Krapp Hour

Anne Carson's literary talk-show in Granta

Excellent piece by Anne Carson in the penultimate issue of Granta:

Cast:   KRAPP, host
              guests, various

Set: a TV talk show, minimal lighting, blackouts where marked. Kitchen chair for KRAPP, couch for guests. Couch is not big enough for all guests, they gradually pile up. Guests are introduced by KRAPP briefly hoisting a placard from a pile under his chair.

(enter KRAPP, K, to brief theme music)

K: not much you have to know about me, I need very little space and I like very little attention. Funny to end up here you may think, in this line of work, did I back into it, well more or less, I guess I did, yes and no, never mind, more important is other people do (need space, like attention), they come here, their eyes are bright, I love the brightness of their eyes, it is ever a surprise to me. If I had a family (I don’t have a family) I cannot imagine they would look at me with such bright eyes. Admittedly there was a time I thought I would grow and flourish here, become happy and interesting and modern, well my old dad put paid to that notion the one time he came to the show – ‘unchanged for the worse’ he said and I believe I have adhered to that standard ever since.

(K holds up placard JACK KEROUAC AND HIS MOTHER GABRIELLE (GABE), enter GK and JK)

GK:       we’re going to Radio City after this
JK:        it’s her birthday
GK:       I’ll be sixty-four where does the time go
K:          where indeed
GK:       I wasn’t always this fat when I stopped wearing a girdle I        
                 went all over the place
JK:           say something in French Ma
GK:          qu’est-ce que tu veux savoir
JK:           you tutoyed him Ma, hear that she tutoyed you
K:             so she did
GK:          it’s like that afternoon the Filipino butler kept giving me drinks
K:             you’ve a butler
GK:          no Barney Rosset’s butler we went for dinner
JK:           had a big screaming dinner all talking French Gallimard         
                 was there you’re speaking pure eighteenth-century Norman
                 dialect he said to me
GK:          I played the piano then I went downstairs started kidding
                 the little butler I was having a ball
JK:           later we hit the bars did Fifth Avenue supposed to have an
                  interview with Holiday magazine never made it
GK:          Florida when we lived there he didn’t drink at all but over
                  here oh my
JK:           I can take it you know Li Po drank all those guys drank
                 dharma bums roaming China
K:             Buddhists I suppose
GK:          think I’d like a sandwich

(GK wanders off)

Fitz Carraldo Editions