Samuel Beckett
Digital Manuscript Project
Stirrings Still / Soubresauts


Segment 1

[0001] One night as he sat at his table head on hands he saw himself rise and go.
[0002] One night or day.[0003] For when his own light went out he was not left in the dark.
[0004] Light of a kind came then from the one window set high in the wall.[0005] Under it
still the stool on which until he could or would no more he used to mount
simply to see the sky.
[0006] Why he did not crane out to see what lay beneath was
perhaps because the window was not made to open or because he could or would
not open it.

Segment 2

[0007] Perhaps he knew only too well what lay beneath and did not wish
to see it again.
[0008] So he would simply stand there high above the earth on the
stool with his hands flat against the wall and see through the clouded pane the
cloudless sky.
[0009] Its faint unchanging light unlike any light he could remember
from the days and nights when day followed fast hard on night and night on day.
[0010] This
outer light then when his own went out became his only light until it in its
turn went out and left him in the dark.
[0011] Till Until it in its turn went out.

Segment 3

[0012] One night or day then as he sat at his table head on hands he saw himself rise
and go.
[0013] First rise and stand clinging to the table.[0014] Then sit again.[0015] Then rise
again and stand clinging to the table again.
[0016] Then start to go.[0018] On unseen feet to
[0019] So slow that only change of place to show he went.[0020] As when he disappeared only
to reappear later at yet another place.
[0021] Then disappeared yet again only to reappear yet again
later at yet another place again.
[0022] So again and again disappeared yet again only to reappear
yet again later at yet another place again.

Segment 4

[0023] yet Another place in the place where he sat at his
table head on hands.
[0024] The same place and table as when Darly for example died and
left him.
[0025] As when others too in their turn before and since.[0026] As when others would
too in their turn and leave him until he too in his turn.
[0027] Head on hands half hopieng
hoping when he disappeared that he would not reappear again and half fearing that
he would not.
[0028] Or merely wondering.[0029] Or merely waiting.[0030] Waiting to see if he would
or would not.
[0031] Leave him or not alone again wiaiting for nothing again.

Segment 5

[0032] Seen always from behind whithersoever he went .[0032] Whitherwardsoever. [0033] Same hat and
coat as of old when he walked thebroads.
[0034] The back roads.[0035] And now as one in a strange
place seeking the way out.
[0036] In the dark.[0037] In a strange place blindly in the dark of
night or day seeking the way out.
[0038] A way out . [0039] To the roads.[0040] The back roads.

Segment 6

[0041] A clock afar struck the hours and half hours.[0042] The same as when among others Darly
ponce died and left him.
[0043] Strokes now clear as if carried by the wind and now faint on
the still air.
[0044] Cries afar now faint now clear.[0045] Head on hands half hoping when the
hour struck that the half hour wouldn not and half fearing that it would not.
[0046] Similar-
ly when the half hour struck.
[0047] Similarly when the cries a moment ceased.[0048] Or merely
[0049] Or merely waiting.[0050] Waiting to hear.

Segment 7

[0051] There had been a time he would lift his head enoggh enough to see his hands.[0052] What
of them was to be seen.
[0053] One laid on the otable and the other on it.[0054] At rest after all
they did.
[0055] Lift his past head a moment to see his past hands.[0056] Then lay it back on them
to rest it too.
[0057] After all it did.

Segment 8

[0058] The same place as when left day after day for the roads.[0059] The back roads.[0060] Returned
to night after night.
[0061] Paced from wall to wall in the dark.[0062] The then fleeting dark of
[0063] Now as if strange to him seen to rise and go.[0064] Disappear and reappear at
another place.
[0065] Disappear yet again and reappear yet again at yet another place again.[0066] Or at the
[0067] Nothing to show not the same.[0068] No wall toward which or from.

Segment 9

[0069] No table back toward
which or further from.
[0070] In the same place as when paced from wall to wall all places
as the same.
[0071] Or in another.[0072] Nothing to show not another.[0073] Where never.[0074] Rise and go in
the same place as ever.
[0075] Disappear and reappear in another where never.[0076] Nothing to
show not another where never.
[0077] Nothing but the clock.[0078] The cries.[0079] The same as ever.

Segment 10

[0080] Till so many strokes and cries since he was last seen that perhaps he would not be
seen again.
[0081] Then so many cries since the clock strokes were was last heard that perhaps it they would
not be heard again.
[0082] Then such silence since the cries were last heard that perhaps
even they would not be heard again.
[0083] Thus the end.[0084] Unless no more than a mere
[0085] Etc.

Addition 1
Addition 2
  • Segments
  • Marginal Additions