Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Not I

Manuscripts | Publications | Productions | Reviews

 

Edith Oliver, reviewing the premiere New York production of Not I in the New Yorker (2 December 1972), described it as “an aural mosaic of words, which come pell-mell but not always helter-skelter, and that once it is over, a life, emotions, and a state of mind have been made manifest, with a literally stunning impact upon the audience.” Benedict Nightingale in the New Statesman (26 January 1973) asserted that “All Beckett’s plays may be seen as threnodies to wasted lives; but ‘Not I’ is more concrete in its characterization than most, and as starkly visual as any in its evocation of the all-but-invisible piece of human driftwood whose monologue it is.” He concludes that the play provokes, more than any other emotion, compassion, “and more powerfully than anything I’ve yet seen by Beckett.”