The Making of Samuel Beckett's Play / Comédie and Film

Publication type: 
Olga Beloborodova

Beloborodova, O. (2019) The Making of Samuel Beckett's Play / Comédie and Film. Academic and Scientific Publishers 


Samuel Beckett’s short play Play / Comédie and his only film Film were written around the same time (1962-1963). They both have self-referential titles that invite meditation on the genres they represent. Although medium-specific opportunities and challenges underlie their very different geneses, they have influenced each other in terms of both form and content. In more ways than one, Film continues where Play left off. Whereas in Play the genesis shows a steady increase in speech tempo to the point of near unintelligibility, the silent Film radically eliminates speech from the outset. Conversely, the cinematic element is also clearly present in Play, notably in the crucial role assigned to the light beam as the mechanical, mindless inquisitor. Both works are grounded in technology and rely heavily on explanatory notes for the members of their production teams, thus exposing the inherently collaborative nature of such projects. The genetic critical analysis of the manuscripts of Play / Comédie and Film not only contributes to the interpretation of each work separately but also considers the two works together through the prism of Beckett’s multimedial authorship. 

This volume is part of the Beckett Digital Manuscript Project (BDMP), a collaboration between the Centre for Manuscript Genetics (University of Antwerp), the Beckett International Foundation (University of Reading) and the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center (University of Texas at Austin), with the support of the Estate of Samuel Beckett. The BDMP ( digitally reunites the dispersed manuscripts of Samuel Beckett’s works and facilitates their examination. The project consists of two parts:
a) a digital archive of Beckett’s a manuscripts, with facsimiles and transcriptions, organized in modules;
b) a series of print volumes, analyzing the genesis of Beckett’s works.

Year of publication : 
Academic and Scientific Publishers
Reference number: 
ISBN: 978 90 5718 7421