This is a short collection of dramatic monologues by the Irish/French writer Samuel Beckett. So, I need to start off by stating that I couldn’t possibly rate this post because I am definitively ill-equipped to offer judgment of what I read here. I will discuss what I felt about it and the interesting aspects of the production (this is an audiobook) but otherwise, I will leave the criticism to those who know about these things.
There are four pieces in this collection. In the first, an older man (Krapp) listens to audiotapes of his younger self. In the piece, we are not merely treated to his listening of these tapes but in addition we get the odd shambling of the man himself as he does. For example, there’s a lot to do with the eating of bananas.
The other pieces in this collection are dramatic monologues. Most of them deal with an internalized set of verbalizations or thoughts or maybe the impressionistic sense of thoughts. I am sympathetic to the desire to collect thoughts on the page and by this I do mean straight out thoughts. Human thought is a bizarre beast and we tend to think they come from words or images, but I tend to see my own thoughts as the overlay of images, even a series of images. In addition, we also have the mesh of words and formulations of interpretations on those images as they occur immediately on top of those images.
So to try to formulate that in text is deeply impressive, and probably impossible. I will return before too long with some of Beckett’s fiction. I have read a few of his plays, but this is a departure for me otherwise.