Giving Up and Going On: Probing the Alchemical Frequency of Beckett’s Comedies (Molloy, Malone Dies and The Unnamable)

“This cursed first person, it is really too red a herring.”

“Keep going, going no, call that going, call that on”


Dear reader: In your presence, I find a wider vantage point, not just this isolated center drowning in a soup of conflict and useless chatter, which is myself. If I’m only talking to myself I get lost in my Self. But with three of us, there is space enough for reflection.

Writing adjusts the frequency of attention. I don’t believe in myself too literally when I write. I probe rather than believe. The personal voice becomes a transparent drama. So I can see the Self with less vested interest, which means a little more honestly. Here, chains of meaning are still too short to be declared a lively intelligence. I’m mostly stagnant immaturities, a primordial ooze. The brain is bubbling with small sentiences, the grim grammar of a force that can’t quite commit to living with a longer attention span.

But here there is space to make these broader linkages and begin crawling to solid ground.

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A Fly Fable (Which Includes the Amoral of the Story)

fly

Act 1

Eugene yawned. He dreaded another day of banging his head against the glass.

His friend Leslie, however, was eager to get started.

“Yesterday that precocious young fly Skip said he felt the glass in the upper pane softening a little. Let’s get cracking! Today’s the day, I can feel it.”

Eugene stretched his wings and nibbled on sun-dried bacteria. “I’ll be there in a minute.”

Most of the flies stuck between the storm window and the regular window were already banging away.

Eugene stretched his wing again.

His world measured approximately 64 inches by 26 inches by 5 inches. The majority of flies were banging on the glass facing the interior of the house, and not on the storm window to the outside. That’s because the curtains in the little shack were usually closed, which made the interior window into a weak mirror reflecting the trees and fields across the road. And that’s where they wanted to go.

And all memory of night, when they had banged away on the storm window facing the dark fields and trees, had by then faded into legend.

“Eugene thinks he can sit there all day and reap the benefits of our hard work!” a fly named Bixby complained, when he saw Eugene slowly crawling his way towards them.

“Yeh, but guys, how many generations of flies have been trying to get out of this window?” Eugene said, looking down again at the piles of corpses on the sill.

“Oh, listen to Mr doom and gloom!” Bixby said. “Legend has it that a fly named Boris flew out this very window and into those yonder trees!” Bixby shifted a wing to point at a shimmering mirage of a tree. “So how’d he do it? Not by moaning, but by banging that’s how.”Read More »