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Krapp's Last Tape and Other Dramatic Pieces
This collection brings together five of Samuel Beckett's dramatic pieces, including a one-act stage play, two radio plays, and two mimes. The stage play, Krapp's Last Tape, is a shattering drama that emerges through the monologue of a man who on his sixty-ninth birthday, plays back the autobiographical tape he recorded on his thirty-ninth. Jerry Tallmer in The New York Post called it "a most amazing piece of 'incidental' writing. . . . In one and the same pungent breath it is a comment on time past, passing, and to come; on the tinny mechanization of the age and the yet unquenchable wellsprings of the heart; on the anal desiccation and the sterilization of all feeling or response in modern man, and his nevertheless immutable thrust toward love."
The two radio plays were commissioned by the BBC; All That Fall "plumbs the same pessimistic depths [as Waiting for Godot] in what seems a no less despairing search for human dignity" (London Times), and Embers is equally haunting, born of the ramblings of an old man and his wife. Finally Act Without Words I speechlessly portrays the frustration of existence in a hostile environment, and in Act Without Words II the repetitive motions of life are juxtaposed in the slovenly actions of one man and the senseless efficiency of another.
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May 01, 1969
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