow? Tonight? They ask: Am I going mad? Will I ever get to Moscow? Should I leave my husband? Do I have to murder my Uncle? My Mother? These are the sorts of large projects that have traditionally concerned a play’s leading characters. Beckett is the first writer to dramatize the microstructure of action. What am I going to do one minute from now? In the next second? Weep? Take out my comb? Stand-up? Sigh? Sit? Be silent? Tell a joke? Understand something? His plays are built on reflections leading to decisions, which imparts to his dramas a real narrative push."


So focused was he on this so-called "microstructure" that his shortest play featured a single breath. Reading his plays is difficult, not because of the writing style, but because of the taste they leave behind. Different people, different lives, existing. Existing, not living. And being baffled by this continued existence.

"Don't let's do anything. It's safer." - Estragon in Waiting for Godot

In other news, I love Humans of New York (HONY). Best thing on Facebook, and so reassuring to see such positive comments. It always brightens up my day, or brings tears to my eyes, or makes me smile. How humbling and beautiful it must be to meet and talk to so many amazing, unique people every day, and hear their stories, and share something that moves so many, and hear them say that. By the thousand.

In the words of one of the people featured on HONY today: "I feel stuck."

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