~ Cătălin Ghiţă - Zen Intuitions in the Work of William Blake
~ Chris Tanasescu - Phoenix Live in Bucharest, June 1990
~ Chris Tanasescu - If You Are a Romanian, Look Out for Cash Registers
~ Chris Tanasescu - Heading for Robert Plant's Concert in Thessaloniki
~ Axel H. Lenn - Critical Low
~ Camil Camil - Outset of a Double Deck
~ Camil Camil - The Powder of Theater
~ Camil Camil - Virtually Nothing
~ Ormeny Francisc - God of Emptiness [II]
# other texts in English can be found in section "Experiment"

Zen Intuitions in the Work of William Blake
[Fragment from Revealer of the Fourfold Secret: William Blake's Theory and Practice of Vision, Casa Cărţii de Stiinţă, 2008]

by Cătălin Ghiţă

Blake's Zen is still a matter of critical dispute. My purpose here is not to cut the Gordian knot, a feat altogether impossible, but to shed some light on a number of controversial issues linked to the theme.

The only study devoted explicitly to the problematic of Zen (Ch'an) Buddhism and the poetry of Blake pertains to Mark S. Ferrara. Its author focuses on the significance of the four Zoas, particularly on the function of Urizen (whom he interprets as the embodiment of the human intellect, that bars man's access to the Divine Vision). He then centres his discourse on the semantics of the Divine Vision, which also entails the restoration of the Zoa Urthona. Ferrara implies that the recipient of this vision is enabled to perceive reality per se, as 'a fundamental unity in multiplicity' (65). The scholar ventures to equate the Sanskrit concept of Prajna, denoting the supreme means of attaining nirvana, the dynamic wisdom of discriminatory realization, with Blake's Divine Vision, and provides the following conclusive explanation: 'Once external objects are viewed as manifestations of one's own mind, a profound identification can take place which unifies the once bifurcated experience that interprets only in terms of subject and object. Blake and Ch'an both realize this profound identification as the necessary ground of human experience' (69). Although I basically agree with Ferrara, I do not share his method of investigation, which does not benefit from a sufficiently strong conceptual framework, therein lingering no more than a shade of Jungian psychology.

One of the most respected students of Buddhism and the foremost disseminator of Zen ideas in the West, D. T. Suzuki, admits that 'Zen is the most irrational, inconceivable thing in the world' (13). Whilst it defies logic, '[i]t must be directly and personally experienced by each of us in his inner spirit' (13). This is why all commonsensical definition must be readily dispensed, in order that we may intuit reality in an unmediated manner. Naturally, all these considerations seem to point to the fact that, given its unnamable nature, Zen eludes definition and extrapolation. Zen is the way of life itself: being one with the surrounding reality, immersed in it, in a perfect stance of harmony. It teaches us that life is not about money, competition or vain rational feasts, that human happiness is not to be discovered inside books. Instead, the ultimate goal is the realization of one's true nature, this bringing about liberation and spiritual fulfilment. Even apparent contrarieties vanish instantly once the mind of the seeker has been purified. Suzuki writes: 'One may ask, Why these contradictions? The answer is, They are so because of tathata.[i] They are just so because they are so, and for no other reason. Hence, no logic, no analysis, and no contradictions' (268-69). That is why, when experiencing satori, the mind resolves to accommodate logical contradictions: all the opposites and contradictions inherent in nature are, according to Suzuki, 'united and harmonized into a consistent organic whole' (84).

Intuiting this Zen manner of articulating reality and its ontological components, Blake too writes, in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, that 'Without Contraries is no progression' (E 34), and that 'Opposition is true Friendship' (E 42). The outcome of these overtly paradoxical statements is that polarities are inherent in a state of harmony, and that, indeed, the existence of the latter is inconceivable in the absence of the former. Until the poetic mind has shuffled off the outer layers of binary logic, it cannot gain insight into the intimate strata of realia.

One brief note about the relationship which may be established between the microcosm and the macrocosm is not without relevance here. A Zen master asserts that '[u]nless you have been thoroughly drenched in a perspiration you cannot expect to see the revelation of a palace of pearls on a blade of grass' (apud Suzuki 139). Again, Tai-hui says that, when experiencing the pinnacle point of the enlightening process, 'you will see the spiritual land of the Enlightened One fully revealed at the point of a single hair, and the great wheel of the Dharma revolving in a single grain of dust' (apud Suzuki 144).

These sentences reverberate (naturally, independent of the auctorial will) in the opening quatrain of the Auguries of Innocence, which shows that reality is defined through consonance and ontological symmetry. Once the doors of perception have been cleansed, the self can have the fully fledged experience of realia, free from the distortions incurred by the vegetative eye:

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour (E 493).

The experience of the union between the microcosm and the macrocosm constitutes the supreme mystical moment. When describing the features underlying this moment in Zen or satori (what one may roughly call 'enlightenment'), Suzuki employs no less than eight different concepts: (1) irrationality, (2) intuitive insight, (3) authoritativeness, (4) affirmation, (5) sense of the beyond, (6) impersonal tone, (7) feeling of exaltation, and (8) momentariness.[ii] These characteristics are also valid in the case of Blake's fourfold vision. Thus, irrationality in satori and in fourfold vision points to the moment's non-coherent and non-logical determinations (one should remember Blake's often self-contradictory statements). The intuitive insight refers to the experiential dimension of the supreme moment, in the sense that the self 'sees' whatever it is that needs to be perceived (I need not stress here the importance of numerous visionary accounts in Blake's case). Suzuki does not forget to add that 'this seeing is of quite a different quality from what is ordinarily designated as knowledge (104). Authoritativeness underlies the definitive response brought forth during the mystical experience (let us remember that this is also one of the central features of the Blakean creative self). Affirmation constitutes an essentially pantheistic view, according to which the ontological components of realia are allowed to function without interference. The concept may be loosely translated as the mind's unconditional acceptance of the world. It is also Blake's firm belief, as expressed at the end of The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, that 'every thing that lives is Holy' (E 45). The sense of the beyond is the natural outcome of both satori and fourfold vision, in that they both lead to the absolute truth (in Blake, this is embodied by Christ, the epitome of the human-divine essence). The impersonal tone raises claims to a universal, sapiential poetic message, wherein ideas are rendered without a complicated metaphorical layer. Copious examples of this may be found in Blake's letters, especially in those in which he describes first-hand visionary experiences by employing an everyday descriptive language, devoid of the quasi-incantatory formulae of his artistically-designed prophetic utterances. The feeling of exaltation arises when consciousness is free to flow without spatial or temporal impediments In Blake, this is attained in Eternity, and the subtext of many of his poems or letters evinces this trait. Finally, momentariness evokes the suddenness of the intense visionary experience: it comes and goes randomly, in the absence of expectation (whenever there seems to be a pattern of control, the illusion soon dissipates). One should pay due attention to the radiography of the visionary moment of inspiration in Blake's Milton (E 127).

Things, however, do not stop here. Suzuki further speaks of two methods which the controversial Zen master carefully employs in order to cleanse the mind of his devotee, thereby enabling the latter to experience the truth of spiritual revelation. The first method is verbal, whereas the second is direct (expressed via the medium of concrete gestures). Since the object of these lines is a literary exegesis, I shall only concern myself with the former. More accurately, the verbal method comprises six different ways of expressing itself: (1) paradox, (2) going beyond the opposites, (3) contradiction, (4) affirmation, (5) repetition, and (6) exclamation.[iii] It is well known that Blake resorts to paradox whenever he elects to mock the decayed function of rhetoric. This paves the way for the second step, i.e. overcoming the opposites. Blake's dialectic posits a supreme synthesis, which is to be achieved by recognizing the simultaneous validity of two facts, propositions, states of affairs.[iv] In turn, this opens the perspective of contradiction (just like many Zen masters, Blake seems inconsistent with himself, taking pains to deny whatever he has just asserted). But, if one is careful not to take these facts au pied de la lettre, one grows to realize that life itself seems contradictory because the human intellect strives to understand it by sorting out and classifying its components, instead of grasping its essence in an intuitive manner, through contemplation. Affirmation is the natural consequence of the former step, since life must not be denied or contorted so that it may fit a hypothetical pattern, an ontological blueprint, but left to follow its due course, without any interference. It is at this level that the self understands the visionary validity of everything that lives, and this fact stems from spiritual liberation.[v] The self cannot repress this exulting feeling, and needs to project it in exterior by means of repetition. In Blake, this occurs, for instance, in Milton, when the Bard repeats several times that his words are of our salvation.[vi] One should also bear in mind that the verbal expression of this state may also be an exclamation, albeit, in Blake's case, exclamatory sentences are much more 'meaningful' than the Zen masters'.[vii]

Quite naturally, the reader may discover several other spiritual connections between the Zen masters' ideas and the English artist's poetic views, out of which an entire book may eventually grow.[viii] Still, Zen is not the only element which Blake may share with the Eastern world. The bestial metaphors the former uses in his Prophetic Books point to another fertile area of exegesis.


[i] The concept of tathata is defined by Suzuki as 'the viewing of things as they are: it is an affirmation through and through' (263).

[ii] For a cogent presentation of these chief features, see Suzuki 103-08.

[iii] For a complete demonstration, see Suzuki 115-29.

[iv] Consider Blake's numerous aphorisms in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, E 33-45.

[v] See the last sentence of the Chorus in A Song of Liberty, the concluding fragment of The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, E 45.

[vi] See the relevant line in Milton, E 96 et passim.

[vii] See, for example, the series of pathos-driven exclamations and supplications in Jerusalem, E 147.

[viii] For instance, one may wish to pursue the intricate but rewarding hermeneutics of Zen poetics, taking as a starting point Muneyoshi Yanagi's interpretation of Blake's poetry. In this sense, a useful tool may be found in three separate studies published respectively by Kazuyoshi Oishi, by Ayako Wada, and by Shunsuke Tsurumi. Oishi emphasizes that 'Yanagi was attracted by Blake all the more because his religious and philosophical system seemed to outstrip logical argument...' (186). Let me also point out that Yanagi was the disciple of Suzuki.

Works cited:

Blake, William. The Complete Poetry and Prose of William Blake, 1965. Ed. David V. Erdman. Commentary Harold Bloom. Newly revised ed. Garden City, NY: Anchor/Doubleday, 1982.
Clark, Steve and Masashi Suzuki (eds.) The Reception of Blake in the Orient, London: Continuum, 2006.
Ferrara, Mark S. Ch'an Buddhism and the Prophetic Poems of William Blake, Journal of Chinese Philosophy 24, 1997. 59-73.
Journal of Chinese Philosophy 24, 1997.
Oishi, Kazuyoshi, An Ideological Map of (Mis)reading: William Blake and Yanagi Muneyoshi in early-twentieth-century Japan, The Reception of Blake in the Orient. Ed. Steve Clark and Masashi Suzuki. London: Continuum, 2006. 182-94
Suzuki, D. T. Zen Buddhism: Selected Writings of D. T. Suzuki. 1956, Ed. William Barrett. New York, London, Toronto, Sydney, and Auckland: Doubleday, 1996.

Phoenix Live in Bucharest, June 1990

by Chris Tanasescu

I went to their first concert after the revolution,
everybody went crazy - we all knew by heart
the esoterical words of Foarþã's lyrics and
to me Covaci was a sort of Ovid returned
from a long political exile - too bad I said
to myself he's given up his fabulous solos,
still, that ex-Jethro Tull violin guy made
up for it with genuine shtick; akimbo
stood in reverie Pittiº, the rock critic and actor

just 17 years / before his untimely / death
what a show / to watch him watch / a shaggy pillar / in the crowd

Around us the police unbelievably shy
after the carnage only a few months before -
a beer now to kill them - they even shook
their heads to the beat trying to look popular;
I nodded too, while their victims were rotting in those cellars.

[Locust Trees Live] ©2007 Grigore Negrescu

# Romanian version

If You Are a Romanian, Look Out for Cash Registers

by Chris Tanasescu

And when you check out prices just make sure
they're quoted in the new currency - the RON -
'cause otherwise you may suddenly fall for some beer
that actually costs ten times more; loans
are so difficult to get - the banks on the other
hand really suck - clerks? All jerks, old Commies
now turned stingy capitalists. Your mother's
pension won't buy her more than just some
of her bills:

all money / are sacred - / this country / is barren / because all / the coins have / been planted / on eyelids / of dead men

They said it on TV - women don't die here,
not until their husbands pass away,
and that's how no man sees them die, and who cares?
Nobody will pay you to give her a lethal sway
(slang for orgasm). There will be something for free -
trying new shoes you'll never buy - they fray.

# Romanian version

Heading for Robert Plant's Concert in Thessaloniki, June 2007

by Chris Tanasescu

We set out before dawn
so we saw the sunrise while speeding
across Bulgaria - the daylight disclosed
a scenery of rock, gold and jade -
seas of corn under grovy peaks.
she in charge of driving me
in charge of beer cans - cold
hand on her knee; we

get lost / map useless / can't read / Cyrillic signs
no town / in sight / heavy sleepy / headache

We pass by a cowherd with no herdsman -
no "tend my flock."
A heifer suddenly bursts across
the road; she pounds on breaks, we slightly
slur its hooves: curt bellows,
but runs. Plant would later scream in the same voice.

# Romanian version

Critical Low

by Axel H. Lenn

Have you ever felt like going away? Maybe like taking a hike? Leaving your old life behind and starting all over again? Have you ever felt misunderstood, exasperated or simply too bored to cope with anything anymore? Perchance unable to get through to your partner? Have you ever been desperate in a relationship, as in not knowing which corner to turn your head to? Have you ever dared escape routine? But most of all, ever been in love? I'm not really talking about the passionate or lusty kind of love, I mean the cozy, familiar, binding, amorphous, comfortably numb Chekhovian kind of love. Have you ever been home and away, then back home, and later out into the great unknown? Have you ever lost yourself beyond anything words could account for? Think of Hamlet to get an idea. Have you ever faced yourself nude, empty, childishly selfless in someone's eyes? Have you ever felt like a dog waiting outside in the cold rain for the door to open? Have you ever been abandoned, dumped, perhaps pushed aside? Well, there's definitely one 'yes' at least on your checklist, and for that I have yet another question: how did you deal with it? Think about that, try to recall. Try harder. Ooh, much harder, you can do it. Funny, right? You don't deal with this sort of things, because they can't be dealt with, they simply happen sooner or later in your life and are generally referred to as critical lows. Marc Dore's Je m'en vais revolves around this specific topic. The first time I saw this play, though pretty low with a feverish condition, I was stunned; the second time I was utterly lost for words once I realized the show was something incredibly different from what I had seen years earlier.

Two rather colourful characters, Toutouka (Oana Pellea) and Solido (Mihai Gruia Sandu), apparently opposite, take the black box-shaped stage in a rather clownishly silly manner and gradually unfold their lives, their souls, their contradictory emotions right before the spectators' eyes; to this day, I'm not really sure if the actors move towards and conquer the audience, or the audience is drawn towards the stage. It might well be both. Toutouka and Solido actually reconstruct a mirror previously broken into thousands of pieces and adjust it to the audience, the many souls watching the stage, in an attempted reflection. Once reflected in the act, you stick to it, that's how addictively magic it is. You see yourself in lovely, caring, hopeful Toutouka, at times you find you're more like topsy-turvy, grumbling Solido. In the end, you realize that these two characters are very much alike and not too different from yourself, namely people fighting to deal with their critical lows, struggling to discover and accept themselves. You get shivers down the spine, cry then laugh your tears away together with this memorable couple - synchronized reactions, mimic chemistry in an overall absurd emotional bolero down one of life's major pitfalls, with the sort of powerful impact another memorable couple, Minnelli and Grey, managed to create in a fabulous Cabaret scene. Or like yet another famous couple, Owen and Bluteau, in an equally intense performance in Bent.
Take a minute, google search this play, buy a ticket and enjoy the show. You will definitely walk out a different person.

Je m'en vais / Mã tot duc, Teatrul Foarte Mic
Director: Marc Dore
Cast: Oana Pellea, Mihai Gruia Sandu
Running time: 90 min.

Outset of a Double Deck

by Camil Camil

“Are you fine, Jim?”
“Yes, I'm a perfect
craziness leaflet.”

In that cell is Jim with a doubtful look
Spreading his thoughts on the walls Watch out
for their excremental punishment

Girls knew him, bloody poet!
..his momentary tears flowing like sperm in a narrow annoying toilet

Geeks taught him how to do it
Indeed he was a dull  
They taught him the withdrawal of neurons,
how to forget that he's so null.     

Mysterious, unknown - a scientific book
with Oedip King and his neverlasting shout
Jim's brain created a psychological enhancement

and also a little bit
of confusion as a consequence of martyrdoms   

Dazed had been J
and I

“Are you ok, J?”
“Yes, I'M
a perfect corpse.

The Powder of Theater

by Camil Camil

Di-stylish I cover my nostrils
with a white tragic sense of humour
and start moving towards the pencils

She walked
in a coat
outside the scenery clapping
like a remote
common gentlemen

When Satyris whispered a sick joke  
screen blackened
and dark empty gloves filled my sheet

Have I overslept in her soul
and realized
there's no cure, no assumption
for the existence of magic thoughts?

Second night - no imaginable blanket between her legs
no green metaphors of weed.
Couldn't she find her own genital map?

Third night - we discovered a red-sprayed Earth
and leprosy destroyed our memory
“Don't giggle!”
she said
“You're a cerebral point of a cerebral fog
that penetrates my genital map”

Fourth night - she ate my moustache;
I asked for it back
the girl threw the baby
I put the next track
we sat on the sofa
invented a rack
we don't remember
the last paragraph.

Virtually Nothing

by Camil Camil

Including a phobia
she's a bag.

Dare she not swear me faith!
Dare she not love her mother!

Dare she not faint,
her mother would
would be pregnant with a piece of black-white painted wood,
but she won't be enough

I am pregnant!
(with rhythm/ rhyme/ Pope/ rope)
I rejected her content!
Her full-of-cottoned-tenderness touch!

Still I don't neglect
Her contribution to abortion/ liver tales/ knowledge,
to the sigh of a presidential bush

Do you want me to neglect
the self-esteem
of Pandora's bag?

God of Emptiness [II]

by Ormeny Francisc

# part I can be read in EgoPHobia #17


The four archetypal personalities or the four aspects of the soul are grouped in two pairs: the ego and the shadow, the persona and the soul’s image (animus or anima). The shadow is the container of all our despised emotions repressed by the ego. Lucky, the shadow serves as the polar opposite of the egocentric Pozzo, prototype of prosperous mediocrity, who incessantly controls and persecutes his subordinate, thus symbolizing the oppression of the unconscious shadow by the despotic ego. Lucky’s monologue in Act I appears as a manifestation of a stream of repressed unconsciousness, as he is allowed to "think" for his master.”[1]



Rig Veda and the Romanian poet Mihai Eminescu also speak on this subject: “cãci e vis al nefiinþei universul cel himeric.” (as it is a dream of the non-existence itself, this chimaeric universe”) - Scrisoarea I

Beckett’s  variants are:

- „We wait. We are bored. (He throws up his hand.) No, don't protest, we are bored to death, there's no denying it. Good. A diversion comes along and what do we do? We let it go to waste.  In an instant all will vanish and we'll be alone once more, in the midst of nothingness!”

-“They give birth astride of a grave, the light gleams an instant, then it’s night once more.”


“The butterfly effect is a phrase that encapsulates the more technical notion of sensitive dependence on initial conditions in chaos theory. Small variations of the initial condition of a nonlinear dynamical system may produce large variations in the long term behavior of the system. So this is sometimes presented as esoteric behavior, but can be exhibited by very simple systems: for example, a ball placed at the crest of a hill might roll into any of several valleys depending on slight differences in initial position. The phrase refers to the idea that a butterfly's wings might create tiny changes in the atmosphere that ultimately cause a tornado to appear (or prevent a tornado from appearing). The flapping wing represents a small change in the initial condition of the system, which causes a chain of events leading to large-scale phenomena. Had the butterfly not flapped its wings, the trajectory of the system might have been vastly different. Recurrence, the approximate return of a system towards its initial conditions, together with sensitive dependence on initial conditions are the two main ingredients for chaotic motion. They have the practical consequence of making complex systems, such as the weather, difficult to predict past a certain time range (approximately a week in the case of weather). Sensitive dependence on initial conditions was first described in the literature by Jacques Hadamard in 1890 and popularized by Pierre Duhem's 1906 book.”[2]

Beckett’s variant is:

“The tears of the world are a constant quantity. For each one who begins to weep, somewhere else another stops. The same is true of the laugh. (He laughs.) Let us not then speak ill of our generation, it is not any unhappier than its predecessors. (Pause.) Let us not speak well of it either. (Pause.) Let us not speak of it at all.”


To my ears, Beckett’s variant of the “once in a life time opportunity” resembles the theories that describe the universe as a piece of paper (that is perfectly plain). Such theories continue to explain how, at times, this paper gets curved/bends itself to the point where its opposite margins touch. In the case of the universe that is the very (quite short)moment when the so-called “worm-holes” appear: that is an unexpected narrow and tight tunnel that allows travelers to get from one pole of the universe to the opposite one in the shortest possible time-span. In normal conditions, when the universe is like a plain peace of paper and not like a curved peace of paper, to travel such a distance could take hundreds of years…

Beckett’s variant is:

“Let us not waste our time in idle discourse! (Pause. Vehemently.) Let us do something while we have the chance! It is not every day that we are needed. Not indeed that we personally are needed. Others would meet the case equally well, if not better. To all mankind they were addressed, those cries for help still ringing in our ears! But at this place, at this moment of time, all mankind is us, whether we like it or not. Let us make the most of it, before it is too late! Let us represent worthily for once the foul brood to which a cruel fate consigned us!”


Beckett in this play is a total dualist in the sense that there are two acts and that the characters appear in pairs, each pair being a reunion of tho opposite personalities:

-two men with complementary personalities (for example one constantly forgets and the other constantly tries to keep him up to date)

-two other men (a master and his slave) but somehow also in a position of complementarity

-two boys, the messengers, one deals with sheep (Christians), the other with goats (Satanists). Being herds, they probably stand for two priests, the Romania word for minister or vicar being more explicit than its English variants: “pastor”

-one big ugly missing character (Godot), the so-called breaker of pairs and unities. But, considering his two messengers one could conclude about his dual personality (Godot=God+Satan).Yet he reprersents a unity (unlike the others), a complex pair within one single being, not a collection of disparate antagonistic elements.


  The fact that this marvel (l)ous unity never appears in the play is another proof of Beckett’s irony and cynicism…maybe a hint that such a thing does not exist.

Godot’s so-called dual nature can be read as an open mockery and sardonic discrediting of the Yin and Yang hysteria.[3] The so-called combination of the big twos materialized in an unity of perception is, as Beckett seems to suggest, the biggest farce of all times, the evil conspirational veil of darkness that  has blinded us and has kept us away from seeing the truth. If you want to see the real value of something, you have to analyse its component parts separately, not within the mixture, where they become deceptive.

In order to improve yourself you have to find out what true Evil means as well as what true Goodness stands for. You have to embrace the extremes in order to exist truthfully.

To take the middle approach (in life, in politics, and in whatever other branch) does not mean to be a moderate (rational and well-balanced) person, but to be a slave of mediocrity, one who has chosen non-existence (or a simulacra of existence) instead of existence itself. So, the principle of Yin and Yang looks beautiful on paper, but in real life it appears as a double-edged knife and a dangerous philosophy.

IN THIS CONTEXT Beckett appears as an atomist.[4]


Lucky describes God as having a white beard and Godot appears also to have a white beard, so…

  Godot seems to stand for both God and Satan as his first messenger is a shepherd and the second boy is a goatherd. The sheep is the animal of Christianity, the goat is the symbol of Satanism. But the fact that the first boy is a shepherd while the second one is a goatherd may also suggest a transition of Godot from God to Satan…the epiphanic moment of utter self-discovery when the mask of hollyness falls from one’s face and the real face finally appears, those strangely familiar eyes that were staring at you from behind the mask all the times when you were looking at yourself in the mirror- THE FACE OF THE DEVIL.

 In French Godot appears with diminutive values, thus, his pet-like name suggesting something of the kind “the little God”, namely the God of the ordinary people, Nietzsche’s mob, the God that the common people (Denzin’s “silent majorities”) look forward to meet.

Godot may also be an anagram from Nietzsche’s “Gott ist tot” (“God is Dead”)

Following this thread we could say:

-Godot’s failure to appear is an open mockery at Christ’s second-coming that is much debated but ut actually never happens

-the play is a piss at the face of all those who expect salvation from outside rather than searching for hidden powers within themselves; on the face of all those who deny introspection and prefer to lament rather than a “do-it-yourself” pragmatic philosophy.

[Intelectual Desire] ©2008 Ormeny Francisc

Woody Harrelson’s character in Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers says that the moment when you realize who you really are, what you capable of as well as your limits, “the moment of realization worths as much as a 1000 prayers.”

God appears as a lying divinity with a cohort of false prophets. God, as a coward, sends deceptive messengers (angels, priests-herds) instead of coming himself to speak for himself. Only a weak divinity needs advocates and cannot represent himself…as, most probably, his case is too “thin”.

Al Pacino’s character in “The Devil’s Advocate” (1997) releases an “excellent pleading” on God’s case: ”Let me give you a little inside information about God. God likes to watch. He's a prankster. Think about it. He gives man instincts. He gives you this extraordinary gift, and then what does He do, I swear for His own amusement, his own private, cosmic gag reel, He sets the rules in opposition. It's the goof of all time. Look but don't touch. Touch, but don't taste. Taste, don't swallow. Ahaha. And while you're jumpin' from one foot to the next, what is he doing? He's laughin' His sick, fuckin' ass off! He's a tight-ass! He's a SADIST! He's an absentee landlord! Worship that? NEVER!”[5]

When the second boy comes and delays again Godot’s apparition (The goatherd, maybe Devil’s sardonic messenger sent there to open Vladimir’s mind eye to his real condition, namely that he is abandoned and damned- in the Bible, goats represent the damned while sheep represent those who have been saved )…that is the moment when Vladimir realizes that Godot is nothing of importance, that Godot is not a man of his word, that Godot does not care about humans.


When it comes to help Pozzo or not, Hamlet’s question for Vladimir is to behave like Godot or not. To be an ignorant liar and not to care or to volunteer. Cynically, he chooses to help him but in a Godot-like way (with the sole difference that Estragon and Vladimir actually do help Pozzo unlike Godot and his lying messengers who help nobody): he agrees to help him in exchange for money or other services (just like our priests do today-asking rewards for their purely fictitious work of charity).

With Estragon’s retro-prophetic words- “Blathering about nothing in particular... that's been going on now for half a century” Beckett clearly takes his piss at Christianity.

His obvious Marxist approaches within the play could lead to the conclusion that he’s an Atheist (Marx dismissed God as a hoax and called religion “the opium of people”).

But Beckett never saw himself as an atheist.

“Beckett always possessed a Bible, at the end more than one edition, and Bible concordances were always among the reference books on his shelves.”[6]

Christianity is a mythology with which I am perfectly familiar so I naturally use it” said Beckett, only that he didn’t mentioned that he uses it in a cynical, sardonic and sarcastic way. Asked as to whether he was a Christian, Jew or Atheist, Beckett replied: “None of the three.” The issue at stakein here is the following: in what concerns religious matters, Beckett was doomed to live in a “no man’s land.” He couldn’t declare himself a Satanist (because, as such he would have erased from all literary circles in a snapshot), he wouldn’t declare himself an Atheist (as he despised Christianity so much that he didn’t want to be labeled with an ideological trend derived from Christianity and, after all, an gonorrhoeic dejection of Christianity…he probably wanted a brand-new label for himself totally disinfested of Christian ideological worms) and he must have been careful not to declare himself a Heathen ( since he fought in the French Resistance and the Nazi Germany was a highly Pagan oriented society…but he surely shared with them the hate and contempt toward Christians).

William James makes a clear distinction in his essays between religion and religiousness. Religion is a cheap pattern for helping the masses to get integratedand achieve coherence and cohesion…to tame them; while religiousness is the blessed feeling of having something sacred in your life, something to sincerely believe in (whatever it is), something to fight for, an inner engine and diamond that resurrects your youthfulness no matter how down below life could bring you. That is precisely why Hemingway said "Man can be destroyed but not defeated.”

Considering the religious vacuum (“no man’s land”) in which Beckett lived because of social (an Irish exiled who wrote in French and lived in Paris…just like Kafka, a Jewish exiled who wrote in German and lived in Prague) and historical circumstances (after the World War II), one may really wonder how he managed to save his soul by means of religiousness. Like any impious, he managed to save himself to the exact extent to which he managed to disinfest the concept of religiousness from its dogmatic aspects which got there because of the closely connected area of meaning (semantic curse) that the two words share (religion and religiousness).

He was never ashamed to openly talk about his disgust and distrust toward Christianity : “I have no religious feeling. Once I had a religious emotion. It was at my first Communion. No more … My brother and mother got no value from their religion when they died. At the moment of crisis it has no more depth than an old school tie.[7]

Mary Bryden observed that “the hypothesized God who emerges from Beckett's texts is one who is both cursed for his perverse absence and cursed for his surveillant presence. He is by turns dismissed, satirised, or ignored, but he, and his tortured son, are never definitively discarded.”[8]

Bryden’s idea is clearly Nitzschean: in “Also sprach Zarathustra” Nietzsche says that the ugliest man on the face of the earth killed God as he could no longer withstand that mammoth eye ever-present above him watching each and every of his moves…so he had to prick it…to prick this mammoth evil tumour/watery humour which hangs down menacingly above us all.

There are other religious/biblical/scriptural references in the play:

The solitary tree surely stands for the cross on which the two are to be crucified (executed by hanging):

[Rotten Skies] ©2008 Ormeny Francisc

“Nor even that a Spirit called Holy, led your forefathers into

promised lands, which I do not praise: for where the worst of all

trees grew- the cross,- in that land there is nothing to praise!-

  -And verily, wherever this "Holy Spirit" led its knights, always

in such campaigns did- goats and geese, and wry-heads and guy-heads

run foremost!-“ (Nietzsche’s “Thus Spoke Zarathustra”)

   There are nevertheless uninspired lunatics who came with a pro-God interpretation of Godot. And, believe it or not, they saw Godot embodied in Lucky and advanced the subsequent idea that God is a slave to humanities needs:

“I felt that Lucky was Godot. He was a slave, and in a way made it look like God was a slave to humanities needs.

That was what I thought Beckett was trying to get at as he wrote this play: God is a slave to humanities needs.

What a horrible thought, but suddenly it hit me that a lot of the world views it like that. They try to bend religion to make it suit them.

I see people all around me saying: to err is human, so i can screw up and be a Christian because I can get forgiveness. I also see people editing and taking God's word out of context so it fits their ways saying: oh, this isn't literal, this is out of context, etc...

How do I know this?

1.) Same sex marriage is allowed in the church.

2.) Divorce rates in the church are higher than outside of the church.

3.) People feel that the church has become a gossip vine.The church needs to die to itself in order for God's presence to truly work in it.

We as the church should be on the side of the road humbling ourselves waiting for God to come and fix us.”[9]

Man is a natural born slave (the way Nietzsche puts it in his Zarathustra) rather than a natural born killer (the way Oliver Stone puts it in his movie)…and that is why he needs religion so badly. Religion it has always been something invented by the weak ones for the weak ones.

Still Matthew Champ makes a very good point in his above quoted review when he says that people are waiting for Godot to fix them.

Many of us are but broken robots. At this point, my interpretation is as follows:

Estragon and Vladimir are two zombies, two brainwashed robots/cyborgs who had gone now, because of age, into disfunctionality. As robots and slaves of their own incapacities, they look for a MASTER-MECHANIC, and that is why they court Pozzo, they subtly ask him to be their master. But Pozzo will not become their master as he already has his personal slave/robot (Lucky).So, what is the behaviour of a rejected/declined slave? Aggression of course! Because Pozzo is not interested in them, they savagely beat him!!! That’s the true reason behind their unexpected wave of violence (the scene whre they beat the already fallen to the ground and blind Pozzo)


In this context, the apparition long-awaited by the two old tramps is that of a BIG GOD-MECHANIC (Godot), because they need to be fixed, repaired and, above all RE-PAIRED.

I SAY THIS BECAUSE THEY SEEM AN OLD MARRIED COUPLE WITH MARITAL/CONJUGAL PROBLEMS WHO NEEDA HIGHER AUTHORITY TO MAKE THEM ONCE AGAIN A HAPPY COUPLE. They very often kiss and embrace, but do it in a way full of innocent love and even chastity…the perfect love…the only problem being that it is a homosexual one. This homosexual old couple needs professional advisory, and, as in their time,  THE PLANNING  wasn’t invented yet, they wait for Godot…  

The play can also be read as a parable for a marital dead-end relationship. An autobiographical hint can also be felt in here, as, during his youth, no one could gain Beckett’s heart, although James Joyce’s daughter was in love with Beckett.

Because of some ambiguous, equivocal, two-edged plays, in the nineteen-fifties, theatre was strictly censored in England. Beckett was astonished since, as a free-thinker, he always considered theatre as a “BASTION OF FREE SPEECH”.

Concerning his play, the Lord Chamberlain insisted that the word “erection” be removed. Also, Lady Dorothy Howitt wrote to the Lord Chamberlain, saying: "One of the many themes running through the play is the desire of two old tramps continually to relieve themselves. Such a dramatisation of lavatory necessities is offensive and against all sense of British decency.”[10] Indeed, two old tramps want to hang themselves to a tree in order to get a proper erection at a fairly old age; one has a smelly mouth and the other has smelly feet, so they are  very unlikely to find a  woman to accept them. So they’ll have to use the tree as Viagra wasn’t on the market at that time, and even if it would have been, they most probably wouldn’t have afforded it. They’ll have to use the tree.

  There is also another interesting episode :Estragon says he’s hungry and Vladimir provides a carrot which he eats most of without much relish: the hint can very well be made at a sexual perversity, namely what is today known as “blowjob”.


“Estragon’s name has another connotation, besides that of the aromatic herb, tarragon: "estragon" is a cognate of oestrogen, the female hormone (Carter, 130). This prompts us to identify him with the anima, the feminine image of Vladimir’s soul. It explains Estragon’s propensity for poetry, his sensitivity and dreams, his irrational moods. Vladimir appears as the complementary masculine principle, or perhaps the rational persona of the contemplative type.”[11]

The twos are never ever referred as “tramps” in the text.

  Roger Blin observes: “Beckett heard their voices, but he couldn’t describe his characters to me. [He said]: ‘The only thing I’m sure of is that they’re wearing bowlers.’”[12]

 “"The bowler hat was of course de rigueur for male persons in many social contexts when Beckett was growing up in Foxrock (when he first came back with his beret … his mother suggested that he was letting the family down by not wearing a bowler), and [his father] commonly wore one."” There are no physical descriptions of either of the two characters however the text indicates that Vladimir is likely the heavier of the pair. They have been together for fifty years but when asked – by Pozzo – they don’t reveal their actual ages.[13]

  “For ability-to-stand is a merit in courtiers; and all courtiers believe that unto blessedness after death pertaineth- permission-to-sit!” (Nietzsche’s “Thus Spoke Zarathustra”)-One should notice that Vladimir stands through most of the play whereas Estragon sits down numerous times and even dozes off. The Nietzschean background in Beckett is more than obvious

“Estragon is inert and Vladimir restless. Vladimir looks at the sky and muses on religious or philosophical matters. Estragon literally "belongs to the stone", preoccupied with mundane things, what he can get to eat and how to ease his physical aches and pains; he is direct, intuitive. “[14]

  It is more than clear that what we have here is a marital relationship between a homosexual couple (they say they’ve been together for fifty years): Estragon isa the nagging and freakish wife while Vladimir is the patient and broad-minded husband.

  Estrtagon is the wife stricken by Romantic melancholy and he yearns after the

coloured maps of the Holy Land and the planned honeymoon by the Dead Sea.

The play is a clear-cut mockery at marital relationships, at their boring and monotonous waisting of time. The two partners have to find each-other’s hindrances and to try to maintain the relationship alive (that is like a brain-dead patient in a coma kept alive by machines) by trying hard to alleviate the other’s handicap: Estragon has a poor short-term memory and suffers from Alzheimer’s desease; Vladimir is a depressive, suicidal maniac.

. “But perhaps Estragon’s forgetfulness is the cement binding their relationship together. He continually forgets, Vladimir continually reminds him; between them they pass the time.”[15] Estragon provides Vladimir with the necessary company for him not to fall into madness induced by loneliness and low spirits (as Vladimir is often in low spirits, despite his will for pragmatism).  They clearly have known better times, a visit to the Eiffel Tower and grape-harvesting by the Rhône; Vladimir seems more aristocratic of the twos, he seemsto be a decayed nobleman as he is still able of being scandalised … on a matter of etiquette when Estragon begs for chicken bones or money.

    “Vladimir's pain is primarily mental anguish, which would thus account for his voluntary exchange of his hat for Lucky's, thus signifying Vladimir's symbolic desire for another person's thoughts.”[16]

The german metal band Oomph! on the album  “GlaubeLiebeTod” (2006) have a vision on religion and marital issues similar to Beckett’s.

The song „Gott ist ein Popstar” asserts that God, like a Pop Star is the product of an advertising them, in God’s case, the advertising-team is the Church which sells posters, banners, badges, amulets and other such “promo-products” with the figure of Christ and Mary.

    ªtefan Bolea (in his article on Oomph!)[17] shows how Christianity, after having been vulgarly defined by Marx as “the opium of people” and in a sophisticated style by Nietzsche as “Platonism for the masses”, is utterly mocked at by the German metal band: „Vater unser im Himmel/ Geheiligt werde die Lüge/.../ Mein Wille geschehe/.../ Drum führe uns jetzt in Versuchung /” („Our Heavenly Father/ Blessed be the lies/My will be done/And lead us into temptation/Now and forever”). According to Bolea’s interpretation of the text, he who does not walk his way, he who does not follow his lures…is bound to die alone. This applies perfectly to Estragon and Vladimir’s dead-end existentialist drama. The author of the article gives an excellent quotation from Blake: „He who desires, but acts not, breeds pestilence” (William Blake). This is one aspect.

   Another aspect that could be applied to Beckett’s play can be drawn from he song„Eine Frau spricht in Schlaf” [A woman speaks in her sleep]: a man hears his wife’s monologue, spoken out loud but unconsciously, during her sleep:” „Warum tötest du mich denn nicht schneller?/.../ Wieviel Jahre willst du mich noch hassen?/.../ Willst du mich nicht weiterleben lassen,/ Weil ich ohne dich nicht leben will?"  („Why don’t you kill me faster?/.../How many years from now on do you plan to keep on hating me?/.../ Don’t you want to let me go on with my life?/ Without you…I don’t want to live”).

“"Going on with one’s life" is a concept under the umbrella of the much wider concept of self-emancipation after the exhaustion of a relationship and the incapacity to fancy life "without partner" is a reference to the [although I would say "preference"instead of "reference"] for the physical space/room created bya\ relationship.” (ªtefan Bolea) When one partner leaves, a void/gap is created in the sanctity of that place/room…a void that projects itself from the physical area into straight into one’s soul creating an existentialist vacuum that swallows/devours one’s being from within. That is exactly why Estragon and Vladimir often want to get separated and follow each-other’s willingly chosen path…but they never really do it, because of this vacuum.The song „Träume sollen wahrheitsliebend sein” („Dreams must be highly truthful), also applies perfectly at the contextof this play, namely a context of “post-thinking” (post-gândire):  „Ihre Fragen standen wie Gespenster/ Die sich vor sich selber fürchten da/ Und die Nacht war schwarz und ohne Fenster/ Und schien nicht zu wissen, was geschah.” („Her questions were like some spectrums/ That frightened themselves/ And the night was pitch-dark and windowless/ She seemed to miss the sense of what was going on”).   One of the boys addresses Vladimir as “Mister Albert”. Estragon when Pozzo questions him he gives his name as “Magrégor, André” and also responds to “Catulle”. “Catulle” became Adam in the American edition. Beckett saying that he was “fed up with Catullus”.  Vivian Mercier said about Beckett:  “It seemed to me … he made Didi and Gogo sound as if they had earned Ph.D.’s. ‘How do you know they hadn’t?’ was his reply.”[18]

Also, Estragon seems to “suffer” from what the specialized modern psychology calls “THE GOD COMPLEX”[19], when seeing himself as an incarnation of Jesus.


“All I knew about Pozzo was in the text, that if I had known more I would have put it in the text, and that was true also of the other characters.” said Beckett.

Pozzo and Lucky are a deformed mirrorized reflection of the other couple. The same kind of dynamics is at work in here only that in manifests itself in a much more extreme/radical and explicit way. The wife (Lucky) is literally enslaved and beaten by the pig-husband (Pozzo).If the other wife (Estragon) was suffering from Alzheimer, this wife (Lucky) suffers from logorrhea combined with the Parkinson’s disease (“it begins with trembling, which gets more and more noticeable, until later the patient can no longer speak without the voice shaking.”)

The fact that Lucky stands there for a woman is evident in the fact that, when asked, Beckett acknowledged that his mother has Parkinso’s, but, clearly uncomfortable with the thought, he quickly moved on to another subject.

Beckett said about Lucky :”I suppose he is lucky to have no more expectations.”

Pozzo is Lucky’s Godot…executioner.

To my mind, the relationship between Lucky and Pozzo is an extreme allegory of two concepts from popular culture:


Pozzo credits Lucky for having given him all the culture, refinement and ability to reason that he posseses. Now he’s in Pozzo’s chains and treated like a beast of burden with the appellative “Come on you [fuckin’] pig!”


Lucky’s deviant and full of logorrhoea monologue is a clear-cut evidence that his reason collapsed. Pozzo is Lucky’s monster resurrected by his fast asleep reason.

“Lucky’s think is a parody of a disquisition.”[20]

Lucky's speech falls into four patterns: "the first describes an impersonal and callous God, the second asserts that man 'wastes and pines', the third mourns an inhospitable earth and the last attempts to draw the threads of the speech together by claiming that man diminishes in a world that does not nurture him.”[21]

It can be summarized however as follows:

“[A]cknowledging the existence of a personal God, one who exists outside time and who loves us dearly and who suffers with those who are plunged into torment, it is established beyond all doubt that man for reasons unknown, has left his labours, abandoned, unfinished.”[22]


   An actor, “Peter Woodthrope [who played Estragon] remembered asking Beckett one day in a taxi what the play was really about: “It’s all symbiosis, Peter; it’s symbiosis,” answered Beckett.

On other occasions when he was asked the very same questions, Beckett replied: “It is a game, everything is a game. When all four of them are lying on the ground, that cannot be handled naturalistically. That has got to be done artificially, balletically. Otherwise everything becomes an imitation, an imitation of reality … It should become clear and transparent, not dry. It is a game in order to survive.”

George Steiner in his book “The Death of Tragedy” (title borrowed from Nietzsche) says that Beckett, with a queer Irish logic, wanted at all costs to ban from the stage any kind of movement and communication “and yet produce a play.” He goes on saying that the characters are some weird puppets, but the strange thing about these puppets is that “they insist on behaving as if they were alive.” To me, in the second act, the characters seem rather spectrums or flash-backs (holograms) of the characters from the first act…and not so much puppets.

It is, most probably, the play with the most GNOMIC variant of dialogue ever-written; that is, it is full of  adages, advices (from the most subversive to the most explicit ones), remarks, meditations, reflections, intuitions, even the prophecy plays a heavy role.

The Theatre of the Absurd was anticipated by the novels of Kafka, by some dream-passages in Joyce and by early silent films. The true catalyst for this kind of theatre was World War II with its cruelty, nonsense and catatonic post-war states of mind.

The Theatre of the Absurd as such has brought several innovations (new interesting ideas) in philosophy, psychology, sociology, dream-interpretation and literature:

-it reiterated in a non-carnivalistic and stark fashion the Baroque theme of the “world upside down”…that is, it projected into mental states the theme of the ox perched on a steeple

-it demonstrated that the more things change, the more they are the same; that change is an illusion

-it increased the understanding of the confusion within existence by trying to answer questions of the kind: why are we here?, why are we alive?, why do we die?

- it showed distrust of language as a means of communication. Language was seen by it as a vehicle for conventionalized, stereotyped, meaningless exchanges. Dr. Culik explains, “Words failed to express the essence of human experience, not being able to penetrate beyond its surface. The Theatre of the Absurd constituted first and foremost an onslaught on language, showing it as a very unreliable and insufficient tool of communication. Absurd drama uses conventionalised speech, clichés, slogans and technical jargon, which it distorts, parodies and breaks down. By ridiculing conventionalised and stereotyped speech patterns, the Theatre of the Absurd tries to make people aware of the possibility of going beyond everyday speech conventions and communicating more authentically.”[23]

-it tried to open new perspectives on human logic; to enlarge human perception, to find new modes of human expression, to open new areas of experience: “Rationalist thought, like language, only deals with the superficial aspects of things. Nonsense, on the other hand, opens up a glimpse of the infinite.” (Dr. Culik)

I suppose, to recognize oneself in a photographic representation, but such representations only reflect what is on the surface, whereas abstract art, surrealism, expressionism, and yes, the Theatre of the Absurd, attempt to get at something deeper, something closer to real truth--a representation of our inner being, of our fears, our weaknesses, our inadequacies, the archetypal human predicament. It is, of course, more difficult to get one’s mind around the Theatre of the Absurd; we don’t always have pre-programmed templates we can apply to our understanding of it. But should art really be easy? Don’t we get enough mindless entertainment from our TVs? Do we really have to demand that our theatre, too, subscribe to the "don’t hurt my brain" method of entertainment?

(...)With the Theatre of the Absurd, actors, directors and designers may be forced to think outside the box—they may find themselves outside that comfort zone, doing something unusual. (...)A director may have to find new ways to communicate with actors and with his audience. A designer may be forced to experiment. (...)American dramatist Edward Albee once wrote, "The avant-garde theatre is fun; it is free-swinging, bold, iconoclastic and often wildly, wildly funny. If you will approach it with childlike innocence--putting your standard responses aside, for they do not apply--if you will approach it on its own terms, I think you will be in for a liberating surprise. I think you may no longer be content with plays that you can't remember halfway down the block. You will not only be doing yourself some good, but you will be having a great time, to boot. And even though it occurs to me that such a fine combination must be sinful, I still recommend it.

Remember as a child when it was fun to use your imagination? When you didn't have any preconceived notions and you were fascinated by the unknown rather than afraid of it? That's what the Theatre of the Absurd should be about. Open your mind to the possibilities. Even that old stick-in-the-mud Sigmund Freud once said that there is a feeling of freedom we can enjoy when we are able to abandon the straitjacket of logic.”[24]

The Polish doom-death-gothic-metal band Sacriversum seem to draw their inspiration from Beckett’s plays, and here are the lyrics of the song Waiting for Godot:

Rhythm of rotting steps Meaning of salvation
All you need is getting away Off this side
Feed your frozen hands By act of fate's creation
Just before you're flying away Off this side

Our tree of mortal wisdom Connecting us inside
Tries to escape from freedom Promising paradise

Have you seen him here? Maybe he's our future
Eternal chance to archive your aim Off this side
You are lost, my dear Doesn't mean what you care
About of hide insinde your veins Off this side

Our hope of being immortal Of living long enough
Arriving here this whole time Is stopped by devil's laugh

Like in a prayer Exactly like this
Non definited need Extactly like this
What did he say? That he will see
That he's not promising That he has consider

Waiting for... Godot... Waiting for...Godot

It's a question of time Of a character Cold comfort That cock won't fight
You are like you are You won't break it It's jus a beginning It's horrible

Waiting for... Godot... Waiting for...Godot

We wait for Godot, he's our ancient master
We wait for Godot, he's our mighty Lord
When mind is dead you hope is wakeing faster
To be surprised, to let us say just word

Have you seen him here? Maybe he's our future
Eternal chance to archive your aim Off this side
You are lost, my dear Doesn't mean what you care
About of hide insinde your veins Off this side

Our hope of being immortal Of living long enough
Arriving here this whole time Is stopped by devil's laugh

Like in a prayer Exactly like this
Non definited need Extactly like this
What did he say? That he will see
That he's not promising That he has consider

Waiting for... Godot... Waiting for...Godot

We wait for Godot, he's our ancient master
We wait for Godot, he's our mighty Lord
When mind is dead you hope is wakeing faster
To be surprised, to let us say just word

The end of life is imminent
Try to save, try to wake us
We don't want to see this end
Try to save, try to wake us
If it;s better, make us blind
Try to save, try to wake us
We don't want to loose our mind
Try to save, try to wake us” (Lyrics by Sacriversum, Album Beckettia)

The very name of the album-“Beckettia” issued in 2000 is a clear reference to the fact that all the songs on this album are a tribute to Samuel Beckett. Some of the titles of the songs are taken directly from Beckett (song number 4-“The Krapp's Last Tape”, song number 2-“Waiting for Godot”,  and song number 5-“Happy Days”), other songs are adaptation from the Irish playwright: 7. An Act Without Words; 10. Nacht Und Träume; 6. Spectral Trio.


[1] Sion, I., ‘The Shape of the Beckettian Self: Godot and the Jungian Mandala’ in Consciousness, Literature and the Arts Volume 7 Number 1, April 2006

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly_effect

[3] “ In Chinese philosophy, yin and yang are generalized descriptions of the antitheses or mutual correlations in human perceptions of phenomena in the natural world, combining to create a unity of opposites (…)Yin (dark) and yang (light) are descriptions of complementary opposites as well as absolutes. Any yin/yang duality can be viewed from another perspective. All forces in nature can be seen as existing in yin or yang states, and two produce constant movement/force of the universe.”-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yin_and_yang

[4] Atomism=The ancient theory of Democritus, Epicurus, and Lucretius, according to which simple, minute, indivisible, and indestructible particles are the basic components of the entire universe.

A theory according to which social institutions, values, and processes arise solely from the acts and interests of individuals, who thus constitute the only true subject of analysis.

A philosophical opinion which reduces knowledge to its smallest elements, such as human beings, and thus does not recognize larger configurations, such as social structures and social institutions. This view would run counter to the concept of social geography.

Philosophical doctrine that material objects are aggregates of simpler parts known as atoms. Atomism in the strict sense is characterized by three points: the atoms are absolutely indivisible, qualitatively identical apart from shape, size, and motion, and combinable with each other only by juxtaposition. Atomism is usually associated with realism and mechanism; it is mechanistic because it maintains that all observable changes can be reduced to changes in the configuration of the atoms that constitute matter. It is opposed to holism because it holds that the properties of any whole can be explained in terms of those of its parts.


[5] http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0118971/quotes

[6] Cronin, A., Samuel Beckett The Last Modernist (London: Flamingo, 1997), p 21

[7] An 1961 interview with Tom Driver in Graver, L. and Ferderman, R., (Eds.) Samuel Beckett: the Critical Heritage (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1979, p 217

[8] Bryden, M., Samuel Beckett and the Idea of God (Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave MacMillan, 1998), introduction

[9] By Matthew Champ- http://www.helium.com/tm/256335/attended-stanley-theatre-vancouver

[10] Letter released under the Freedom of Information Act. Quoted by Peter Hall in ‘Godot Almighty’, The Guardian, Wednesday August 24, 2005

[11] Carter, S., ‘Estragon’s Ancient Wound: A Note on Waiting for Godot’ in Journal of Beckett Studies 6.1, p 130, taken from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waiting_for_Godot

[12] Quoted in Le Nouvel Observateur (26th September 1981) and referenced in Cohn, R., From Desire to Godot (London: Calder Publications; New York: Riverrun Press), 1998, p 150

[13] Cronin, A., Samuel Beckett The Last Modernist (London: Flamingo, 1997), p 382, taken from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waiting_for_Godot

[14] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waiting_for_Godot

[15] Alvarez, A. Beckett 2nd Edition (London: Fontana Press, 1992)

[16] Gurnow, M., No Symbol Where None Intended: A Study of Symbolism and Allusion in Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot taken from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waiting_for_Godot

[17] ªtefan Bolea-”Despre Antireligios”, http://www.egophobia.ro/14/critica.html#1

[18] Mercier, V., Beckett/Beckett (London: Souvenir Press, 1990), p 46

[19] The symptom describes a freak looking at his persona in the mirror (in utter narcissism) and thinking about himself that he’s equal to if not above God; some kind of envy with God

[20] Cohn, R., From Desire to Godot (London: Calder Publications; New York: Riverrun Press, 1998), p 151

[21] Brown, V., Yesterday’s Deformities: A Discussion of the Role of Memory and Discourse in the Plays of Samuel Beckett, (doctoral thesis), p 92 taken from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waiting_for_Godot

[22] Cliffs Notes on Beckett’s Waiting for Godot & Other Plays (Lincoln: Nebraska, 1980), p 29, taken from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waiting_for_Godot

[23] www.theatredatabase.com/20th_century/theatre_of_the_absurd.html

[24] Jerome P. Crabb, www.theatredatabase.com/20th_century/theatre_of_the_absurd_003.html


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