From where she lies she sees Venus rise. On. From where she lies when the skies are clear she sees Venus rise followed by the sun. Then she rails at the source of all life. On. At evening when the skies are clear she savours its star’s revenge. At the other window. Rigid upright on her old chair. It emerges from out the last rays and sinking ever brighter is engulfed in its turn. On. She sits on erect and rigid in the deepening gloom. Such helplessness to move she cannot help. Heading on foot for a particular point often she freezes on the way. Unable till long after to move on not knowing whither or for what purpose. Down on her knees especially she finds it hard not to remain so forever. Hand resting on hand on some convenient support. Such as the foot of her bed. And on them her head. There then she sits as though turned to stone face to the night. Save for the white of her hair and faintly bluish white of face and hands all is black. For an eye having no need of light to see. All this in the present as had she the misfortune to be still of this world.
Samuel Beckett, Ill Seen Ill Said
“On.” Forward, and atop, weighted, removing “forward” from possibility. And so, on.
“Decision no sooner reached or rather long after than what is the wrong word? For the last time at last for to end yet again what the wrong word? Than revoked. No but slowly dispelled a little very little like the wisps of day when the curtain closes. Of itself by slow millimetres or drawn by a phantom hand. Farewell to farewell. Then in that perfect dark foreknell darling sound pip for end begun. First last moment. Grant only enough remain to devour all . Moment by glutton moment. Sky, earth, the whole kit and boodle. Not another crumb of carrion left. Lick chops and basta. No. One moment more. One last. Grace to breathe that void. Know happiness.”
The more they tried to cast Joyce off, the more they slided into his shadow.
frozen in illusion, the only answer is a chocolate malt…
i’m reading virginia woolf’s diaries and she refers, albeit obliquely, to the same sort of phenomenon: wherein time stops for an unmeasureable instant before catching up. the indication being, as in her book, “the waves” that time is not what we perceive it to be and that , indeed, reality is different than we think. in some way…
Yes, Woolf is on to something, I think, about the persistence or stability of the identity of things through time. Beckett consistent in finding ordinary-thing language deficient in expressing what happens to the identity of things over time.