Playwriting

Dedication

Godot is here.

This article over at Guardian.co.uk talks about how two writers, oh little known guys – Samuel Beckett and Vaclav Havel dedicated plays to each other. Beckett dedicated Catastrophe to Havel, which he was still in jail and when Havel got out, he returned the dedication in his play Mistake.

I don’t think much of autographs. They seem wasteful, always on tiny scraps of paper. At the end of the day, all you have is a scrap of paper. What do autographs mean anyway? What does a signature mean? It’s not the same as knowing or interacting with the living, breathing human being. And even that can be disappointing. Just because our icons are talented beyond the stratosphere, doesn’t mean they’re nice people. There are writers I admire that I’d never want to meet because being disappointed by them would taint their work.

But this dedication between Beckett and Havel strikes me to the core. It’s somehow precious. To be a playwright and to have another playwright dedicate their work to you. To be dedicated is to be fully committed and that’s way beyond niceties or platitudes.

Certainly the same argument could be made – Lindsay it’s just words on a page, it doesn’t mean anything, it’s not an interaction with a living breathing human being. Ah, but it is. It is. It’s a direct shout out – and this is no vulgar ‘gotta give a shout out’ not a ‘hey you’ but a crystal clear note, a voice, a shout, a noise meant to be heard and taken notice of.

And so I take notice.

About the author

Lindsay Price