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Krapp's Last Tape and Other Dramatic Pieces Paperback – June 16, 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press (June 16, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802144411
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802144416
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.3 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,107 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
This play represents Beckett at what is without doubt his most accessible and possibly his most beautiful. Beckett adores using human memory and the pain of nostalgia in his works, and both of these themes are put to astonishing use in this play.

In 'Krapp's Last Tape', our protagonist Krapp, now in his late 60s, plays back tapes that he has recorded on previous birthdays. Every year this task becomes a more and more onerous one, and every year he is more and more embarassed by "that stupid b**tard I took myself for thirty years ago". The pain of reconstructing the past is a pain that Beckett uses to dolourous effect throughout his prose and dramatic works and its use is particularly powerful here.

Although this play is in fact a monologue, it would appear to take the form of a conversation between a past and present Krapp. This allows the spectator to witness a striking decline in the morale and optimism of the play's protagonist in the intervening thirty years. One is left to assume that the mental attitude of the character will continue to rot over the miserable years that are left to him.

This beautiful rendering of sadness and human pain, is typical of one of the most astonishing and talented writers of the modern era.
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Format: Paperback
Although it is probably his most conventional play, this is my favourite Beckett work. It is as bleak as Godot and despairing as End Game. It is also as funny as these tragicomic masterpieces. What is different here is that Krapp is less of a pawn, or fragment of an idea than the other characters, we are given access to his past, to his fundamental ambivalences (the desire for solitude and companionship), his apprehension of beauty. It is remarkable to see on stage a whole series of seperate selves contained in the one entity Krapp. The play is depressingly, inevitable circular, and the sense of repetition (note the extraordinary variations on light and darkness) throughout the stories the younger Krapp tells is not continuity, but an awareness of death, failure, old age. The play is also a comment on the nature of theatre going itself: in listening to his old tapes, Krapp becomes, as well as an actor, an audience, and in interpreting what he hears, a critic. This Shakespearean self-reflexivity only adds to the melancholy of the film's close.
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Format: Paperback
Krapp's Last Tape

Published: 1958

Premiere: 1958

By: Samuel Beckett (1906 - 1989)

There is a single character named Krapp. He is on stage with a tape recorder and old recordings of himself. The only lighting on stage illuminates Krapp (Crap?) and his table where the tape recorder rests. We don't see anything of the environment, only the center stage. We are expected to ask where the play is taking place. It could be an afterlife library where the story of our lives is kept in ledger books and on audio tapes. Krapp is forced to confront the details of his life as an atonement or penitence.

It could be Krapp's own library where he has kept a video/written record of his life. As Krapp faces the end of his life he chooses to relive his past before the last whimper of his extinction. Krapp is reading the ledger book of his life much as God and Saint Peter will read the ledger of our lives on judgment day.

Krapp gives a rambling and emotional monolog relating his life experiences and decisions. He speculates about things that might have been better.

At one point Krapp hears a noise from the shadows, outside where the stage directions indicate lighting. He either hears the rustling of the robes death or of the angel of death. He does not seem concerned that death is approaching implying that he is aware of his impending end. He gives a shrug and continues with his search of the ledgers.

Waiting for Godot

Endgame and Act Without Words

I completely enjoyed and highly recommend this book.
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Format: Paperback
Krapp's Last Tape

Published: 1958

Premiere: 1958

By: Samuel Beckett (1906 - 1989)

There is a single character named Krapp. He is on stage with a tape recorder and old recordings of himself. The only lighting on stage illuminates Krapp (Crap?) and his table where the tape recorder rests. We don't see anything of the environment, only the center stage. We are expected to ask where the play is taking place. It could be an afterlife library where the story of our lives is kept in ledger books and on audio tapes. Krapp is forced to confront the details of his life as an atonement or penitence.

It could be Krapp's own library where he has kept a video/written record of his life. As Krapp faces the end of his life he chooses to relive his past before the last whimper of his extinction. Krapp is reading the ledger book of his life much as God and Saint Peter will read the ledger of our lives on judgment day.

Krapp gives a rambling and emotional monolog relating his life experiences and decisions. He speculates about things that might have been better.

At one point Krapp hears a noise from the shadows, outside where the stage directions indicate lighting. He either hears the rustling of the robes death or of the angel of death. He does not seem concerned that death is approaching implying that he is aware of his impending end. He gives a shrug and continues with his search of the ledgers.

Waiting for Godot

Endgame and Act Without Words

I completely enjoyed and highly recommend this book.
1 Comment 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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