The Drama in the Text: Beckett's Late Fiction

By Enoch Brater | Go to book overview

1
Still Beckett

Let us begin not with a recently published Beckett work, or even with what has been elsewhere explored in the later Beckett oeuvre, but rather with the sound of that vintage Beckett of the much-traveled "Molloy country": 1

She had a somewhat hairy face, or am I imagining it, in the interests of the narrative? The poor woman, I saw her so little, so little looked at her. And was not her voice suspiciously deep? So she appears to me today. Don't be tormenting yourself, Molloy, man or woman, what does it matter? But I cannot help asking myself the following question. Could a woman have stopped me as I swept towards mother? Probably. Better still, was such an encounter possible, I mean between me and a woman? Now men, I have rubbed up against a few men in my time, but women? Oh well, I may as well confess it now, yes, I once rubbed up against one. I don't mean my mother, I did more than rub up against her. And if you don't mind we'll leave my mother out of all this. But another who might have been my mother, and even I think my grandmother, if chance had not willed otherwise. Listen to him now talking about chance. It was she made me acquainted with love. She went by the peaceful name of Ruth I think, but I can't say for certain. Perhaps the name was Edith. She had a hole between her legs, oh not the bunghole I had always imagined, but a slit, and in this I put, or rather she put, my so-called virile member, not without difficulty, and I toiled and moiled until I discharged or gave up trying or was begged by her to stop. A mug's game in my opinion and tiring on top of that, in the long run. But I lent myself to it with a good enough grace, knowing it was love, for she had told me so. She bent over the couch, because of her rheumatism, and in I went from behind. It was the only position she could bear, because of her lumbago. It seemed all right to me for I had seen dogs, and I was astonished when she confided that you could go about it differently. I wonder what she meant exactly. Perhaps after all she put me in her rectum. A matter of complete indifference to me, I needn't tell you. But is it true love, in the

-3-

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The Drama in the Text: Beckett's Late Fiction
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface ix
  • Contents *
  • 1 - Still Beckett 3
  • 2 - Acts of Enunciation 14
  • 3 - The Play of Language 58
  • 4 - The Performative Voice 90
  • 5 - Trios and Trilogies 106
  • 6 - Posthumous Voices and More Stirrings Still 145
  • 7 - Dire Comments on Comment Dire 164
  • Notes 175
  • Selected Bibliography 209
  • Index 219
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