Samuel Beckett, The Unnamable [extract] : read by Sean Barrett
Samuel Beckett, The Unnamable
[Extract] read by Sean Barrett
"Where now? Who now? When now? Unquestioning. I, say I. Unbelieving.
Questions, hypotheses, call them that. Keep going, going on, call that going,
call that on. Can it be that one day, off it goes on, that one day I simply stayed in,
in where, instead of going out, in the old way, out to spend day and night
as far away as possible, it wasn't far. Perhaps that is how it began. You think
you are simply resting, the better to act when the time comes, or for no reason,
and you soon find yourself powerless ever to do anything again. No matter how
it happened. It, say it, not knowing what. Perhaps I simply assented at last
to an old thing. But I did nothing. I seem to speak, it is not I, about me,
it is not about me. These few general remarks to begin with. What am I to do,
what shall I do, what should I do, in my situation, how proceed? By aporia
pure and simple? Or by affirmations and negations invalidated as uttered,
or sooner or later? Generally speaking. There must be other shifts. Otherwise
it would be quite hopeless. But it is quite hopeless. I should mention before
going any further, any further on, that I say aporia without knowing what it means.
Can one be ephectic otherwise than unawares? I don't know. With the yesses
and noes it is different, they will come back to me as I go along and how,
like a bird, to shit on them all without exception. The fact would seem to be,
if in my situation one may speak of facts, not only that I shall have to speak
of things of which I cannot speak, but also, which is even more interesting,
but also that I, which is if possible even more interesting, that I shall have to,
I forget, no matter. And at the same time I am obliged to speak. I shall never
be silent. Never.
I shall not be alone, in the beginning. I am of course alone. Alone. That is soon said.
Things have to be soon said. And how can one be sure, in such darkness?
I shall have company. In the beginning. A few puppets. Then I'll scatter them,
to the winds, if I can. And things, what is the correct attitude to adopt towards things?
And, to begin with, are they necessary? What a question. But I have few illusions,
things are to be expected. The best is not to decide anything, in this connection,
in advance. If a thing turns up, for some reason or another, take it into consideration.
Where there are people, it is said, there are things. Does this mean that when you
admit the former you must also admit the latter? Time will tell. The thing to avoid,
I don't know why, is the spirit of system. People with things, people without things,
things without people, what does it matter, I flatter myself it will not take me long
to scatter them, whenever I choose, to the winds. I don't see how. The best would be
not to begin. But I have to begin. That is to say I have to go on. Perhaps in the end
I shall smother in a throng. Incessant coming and goings, the crush and bustle
of a bargain sale. No, no danger. Of that."