I have known Professor Huțanu since the first year of college and, although he wasn’t my professor, I have always admired the glimpse in the eyes of his students when they talked about rehearsing with him for exams or shows. Recently, when I found out that he was staging a show after a text by Samuel Beckett, I dared to approach him in order to “question” him about my favourite author, who is also the subject of my PhD research, as to say, a serious matter.
This is how I came to discover a passionate man, director, teacher and actor, who mingles these three hypostases naturally, with diffidence. A generous man, who has permitted me to lift up (with shyness from me, of course) the frail curtain of the creation laboratory behind a difficult show, as to the nature of the animation theatre, implying technical rigors, and also to the aesthetic of the approach. I was permitted to attend rehearsals, to ask questions, to discuss, debate, to have doubts and, more importantly, to receive answers from the man behind the curtain, the one who thought and felt the Godot. Below there is a fragment of an interview – part of my PhD study – and, maybe a subjective mirror of the rustle reflected between the spectator and the creator.
Postmodernism is still a landmark for theatre creators worldwide. Hard to define, it proposes, as Umberto Eco also acknowledged, a critical view of the past, filled with witt and irony, when referring to a disbalanced present, lacking value or perspective. It seems relevant, when talking about postmodernism, to yield Samuel Beckett’s writings, his prose and his theatre being stamps of change in the middle of the XXth century. We chose for analysis the play Waiting for Godot, which uncovers postmodern traits, and by discovering them, the text is better understood for the director or actor who is to stage the play or a character from it.
Beckett’s literary beginnings are undoubtedly linked to his friendship and worship of James Joyce, his fellow Irishman, also established in Paris, whose literary work he enjoys and thoroughly studies. There are many similarities between James Joyce’s work and Samuel Beckett’s, taking into account the fact that the latter has been, in his youth, a sort of literary apprentice, their friendship being one of the main reasons in the dialectical study of their creations. What interests us most is the critical aligning of some fractures from their writings, in order to find the junction of themes and structure, the way in which Beckett takes Joyce’s leitmotivs and transforms them, filtering them into personal marks of his style.
Although Beckett detaches himself, in a way, from the influence of his master, by adopting French as his primary language of creation, but also by channeling his efforts into playwright, instead of prose, there are recurrences from Joyce now and then, especially in his late writings. Theoretical studies emphasize a common preoccupation for limit in their maturity works, perceived as a climax of the author’s experience with his work.
That is to say these Irishmen’s creations are, in a way, complementary, becoming proof of the literary transgression of the first half of the XXth century, from the canonized form and structure of realism, existentialism or naturalism, to a personal and free way of seeing the world, materialized into postmodernism.