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Finding a Form for the Speechless

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Samuel Beckett and Miwa Yanagi’s Zero Hour

image of Samuel Beckett Today / Aujourd'hui

As articulated to Avigdor Arikha, Beckett saw “find[ing] a form” for speechlessness as one of his tasks as a writer. Different literary genres facilitated his exploration of the speechless in the motif of spectres. The Japanese artist and dramatist Miwa Yanagi’s theatrical piece Zero HourTokyo Rose’s Last Tape takes on this task by borrowing some of the elements of Krapp’s Last Tape. Drawing on the historical context of the ‘Tokyo Rose Case,’ the article explores similarities and differences between the two artists in their incorporation of the spectral and their use of media, as well as analyzing the original use of mixed media (tape recorder and radio) in Zero Hour as a way to elucidate the speechless/the spectral.

Affiliations: 1: Associate Professor, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan kchikmk@hotmail.com kkiuchi@ila.titech.ac.jp

10.1163/18757405-02902009
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/content/journals/10.1163/18757405-02902009
2017-01-01
2018-06-24

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