Ping: Page with Beckett text from his story Ping
- View Full Item
- Created Date
Performing Arts (including Performance Art)
Film, Audio, Video and Digital Art
In the late 1960s, I had had limited experience with Samuel Beckett's work. One electrifying experience was seeing a performance of "Waiting for Godot" in Minneapolis, probably in 1966. Living in Japan (under a Fellowship from the Institute of Current World Affairs), I tried not only to immerse myself in the Japanese art world (concerts, traditions, visual art, films, Noh theater, Bunraku, calligraphy, and so on), but also to keep a tenuous thread of connectivity to the larger English-speaking world. There were two important book stores in Tokyo where one could get foreign language materials, and the most important was Kinokuniya, in the Shinjuku area of Tokyo (The other was the Maruzen Department store near Ginza.). In one of these locations, I bought a copy of the English magazine, Encounters. and found in it the Beckett short story, “Ping”. I was mesmerized not only by the affect associated with his writing, its leanness and force, but also by the unpredictably shifting of resource elements and the permutational reformulations. Permutation was an important consideration in music composition technique that was then the dominant force in contemporary music internationally. Beckett's text was suffused with permutational realignments (though I doubt that there was any systematization involved on Beckett’s part). In the Encounter context, the reader was presented with a monolithic block. In order to deal with it, I had to parse it into manageable units. I decided to lay it out as a series of sentences. Then I looked for moments (I settled on two) where there was, or seemed to be, a significant shift in the author's perspective on what was (or was not) happening: “perhaps a way out” … I had the text divided into sentence units, decided which words were to be presented on each slide, and had the hole divided into three "areas" – the performed sections. I then tried out the idea of assigning a particular temporal unit to various textual phrasings, so as to bring the text into a roughly controlled relationship to the panned temporal structure of a multimedia work that I imagined would be about 22 minutes in length.
Digital Library Development Program, UC San Diego, La Jolla, 92093-0175 (https://lib.ucsd.edu/digital-library)
"Ping" is a short story written by Samuel Beckett written in French (originally "Bing") in 1966, and later translated into English by the author and published in 1967.
Based on: Beckett, Samuel, 1906-1989. Ping
- Reynolds, Roger, 1934
- California Digital Library
- Contributing Institution
- UC San Diego, Library, Digital Library Development Program
- Under copyright
Constraint(s) on Use: This work is protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). Use of this work beyond that allowed by "fair use" requires written permission of the UC Regents. Responsibility for obtaining permissions and any use and distribution of this work rests exclusively with the user and not the UC San Diego Library. Inquiries can be made to the UC San Diego Library program having custody of the work.
Use: This work is available from the UC San Diego Library. This digital copy of the work is intended to support research, teaching, and private study.
- Chicago citation style
- Reynolds, Roger, 1934. Ping: Page with Beckett text from his story Ping. 1967. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America, https://library.ucsd.edu/dc/object/bb8807064w. (Accessed December 16, 2018.)
- APA citation style
- Reynolds, Roger, 1934, (1967) Ping: Page with Beckett text from his story Ping. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America, https://library.ucsd.edu/dc/object/bb8807064w
- MLA citation style
- Reynolds, Roger, 1934. Retrieved from the Digital Public Library of America <https://library.ucsd.edu/dc/object/bb8807064w>.