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Jadwiga Uchman

Abstract

The article analyzes the world of transience, deterioration and death characteristic of Boghill, the place of action of Samuel Beckett’s short radio play-All That Fall. In a broadcast drama, existence is equivalent to being heard, the idea skilfully employed and commented upon by the playwright. The characters actually heard in the play are in most cases elderly or quite old and even the two young ones appear in the context of death. Numerous off-the-air individuals are dead, sterile or suffering from different illnesses. The two main characters’ situation is not different-Mr Rooney is blind, and his wife, Maddy, complains of many ailments. She is a woman in her seventies, overweight and having different kinds of health problems and thus, several times in the course of the play she expresses a wish to die. At the same time, however, in encounters with men on her way to the station she speaks in a manner characterized by numerous sexual innuendos. Furthermore, she expresses a strong yearning for love and hopes her unloving husband would show her some warm feelings. Thus she becomes a convincing illustration of Georges Bataille’s argument: “Eroticism, it may be said, is assenting to life up to the point of death” (11).

Open access

Jadwiga Uchman

Abstract

The aim of the paper is to compare four versions of the text of Waiting for Godot: the French original, Beckett’s own translation into English and two Polish renderings done by Julian Rogoziński and Antoni Libera. The article starts with a short discussion concerning rules governing the translation process and then its evaluation. While working on the transposition of the French original into English, Beckett introduced numerous changes, this being due to his sensitivity to the very quality of each of the languages and specific references characteristic of the two cultures. Antoni Libera, an expert in Beckett’s oeuvre, argues that Beckett’s translations should be more adequately described as second language versions and that the artist recommended further translations based on his two language versions. Libera himself followed this recommendation while translating Beckett’s works into Polish. Upon publication, he provided illuminating notes, shedding light on the differences in Beckett’s versions and providing critical insight into the texts. Julian Rogoziński, on the other hand, based his translation of Waiting for Godot only on the French original. This accounts for the fact that, at times, his rendering of the text lacks precision and may not even be quite understandable. Rogoziński’s version is less satisfactory than that of Libera due to the fact that it was written earlier and by an older man, which at times results in the use of old-fashioned, outdated Polish diction and structures.

Open access

Jadwiga Uchman

Abstract

The expression “Pinteresque” describing the characteristic features of Harold Pinter’s artistic output, established its position as a literary critical denominator many years ago. The aim of this article is to analyze some of the specific aspects of the playwright’s use of language. On several occasions, the artist made comments pertaining to certain issues concerning communication. He rejected the idea of the alienation of language and promoted the concept of evasive communication, thus showing people’s unwillingness to communicate. He also spoke about two kinds of silence, the first referring to a situation where there is actual silence, when “no word is spoken,” and the second, when “a torrent of language is being employed” in order to cover the character’s “nakedness.” Accordingly, Pinter’s plays may, depending on their perspective, be treated as dramas of language or of silence. This led Peter Hall, Pinter’s favourite theatre director and also a close friend, to notice that in the playwright’s oeuvre there is a clear distinction beween three dots, a pause and a silence. This article discusses in detail the uneven distribution of pauses and silences in Harold Pinter’s 1977 play, Betrayal. It becomes evident that the use of different kinds of silence clearly indicates the emotional state of the characters at any given moment.