Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

email signup Blog Video Facebook Twitter Instagram
Play and Film

Publications | Reviews

1 | 2 | 3


figure 5

“Comédie. Un Acte de Samuel Beckett” in Les Lettres Nouvelles, 12e année, Nouvelle Série, June-July-August 1964.

This is the first printing of Beckett’s translation into French of his one-act drama Play.


figure 6

First collected edition of Comédie. Pièce en un acte, in Comédie et actes divers (Paris: Les Editions de Minuit, 1966). One of 87 numbered copies on pur fil Lafuma. Inscribed by Beckett to John Kobler, April 1966.

This edition contains, in addition to Beckett’s Comédie, the “dramaticule” Va et vient, the radio plays Cascando and Paroles et musique, the television play Dis Joe, and the mime Acte sans paroles II.


figure 7

“An Untitled Film Script (‘Film’)” in Project I. Three Original Motion Picture Scripts by Beckett, Eugène Ionesco, and Harold Pinter (New York: Evergreen Theatre, 1964?).

This is a mimeographed scenario of “Film,” signed by Beckett with a few manuscript corrections. Four photocopied pages of “Further notes to Beckett film” are laid in. Also included in the collection are scripts by Eugène Ionesco and Harold Pinter.

Running twenty-two minutes, “Film” is Beckett’s cinematic interpretation of Bishop Berkeley’s “Esse est percipi”—to be is to be perceived: mind at the center of the universe. Directed by Alan Schneider and starring Buster Keaton, the film—silent, except for a “shh” in the first part, and in black and white—explores “the inescapability of self-perception.” Although philosophical in its outlook, the film’s “climate,” Beckett indicated in his script, was to be “comic and unreal.” The film never prospered commercially but it won a number of awards: in Venice, New York, and London film festivals (1965) and Oberhausen, Tours, Sydney, and Krakow (1966).

1 | 2 | 3 | next