Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Samuel Beckett and The Twilight Zone

Thinking is a dangerous activity--and one of the themes that emerges from watching The Twilight Zone New Year's marathon. Cogitating can make things happen or it can result in them disappearing, as Dennis Weaver warns in “Shadow Play” (episode #62) where he's a condemned man--who warns the DA that if he dies he’ll take the world with him. Conversely, in episode #36, “A World of His Own,” Keenan Wynn is a playwright whose creations come to life. Episode #63, “The Mind and the Matter” introduces Shelly Berman as a harried commuter who gets what he wants or doesn’t want when he wishes the whole world were like him. Esse est Percipti, “to be is to be perceived,” said Bishop Berkeley. Samuel Beckett used it as the epigraph for his one movie, Film, starring Buster Keaton. Film would have made a great Twilight Zone, if Rod Serling had hired the absurdist playwright to undertake the adaptation.

read "Died Young" by Francis Levy, The Brooklyn Rail

and listen to "Bernadette by The Four Tops

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