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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000298.txt from 1996/04

From: Marie McDonough <mm46@-----.EDU>
Subj: Beckett (with my apologies)
Date: Thu, 11 Apr 1996 09:21:58 -0400

Oh, my. I never intended for this to become a lengthy discourse on the relative
merits of litigious bilingual expatriate playwrights.

Scott was right when he said that Beckett was an extreme example of an artist
trying to maintain control over his work. I really *was* aware of that, and
tossed it out for discussion only because it seemed that we were relying on
artists long dead to make a case for the freedom of performers to do as they
would with the works they chose to perform.

We live in a culture where it has become more and more common for the average
music/theatre audience to link specific works with specific
performers/performances. The availability of recorded performances of any kind
is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it allows us to hear many different
interpretations of a given work, and judge the merits of the performers and the
compositions separately. However, it also allows for the reification of a
particular interpretation, to the point where people will reject alternates that
deviate too significantly from what they've trained themselves to expect.

Samuel Beckett knew all about VCRs. How would Mozart have felt about CDs?


P.S. Beckett DID write just about all of his theatre pieces in French, then
translated them into English. The stage directions are sometimes different in
the differing languages, which gets the Beckett scholars all excited.

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