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

MS-UoR-1227-7-7-1

MS. Pages:cover - 13r13v - 18r18v - 23r23v - 25r
[p. 13v]

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[p. 14r]

[0171] and goes backstage into shadow. [0173] Noise of cork drawn with loud pop. [0174] 10 seconds pause. [0175] Second cork. [0176] Ten 10 seconds pause. [0177] Third cork. [0178] Ten seconds pause. [0179] Sudden Brief burst of song from A in shadow. [0179|001] Pause. [0183] x In a kind of shuffling dance he reenters zone of light, from an unexpected angle, say front right, shuffles and turns for a moment about the x table, finally lets himself fall on the chair. After a moment he bends over the tape, winds it forward a little, starts up machine, resumes his listening attitude.

Tape.

[0183|001] - a moment in the life of all pioneers

Tape

[0086] Thirty-seven today, sound apparently in wind and limb, apart from my old trouble, and intellectually, I have little doubt, at the peak of my powers, or thereabouts. [0087] Celebrated the occasion, as in xxx recent years, quietly at the Winehouse. [0088] No one there I knew. [0089] Sat by the fire looking into the fire with closed eyes turning over in my mind winnowing, out as it went separating the grain from the chaff. [0090] Jotted down a few notes, on the back of an envelope. [0091] It is good to be home again, in my old things. [0097] The new light above my desk is a great improvement. [0098] With all this darkness round me, I am less alone. [0099] (Pause.) [0100] In a way. [0101] (Pause.) [0102] I like to get up and move about in it, then come back here to...(he hesit he hesitates)... myself.

[0105] Pause.

[0106] The grain, what do I mean by that, I mean ... (Pause.) I suppose I mean those

[p. 14v]

DOODLE 9

365
__24
1460
730__
8760

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Insufferable prig

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[p. 15r]

[0106] things that will matter to me worth the recalling having 20 years xxx xxx xxx in later life when all the dust has - this when all this dust has settled. [0107] I try to be the old man who one day perhaps will listen to this I close my eyes and try and imagine them.

[0108] Pause.

[0110] Extraordinary silence this evening this evening. I strain my ears and do not hear a sound. [0111] Miss Williams Old Miss Williams always sings at this hour. [0112] But not this evening. [0112|001] I hope nothing has happened to her.

[0126] Pause.

[0127] I have just listened to one of the old an old year, tapes, passages at random. [0128] I did not check it in the catalogue register, but it must be at least ten or twelve years ago. [0129] I was living then with Alba, in xxx alley At that time I was living off and on in ? street. [0141] I must say I - (A stops machine, broods at length, starts machine again.) - find it a great h this a great help before embarking on a new .. er .. review review. [0142] I find it hard to believe that young man was I. [0143] Even the voice is unfamiliar. [0145] Aspirations, [0147] resolutions. [0149] To drink less, in particular. [0152] He speaks of 17 hundred hours, out of the preceding 8000 odd, spent consumed on licensed premises alone. [0155] Plans for a fuller sexual life. [0156] Last illness of his father. [0156|001] References to his life'swork. [0164] Closing with a - (brief laugh) - an appeal to Providence. [0165] (Prolonged laugh.) [0166] What remains of all that twaddle lumber, [0167] a girl in a shabby green coat, on a railway-station platform?

[0169] Pause.

[0170] When I look -

[0171] A stops the machine, broods, gets up and walks goes backstage into the shadows. [0172] Pause of 10 seconds. [0173] Sound of a cork drawn with popping. [0174] Ten seconds. [0175] Second pop. [0176] Ten seconds. [0177] Third pop. [0178] Ten seconds. [0179] Brief burst of song. [0183] A comes back into light from an unexpected angle, say front right, sits down, resumes his pose, switches on machine.

[0184] back on the year that

[p. 15v]

[0207] bench by the lock weir

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[p. 16r]

[0184] is gone, with the old eyes to be, there is of course xx the house on the canal where mother died lay dying, in the early autumn, after her long widowhood, and the [0207] bench by the weir where I used to sit, day after day, watching her window, xx wishing she were dead. [0223] I was there when the blind went down, throwing a ball for a dog I remember. from where I could see her window. [0208] I used to sit there, day after day, wishing she were dead gone. [0210] Quite a number of people I got to xx know then, by appearances, nurses nursemaids and children, old men, and dogs. [0211] One dark young woman I remember particularly, with a big black pram. [0211|001] Whenever I look Day after day. [0212] Whenever I looked in her direction she had her eyes on me. [0213] But when at last I spoke ventured to speak to her she threatened to call a policeman. [0217] Lovely face she had, [0218] eyes [0219] like ... moonstone. [0223] I was there when the blind went down, throwing a ball for a dog as xx xxx it happened. (A switches off, broods, switches on again) - the blind went down, the throwing a ball for a dog as it happened. [0224] I xx looked up and there it was. [0226] I x sat on for a few minutes with the []ball in my hand and dog barking and pawing at me. [0233] Then I held out the ball to me it out to me him and he took it in his mouth, very gently. [0234] An old black tennis ball it was, all black and sodden, but not punctured. [0235] (Pause.) [0236] I wonder is that the kind of thing. how much there is there.

[0241] Pause

[0244] Creatively Intellectually a disheartening year year of discouragement until that unforgettable day night in March, []at the end of the pier, []in the high wind when I suddenly saw the whole thing. [0246] This, is what I have I realized in the Winehouse, is what I have chiefly to record this evening against the day when all my work is will be done and perhaps no place in my place left in my memory for of the wonder that made it possible place left in my memory, and no thankfulness for the wonder that made it possible. [0247] What I saw then was briefly this. The principles on which had been The assumption on which I had going

[p. 16v]

[0251] - storm and night
[0251] - strange association till my dying day of storm and night with the light of understanding and the peace -

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the light
[0249] - clear to me at last that this

[0249] .. foam flying
- granite rocks the foam flying up in the light of the beacon and the anemo anemometer spinning like a propellor, clear to me at last that the dark I have struggled to keep out of my work - is in reality its true -

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[0418] Perhaps my best years are over.

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[0224] agreed it was hopeless

[p. 17r]

[0247] been going all these years, namely that - [0248] (A switches xxx off machine, winds tape forward, switches on again) [0249] - granite rocks the foam flying up in the light of the beacon and the anemometer spinning like a propellor, clear to me at last that the dark I have struggled to keep out of my work is in reality its true - [0250] (Curses, switches off, winds forward, switches on) [0251] - strange association till my dying day of storm and night with the light of understanding and the peace - [0252] (Curses louder, switches off, winds forward, switches on..) [0253] - my hand across face buried in her breasts and my hand on her. [0254] We lay there without moving. [0255] But underneath us all moved and moved us, gently, up and down, and to and fro from side to side.

[0256] (Pause.)

[0257] Mi Past midnight. [0258] I nNever re- knew member such a silence. [0261] The coming year

[0260] (Pause.)

[0261] The coming year will decide. May I be given the strength and the -

[0262] (A switches off, winds back tape, switches on again.)

[0263] - upper lake, with the boat punt, bathed off the bank bathed off the bank, then pushed out, to the island pushed out into the stream and drifted. [0264] She lay stretched out on the floorboards with her hands under her head and her eyes closed. [0265] Hot sun, with a bit of a breeze and the water nice and lively. [0266] I noticed a scratch on her thigh and asked her when how she got it. [0267] Picking gooseberries, she said. [0268] I said xxx I thought it was hopeless and no good going on, and she agreed, without opening her xx eyes. [0270] I asked her to look at me and after a moment she did, but just slits, because

[p. 17v]

DOODLE 27

[0296] The eyes she had!. ([0297] Broods. [] Realizes he is recording silence switches off. Broods.) [0299] Everything there, everything, all the light and - dark of the .. (hesitates) ages, [0300] (realizes this is not being recorded, switches on.) [0301] Everything there, every bleeding thing, all the light and dark of ... (hesit the ... (hesitates) ages. [0305] Let that go! [0306] Jesus! [0307] Take his mind off his exercises! [0308] Jesus! ([0309] Pause) [0311] Ah well, maybe he was right. [0312] (Pause.) [0313] Maybe he was right. ([0314] Broods. [0316] Switches off

DOODLE 28

[p. 18r]

[0270] of the sun. glare. [0271] I bent over her to get them in the shadow and they opened. ([0272] Pause.) [0276] We drifted into the in among a patch of reeds and got stuck. [0277] The noise way they made going went down under the blunt xxx blunt stem, hissing. [0279] I went down across her lay down across her with my face in her breasts and my hand on her. [0280] We lay there without moving. [0281] But underneath us all moved, and moved us, gently up and down, and to and fro.

[0282] (Pause.)

[0283] Past midnight. [0284] Never knew -

([0285] A switches off, sits brooding, [0286] feels fumbles in his pockets, takes out an envelope, fumbles, puts back the envelope, gets up and goes front right into shadows. [0287] Ten seconds. [0288] Noise Sound of bottle against glass, then brief siphon. [0289] Then Ten seconds. [0290] Bottle against glass alone. [0291] Ten seconds Fifteen seconds. [0292] He comes back front left into light, with an unused tape in his hand, sits down, takes tape off machine and lays it on table, puts tape in his hand on machine, takes envelope from his pocket, consults back of it, switches on and begins to record.

A

[0293] Just been listening to that stupid bastard I was 30 years ago, hard to believe I was ever as bad as that. [0293|001] xxx xxx with them and xxx xxx xxx, xxx xx xxx xxx [0296] The eyes she had! ([0297] Broods, realizes he is recording silence, switches off. Broods.) [0299] Everything there, everything, all the - [0300] (Realizes this is not being recorded, switches on.) [0301] Everything there, everything every bleeding thing,

MS. Pages:cover - 13r13v - 18r18v - 23r23v - 25r