Samuel Beckett
Digital Manuscript Project
Krapp's Last Tape / La Dernière bande

Catalogue


MS UoR 1227/7/7/1 (EM)

Manuscript notes in an exercise book by Samuel Beckett which represent the first draft of Krapp's Last Tape. Contained in an exercise book which is inscribed 'Eté 56' on the front cover by Beckett. 96 leaves, blank from f. 45 until f. 96 verso. Squared paper. 22 x 13 cm. Blue and black ink.

From f. 10 verso to f. 22 and then on verso f. 24 and f. 25 this exercise book contains the original draft of what became Krapp's Last Tape, here headed by Beckett as Magee Monologue (a reference to actor Patrick Magee for whom Beckett originally wrote this piece, and who played Krapp in the first production of the play.) Krapp is referred to as 'A'. Piece is dated f. 11, 20 February 1958.

The sequence of pages includes two separate sections of the piece, the first beginning on f. 11 with some notes on setting and on physical and verbal characterisation, the second beginning on f. 14 with no preliminary notes. Variant material in content as well as text; opening mime includes (on f. 12) a scene in which Krapp finds the already laden table to be unsteady. He moves the table, and the 'zone of light' follows him. He does not remark upon this. The girl with whom Krapp lived 'on and off' is called 'Alba' in this draft, recalling Belacqua's Alba and Beckett's poem of that title.

The verso pages are used primarily for corrections and notes. There are also many doodles adjacent to pauses or revisions. Some calculations related to the time spent 'on licensed premises alone'. The final pair of pages, verso p. 24 and recto p. 25, carry notes and diagrams on 'Tape recording'. These notes concern Krapp's position relative to the machine and how he would operate, listen and newly record upon it.

Bryden, Mary, Julian Garforth, and Peter Mills, eds. (1998), Beckett at Reading: Catalogue of the Beckett Manuscript Collection at the University of Reading (Reading: Whiteknights Press and the Beckett International Foundation), p. 58-59

Abbreviated in the Manuscript Chronology as EM

MS HRC SB 4/2/1 (ET1)

Untitled ['Krapp's Last Tape']. Typed manuscript, signed, March 1958, 4 pp., 4to. Typescript I. With numerous autograph revisions and additions in black ink. There are a few doodles. The text varies considerably from the published version and lacks, in particular, the introductory stage directions and description of the setting. The protagonist appears as 'A'. At the top of page 1 Beckett has written: 'Typescript I of Krapp's Last Tape 3.58.' Inscribed, in blue ink, at the bottom of page 4: 'for / Jake Schwartz / Sam. Beckett / March 1958'.

Lake, Carlton, ed. (1984), No Symbols Where None Intended: A Catalogue of Books, Manuscripts and Other Material Relating to Samuel Beckett in the Collections of the Humanities Research Center (Austin: Humanities Research Center), p. 105

Abbreviated in the Manuscript Chronology as ET1

MS HRC SB 4/2/2 (ET2)

'Crapp's Last Tape'. Typed manuscript, signed, March 1958, 10 pp., 4to. With many autograph corrections, annotations, and revisions in black and blue inks. This manuscript, labeled by Beckett as 'Typescrypt II', reflects the changes he made in the first typescript (some of which have been revised again) and is a major expansion of that version, corresponding more recognizably to the published text. Introductory material relating to the stage setting has been added, and the verso of page 1 has a long autograph addition which incorporates stage directions concerning A's [Krapp's] movements. Whereas the first typescript was untitled, here Beckett has written 'Crapp's Last Tape' at the top of page 1. A mathematical calculation on the verso of the final page relates to the passage: 'To drink less, in particular. And the resolutions! (Brief laugh of A alone). Statistics. Seventeen hundred hours, out of the preceding eight thousand off, consumed on licensed premises alone. Over 20%'.

Lake, Carlton, ed. (1984), No Symbols Where None Intended: A Catalogue of Books, Manuscripts and Other Material Relating to Samuel Beckett in the Collections of the Humanities Research Center (Austin: Humanities Research Center), p. 105

Abbreviated in the Manuscript Chronology as ET2

MS HRC SB 4/2/3 (ET3)

'Krapp's Last Tape'. Typed manuscript, signed, March 1958, 9 pp., 4to. 'Typescript III', so described in Beckett's hand at the top of the first page. With many autograph emendations and additions, a few doodles, and one mathematical calculation on the verso of the last page. The title now takes its published form and has been typed in (apparently later) at the beginning of the text. Beckett has added a few more details concerning the setting: e;g., 'April 1986' has been changed to 'a late evening in the nineteen eighties'. Inscribed, in blue ink, on the last page: 'for Jake Schwartz / Sam. Beckett / March 1958'.

Lake, Carlton, ed. (1984), No Symbols Where None Intended: A Catalogue of Books, Manuscripts and Other Material Relating to Samuel Beckett in the Collections of the Humanities Research Center (Austin: Humanities Research Center), p. 106

Abbreviated in the Manuscript Chronology as ET3

MS HRC SB 4/2/4 (ET4)

'Krapp's Late Tape (Reel)'. Typed manuscript, signed, 9 pp., 4to. This fourth typescript shows a moderate number of corrections and additions in Beckett's hand. The verso of page 5 has an arithmetical computation, not incorporated into the text. Beckett has slightly modified the title, adding 'Reel', within parentheses, as a possible alternative for 'Tape'. Except for a few minor variants, the manuscript is close to the published text. An autograph note on the final page reads: 'Note on technique of tape-recorder'. Inscribed: 'for / Jake Schwartz / Sam. Beckett / March 1958'.

Lake, Carlton, ed. (1984), No Symbols Where None Intended: A Catalogue of Books, Manuscripts and Other Material Relating to Samuel Beckett in the Collections of the Humanities Research Center (Austin: Humanities Research Center), p. 106

Abbreviated in the Manuscript Chronology as ET4

MS UoR 1659 (ET5)

Typescript of Krapp's Last Tape with corrections and additions in Samuel beckett's hand. Undated. 8 leaves. 28 x 21 cm. Titled, and with words '(with proof corrections)' in Beckett's hand at head of page.

Late formative draft. Corrections made in black ink and blue-black ink and in type. These are minor but frequent, including deletion and some exchanges of words and phrases. The initial setting is altered from 'A late evening in the nineteen eighties' to 'A late evening in the future', Krapp's hair is identified as grey, and the directions rather than the actions of the opening mime are abbreviated. Some important changes to the text in the latter stages, including the deletion of 'wire-haired fox terrier' for 'little white dog', and the substitution of 'flags' for 'reeds' in the twice-heard punt episode.

Beckett types 'Krapp' and 'Tape' for the first time in the adjacent left margin each time the role of speaker changes from one to the other.

Bryden, Mary, Julian Garforth, and Peter Mills, eds. (1998), Beckett at Reading: Catalogue of the Beckett Manuscript Collection at the University of Reading (Reading: Whiteknights Press and the Beckett International Foundation), p. 59

Abbreviated in the Manuscript Chronology as ET5

MS HRC SB 4/2/5 (ETC)

'Krapp's Last Tape'. Thermofax copy of typed manuscript, 8 pp., 4to. A still later version. With a few changes and insertions. The title is now definitely 'Krapp's Last Tape'. Beckett has modified the time from 'the nineteen eighties' to 'the future'.

Lake, Carlton, ed. (1984), No Symbols Where None Intended: A Catalogue of Books, Manuscripts and Other Material Relating to Samuel Beckett in the Collections of the Humanities Research Center (Austin: Humanities Research Center), p. 106

Abbreviated in the Manuscript Chronology as ETC

MS HRC SB 4/2/6 (FT1)

'La Dernière bande'. Carbon Copy of typed manuscript, signed 9 pp., 4to. With a few corrections and additions in red and blue inks and in pencil. Inscribed at top of the first page: 'Corrected typescript of / French translation of / 'Krapp's Last Tape' for: Jake Schwartz'.

Lake, Carlton, ed. (1984), No Symbols Where None Intended: A Catalogue of Books, Manuscripts and Other Material Relating to Samuel Beckett in the Collections of the Humanities Research Center (Austin: Humanities Research Center), p. 107

Abbreviated in the Manuscript Chronology as FT1

MS HRC SB 4/2/7 (PPF Faber)

Krapp's Last Tape and Embers. Corrected page proofs. London: Faber and Faber (1959). 8vo, loose in sheets, uncut. Inscribed on the title page: 'corrected proof / for / Jake Schwartz / from / Sam. Beckett . Paris Feb. 1960'.

Lake, Carlton, ed. (1984), No Symbols Where None Intended: A Catalogue of Books, Manuscripts and Other Material Relating to Samuel Beckett in the Collections of the Humanities Research Center (Austin: Humanities Research Center), p. 107

Abbreviated in the Manuscript Chronology as PPF Faber

MS SYR GP 95 (PPG)

11-page proof for Krapp's Last Tape for inclusion in Krapp's Last Tape and Other Dramatic Pieces, included in the "Beckett, Samuel - Krapp's Last Tape - Productions Proofs 1960" folder in Box 95 of the Grove Press collection at Syracuse University, Special Collections Research Center.

Abbreviated in the Manuscript Chronology as PPG

MS HRC SB 5/4

Not I and Krapp's Last Tape. Mimeographed acting versions. London: Royal Court Theatre [1972]. Folio, loose in sheets within red paper covers.

Lake, Carlton, ed. (1984), No Symbols Where None Intended: A Catalogue of Books, Manuscripts and Other Material Relating to Samuel Beckett in the Collections of the Humanities Research Center (Austin: Humanities Research Center), p. 155