"Vi är trollkarlar" : den konstnärliga kampen i Samuel Becketts I väntan på Godot
When the Irish writer Samuel Beckett (1906-1989) wrote Waiting for Godot in 1948-1949 he was in a state of artistic depression and confusion. He had already turned to French instead of English and with a manuscript for the stage he made an effort to get away from what he called ”the awful prose” he was working on at that time. Waiting for Godot had its first opening night in Paris in 1953, and during the years since then many different interpretations have been made of this challenging work of art. In this essay, with the meta textual elements in Waiting for Godot as a foundation, I’m reading the drama as a writer’s struggle with his material – not strictly biographical, but with Beckett as an artistic example. Vladimir and Estragon, as well as Pozzo and Lucky, then become personalizations of the voices in the mind of the author, where intellect/reason/analysis on one hand and intuition/feeling/fantasy on the other are working side by side, or as a pair of opposites, to try to get along through conflict and cooperation; conferring, clashing, and complementing one another. Godot will then function as the mystical and driving force, the necessary lack of purpose or fundamental meaning that keeps the artist in touch with art. In this aspect Godot has not to come; his absence is an absolute condition to get the play going, to keep the writer writing, to make all artists continue their lonely, tiresome, difficult work. Waiting for Godot tells us something about the struggle every writer has to face when writing a play, or a novel, or a poem, where he, or she, has to speak with and listen to the inner voices of intuition and intellect and try to get by in spite of the overall sense of hopelessness of it all. Art is at the same time without meaning and of infinite value and I believe that this paradox is alive and working in Waiting for Godot.
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