Early version of Krapp's tape

Intellectually a year of profound gloom until that wonderful night in March, at the end of the pier, in the high wind, when suddenly I saw the whole thing. The turning-point at last. This, I imagine, is what I have chiefly to set down this evening, against the day when my work will be done and perhaps no place in my memory, and no thankfulness, for the miracle- (pause)- for the fire that set it alight. What I saw was the assumption I had been going on all my life, namely -(He switches off machine impatiently, winds tape forward, switches on again)-granite rocks the foam flying up in the light of the beacon and the anemometer spinning like a propeller, clear to me at last that the dark I have struggled to keep at bay out of my work is in reality my most valuable- (He curses, switches off, winds tape forward, switches on again)- strange association till my dying day of the storm and night with the light of understanding and the- (He curses louder, switches off, winds tape forward, switches on again. (No Symbols Where None Intended, p 49-50).)

Notes:

a) For 'at the end of the pier', see Joyce: "Kingstown pier, Stephen said. Yes, a disappointed bridge. The words troubled their gaze." (Ulysses, Nestor)

b) A bridge is analog, a pier, digital.

c) The 'disappointed' 'pier' rather than the 'bridge' is emphasized by Beckett through the device of telling the tale on a tape which is repeatedly switched on and off.

d) For the final version of this text, see The space of the door 3

August 14, 2004 in Beckett, Space of the door, Turn/step back/somersault | Permalink

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