Till Day You Do Part Or A Question of Light
Translated by Mike Mitchell
5.5 x 7.75 inches, 92 pp December 2010
ISBN : 9781906497736
Rs 325.00 (HB)
Described as an answer to or at least an echo of Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape?, Till Day You Do Part Or A Question of Light, by esteemed Austrian playwright and novelist Peter Handke, is a monologue delivered by the “she” in Beckett’s play. This unnamed female similarly recalls other significant women protagonists in Handke’s own work such as The Left-handed Woman. Handke prefaces the monologue in Till Day You Do Part Or a Question of Light with a description of two stone figures. While the male figure remains “as dead and gone as anyone can,” the female bursts into life, and her monologue gradually focuses on Krapp’s use of pauses and language to dominate the other characters in the Beckett play. Ultimately, however, her complaints and critique of Krapp become a declaration of her love for Krapp or at least an affirmation of their attachment, as the two of them are ultimately bound together, perhaps even inseparable.
Till Day You Do Part Or a Question of Light is Handke at his best, evidencing the great skill, psychological acumen, and vision for which his work has been celebrated.
Peter Handke was born in Griffen, Austria in 1942. His many works of fiction include Absence, Across, The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick, and Short Letter, Long Farewell.
For many years a lecturer in German with a special interest in Austrian literature, Mike Mitchell has worked as a literary translator since 1995. He was awarded the 1998 Schlegel-Tieck Prize for his translation of Herbert Rosendorfer’s Letters Back to Ancient China. Mitchell has also translated Peter Handke’s Till Day You do Part or A Question of Light and Max Frisch’s An Answer from the Silence, both published by Seagull Books.