Central to Samuel Beckett's literature is a wilful voice which insists on speaking and being heard. Beckett described it as "a truly exterior voice", and in the plays he separates voice from the body and turns it into an audible character. Previous critical studies have explored the enigma of this voice, its identity, source and location, but little attention has been given to the voice as protagonist. This volume traces the genesis of the performative voice in the early prose and charts its trajectory throughout the dramatic oeuvre in a readable narrative which generates fresh insights into some of Beckett's most remarkable and impenetrable plays. It examines the use of embodied and acousmatic - `out of body' - voices in the different media of theatre, radio and television; the treatment of voice in relation to music, image and movement; and the `shifting threshold' between the written and spoken word. The analysis comprises a detailed study of dramatic speech and technical aspects of sound reproduction, making it relevant for all scholars and students with an interest in textual and performance issues in Beckett's drama.
Acknowledgements Abbreviations Introduction I. A Voice Within and Beyond the Twentieth Century II. Genesis of the Performative Voice III. Re-enacting Voices from the Past Rewinding Memories: Krapp's Last Tape Talking Ghosts: Embers The Voice Closes In: Eh Joe IV. Voice as Protagonist Voice and Music: Cascando Voice and Image: Not I Voice and Movement: Ghost Trio V. Voice from Page to Stage Script or Text? A Piece of Monologue Voice and Performative Text: Ohio Impromptu Transformation of Voice: Company Conclusion Bibliography Chronology Index