Tuesday, June 2, 2009

On Loss

Ohio Impromptu, Samuel Beckett, 1980
Directed by Charles Sturridge, 2000
Reader: Jeremy Irons
Listener: Jeremy Irons

So the sad tale a last time told they sat on as though turned to stone. Through the single window dawn shed no light. From the street no sound of reawakening. Or was it that buried in who knows what thoughts they paid no heed? To light of day. To sound of reawakening. Buried in who knows what profounds of mind. Of mindlessness. Whither no light can reach. No sound. So sat on as though turned to stone. The sad tale a last time told. Nothing is left to tell.
Samuel Beckett

Reader reads to Listener, a tale of loss, of the enigmatic 'dear name'. Listener attempts to avert the inexorable descent towards an end, to somehow induce an eternal pause, through his tapping, knocking, to require Reader to re-read, an infinite re-telling of the tale. The looping back, re-stitching, backtracking, spirals in a suspension of time, until the close, the sudden jolt ... a knock ... 'Nothing is left to tell' ... ... terminal, black, the words hollow into a pit.

The complex of melancholia behaves like an open wound, drawing to itself cathetic energies ... from all directions, and emptying the ego until it is totally impoverished.
Sigmund Freud

[Thanks Bruno]


Roxana said...

oh Jacky, this is overwhelming... "nothing is left to tell" indeed - it's terrifying to know that this is the inevitable point one will finally reach, no matter how hard the struggling... lucky those who believe and act otherwise.
and i have always loved Jeremy Irons, here his presence marks the verge of the unbearable.
do you know if the text is available online? i have tried to find it but with no success.

jacky bowring said...

Yes Roxana, it is really hard to imagine anyone but Jeremy Irons in these roles ... the nuances that suffuse the intense focus of Reader and the crushing weight of Listener's demeanour, as the endgame plays out, with the slow punctuation of the tapping. And to become aware of the internal tension which builds, within the self, suddenly realising that one hasn't even been breathing. No luck with finding it online, will have to hunt out a text copy...