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Call for Papers
Transportation & Maps
Mark Batty (University of Leeds)
In 1952, as a preface and introduction to the ORTF radio broadcast of En attendant Godot, still in rehearsal for its premiere at the Babylon, Roger Blin read a message from Beckett in which he confessed “I have no theories about the theatre. I know nothing about it. I never go. It’s unacceptable”.1 From this acknowledged position of ignorance about mise en scène, Samuel Beckett’s care to involve himself in the staging of his dramatic works, from that 1953 production of En attendant Godot and the ensuing intense period of collaboration with directors of his works in the sixties, was symptomatic, as James Knowlson states, of his realisation that “there were elements that he would never get right until he staged the plays himself […] so as to identify the problematic areas and ensure that at least one production conformed with his overall vision of the play.”2 S.E. Gontarski argues that “working directly in the theatre became an indispensable part of Beckett's creative process”3 and an awareness of Beckett’s processes of compilation, translation and production provides the scholar with a significant body of material that effectively represents Beckett’s own commentary on his own work.
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