This article contributes to growing scholarship on drama and narratology. It asserts that theoretical ideas on degrees of narrativity and types of narration in drama do not always provide a good fit for Beckett’s dramatic works. Instead, Beckett’s practice can be seen to do theory by demonstrating certain relations between narrative and drama. One of the main ways by which this is conducted is through the concept of the middle voice and Beckett’s deployment of it in his dramatic works. By focusing on the immobile and self-reflexive acts of listening and narration that take center stage in Krapp’s Last Tape and Ohio Impromptu, and questioning their implications on shaping the manifold narratives therein, this paper argues that “to narrate” is spotlighted as a verb in the middle voice in these dramatic works. This analysis leads to the conclusion that the medium of drama, far from being narratology’s non-narrative Other, offers crucial insight into the impulses and implications of narrativization on constructing subjecthood. In doing so, this paper also interrogates the links between narrativity and performance, specifically aspects of narrativity that characterize performance on the one hand, and performative aspects of narrativity emphasized through dramatic spaces on the other.


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pp. 289-303
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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