21 October 2020

Samuel Beckett: Come and Go (1967); repr. with Preface by S. E. Gontarski, 2009)

Flo, Vi and Ru are the protagonists of indeterminate age in this short play, three women sitting on a bench, each one leaving the bench for a short time in which one of the remaining women tells the other a secret about the woman's who's left, and the listener responds with shock. It isn't known if any of the women know of whatever terrible thing secret that's been mentioned is aware of it. The play has a stange mechanical, geometrical nature to it as seen by the women's behaviour.

Again, there is intertextual material, notably in the first (independently) complete sentence 'When did we three last meet?', which recalls Shakespeare's Macbeth, in which the First Witch, in the first line of the play, says 'When shall we three meet again'. And again, Ireland indirectly appears as a memory of Beckett's childhood: the mention of 'the playground at Miss Wade's recalls a former school in Dublin.

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