Beginning with the juvenile essay on Proust, the theme of memory (and forgetting) has a prominent place in nearly all Beckett’s works. However, the attentive and skilled use of technology allows the author to explore more efficiently and at a greater extent memory’s dimensions and procedures in the works thought for, or making use of, the media.Especially in the plays exploiting electro-acoustic technologies, the essential metaphor of memory as a way of recording and archiving (voluntarily or involuntarily) the past, coincides with the plays performing practices. The use of a tape recorder in Krapp’s Last Tapes and of a radio recording control panel in radio plays such as Embers and Rough for Radio II allows Beckett to dis-member the black box of re-membering in search of the mechanisms which govern its procedures and of the mnestic traces left and, voluntarily or involuntarily, recovered by the subject. Among them, one is made aware of the essential difference between the voices (and sounds) purposely transcripted on consciousness tapes as under an autobiographical project-driven dictate, and the traces which make tracks dirty with imperceptible but obsessing silences, humming and buzzing: non filtered and non homogenized data discontinuously revealing the perturbing content of the forgotten. In addition, thanks to the oral/aural medium (recorded and/or broadcast voices) and its functioning, not only is the presence/absence aporia of the incorporeal technological sound – which can pre-exist, coexist or survive his/her owner’s body – purposely exploited to expose the presence/absence aporia of memories - mnestic traces of what was and is no more, but also the fragmentary and discontinuous essence of the self, in the totally subjective intermittence between (the transmission of) memory and its more or less aware deletion, is efficaciously dramatized.

Esposito, L. (2009). Mnemosyne Goes Electric: Samuel Beckett and the Soundscapes of Memory. TEXTUS, XXII(2), 379-394.

Mnemosyne Goes Electric: Samuel Beckett and the Soundscapes of Memory

ESPOSITO, Lucia
2009

Abstract

Beginning with the juvenile essay on Proust, the theme of memory (and forgetting) has a prominent place in nearly all Beckett’s works. However, the attentive and skilled use of technology allows the author to explore more efficiently and at a greater extent memory’s dimensions and procedures in the works thought for, or making use of, the media.Especially in the plays exploiting electro-acoustic technologies, the essential metaphor of memory as a way of recording and archiving (voluntarily or involuntarily) the past, coincides with the plays performing practices. The use of a tape recorder in Krapp’s Last Tapes and of a radio recording control panel in radio plays such as Embers and Rough for Radio II allows Beckett to dis-member the black box of re-membering in search of the mechanisms which govern its procedures and of the mnestic traces left and, voluntarily or involuntarily, recovered by the subject. Among them, one is made aware of the essential difference between the voices (and sounds) purposely transcripted on consciousness tapes as under an autobiographical project-driven dictate, and the traces which make tracks dirty with imperceptible but obsessing silences, humming and buzzing: non filtered and non homogenized data discontinuously revealing the perturbing content of the forgotten. In addition, thanks to the oral/aural medium (recorded and/or broadcast voices) and its functioning, not only is the presence/absence aporia of the incorporeal technological sound – which can pre-exist, coexist or survive his/her owner’s body – purposely exploited to expose the presence/absence aporia of memories - mnestic traces of what was and is no more, but also the fragmentary and discontinuous essence of the self, in the totally subjective intermittence between (the transmission of) memory and its more or less aware deletion, is efficaciously dramatized.
Esposito, L. (2009). Mnemosyne Goes Electric: Samuel Beckett and the Soundscapes of Memory. TEXTUS, XXII(2), 379-394.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11590/412759
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