Notes on the text
||Set design considerations||
Paris, 1923. Wild American partiers conga across the auditorium carrying a blown up colour photo of ZELDA like a hedonistic icon. A self-absorbed girl (LUCIA) watches hesitantly from halfway down the stairs. As the OTHERS exit SAM BECKETT pauses.
BECKETT Hallo Lucia. Dreadfully boring people.
LUCIA starting to descend Would you take me Sam?
LUCIA Is that a proposition?
BECKETT No, it's a declension! but there's noth(ing stopping you) ...
LUCIA You're ashamed to be seen with me, Sam Beckett?
BECKETT Tosh, don't start that again.
LUCIA O I know your friends are all sorry for me.
BECKETT Nothing of the kind. Nothing of the kind whatever.
LUCIA It's like a club where everyonelse knows the rules but nobody'll let me in. I hear laughter thru the walls ...
BECKETT Who's inside? Exiting: We're all outsiders. There is no inside - except accidentally - on occasions.
LUCIA But there must be. Or why would I feel so left out?
LUCIA descends sadly towards the bedroom area, where at the foot of double bed there is a single, cot-like bed Her parents enter, NORA supporting an inebriated JOYCE, who has one hand cupped over an eye as if it hurts.
JOYCE Still up?
LUCIA helping him off with his tie: Wheredja go this evening, Babbo?
NORA Aux Grandes Bouffes. So he had to tip the waiters 50 francs again, didn't you Jim?
JOYCE gestures vaguely.
And what are we to live on for the rest of the week, eh?
JOYCE O I'll send Mr Beckett with a note to Miss Beach tomorrow, Nora. Och, my eye, my eye.
NORA Well, y'know what does it.
He falls asleep on the double bed.
He knows it's the booze that inflames his eye and yet he wont ever stop.
LUCIA It's his way I suppose.
NORA & LUCIA rather self-consciously undress side by side.
NORA It may be his way, but what use is a blind writer I'd like to know.
LUCIA It'll not come to that surely?
NORA It will do if he doesn't stop. After all the pain he had from the first 2 operations, I don't understand it.
Needs a wash.
LUCIA rather angrily curls up her knickers and slings them at a pile of dirty clothes before getting into her own bed at the foot of the double bed.
LUCIA Night Nanno.
NORA Night Lucia.
Her mother extinguishes the light. A shaft of moonlight falls across LUCIA's face. She is watching, thinking, wondering. The party sounds return, but with phasing on the voices and eerie music.
LUCIA emerges somnambulistically from her bed and begins to struggle up the outside of a spiral staircase, leaving a trail of blood, as if from grazed knees. She looks down pleadingly; her father is below watching intently, peering up (her nightdress?), forcing her onward up into the darkness.
JOYCE moves to the NE area, to the shabby armchair in which he habitually writes, and sits like a wizard in a cave. On his knees a battered green suitcase on which he composes. (All soliloquies should be taken reasonably fast.)
JOYCE whispered incantation: Sul poyaum-o, absolut intric?ndio in evicibilia momencatariglie animandugular ... (murmured voice, as if composing) Hushft, the mouse a-peering, nous stealing the air, whish way willshe torn? Failing her whey by skirting and carepet the mouse twitshels soilent and grady. More she'll have, mire und mere ant moor and mare - moisst in undergarths and scuttering in short silken winds till the whole circlet is a blistering light of pairing eyes, babbling up to the gods in a stone-sharp pain- dropping echo.
Going, seeing, sowing, swayling; a-dance in the dark air, fluting like amphitheatre pistrels across infinite propinquity: the terraced gods incline and circle softly. The mouse watshes. Cold to the bare buttock, a city forgotten, rises a hidden moanyoumeant. Rustling with undreamt prayer the grasses sigh in her silent sleep till they meet and in glistening crevices secrete insectuous promises, each sealed with lips of wax the mouse alone can lick unloct.
Her tortuous world grafted onder the turtle's back, takes the slowest time, grifting thru a tentacular universe of stellar debris to be borne, if she can, ahead of tart arrival. And he watshes her, and she watshes, knowing him, for the howl of Anubis, the dog-headed severer, to see who will be furst.
Looking aged, LUCIA (in the asylum after her breakdown) sits on the top step, quivering very slightly, as if preparing herself for something she fears but desires.
Her mania gives a metallic quality to LUCIA's personality which contrasts with the unfocused character she otherwise manifests in the early part of the play. LUCIA descends during the speech.
LUCIA How I long for those afternoons, the hot wet slippery sex. He'd find some secret hiding place of my mind, and out would come tumbling a cascade of pearls, small, perfectly formed, streaming endlessly in a glittering waterfall of sensuality. I couldn't get enough of it, hardly cared who it was with. But best was Calder. Oh, there was a lean, cutting, edge to him that made my stomach tighten every time I saw him. I loved what he did, every orifice was a gateway of fresh delight. I was complete - felt as I'd always wanted to feel.
Calder was always late, always apologetic. And I'd make him slow down and kiss me, deeply, there in public, with all eyes on us, until I couldn't keep still any longer. And I'd put my hand into his pocket for the money and feel around until I found what I was looking for. And I'd draw out the money very very slowly. Then I'd make him take me by the hand up to the desk, and I'd drop the money down and say Ônum?ro quatre, comme toujours, s'il vous plait'. And the dirty old concierge say Ôune heure, seulement Monsieur/dame' and give me a small, rough towel.
Dissolving into light against the staircase window I could hardly breathe, and the ticking in my loins would grow deafening, the fuse was burning shorter and shorter. I'd keep stroking the front of Calder's trousers to check that my sentry was still to attention ... The ceiling was a faded green and the bed had a rubber covered mattress with a daring smell. And a jug of cold water delicious to wash your aching muscles.
Room 4, I remember. Room 4, first floor.
Middle-aged NURSE enters breezily
NURSE Hallo there Lucia. How are we? Time for our medication.
LUCIA Don't you fucking come near me, I'm in a state of grace, Holy Mary knows where. And if you try anything St Ignatius'll give you the bloodiest period of your life. I'm warning you.
NURSE O, angels and devils! We've had all this before, don't be such a ...
LUCIA I'm warning you. I can see them. You can't. They'll do what I ask them to. If you hadn't barged in I could've (come to a climax) ...
NURSE Now then, Lucia, I'll put them on the table. You've been getting so much better, don't spoil it.
LUCIA I'll spoil it if I fucking want to. You think you can trick me into taking those fog pills, don't you? Think you're that clever?
LUCIA sits on a chair and begins to hex the NURSE with the intensity of a panther. It is a real battle of wills. After a bit the NURSE seeks to break the atmosphere.
NURSE This is just silly Lucia, I've got other ...
LUCIA quietly, without breaking her gaze. Well you go to them then, because I'm not taking them.
NURSE It's Doctor Jung's order. They're to make you better.
LUCIA No, they're to make me controlable.
Slowly getting up moving towards the NURSE with ferocious quietness. We know, and the NURSE knows, that LUCIA would be capable of ripping her face off.
And I wont be controlled - by you, by Dr Jung, by my mother, by anyone.
The NURSE begins to eye the door
You know what I want?
NURSE No. (hopefully) I know what you need?.
LUCIA You do? Well I know what I need too, I need a fuck - a big, good, long, dirty fuck.
NURSE Ohh! O good lord, I'll get the doctor.
The NURSE turns and runs out of the room. LUCIA hurls the water glass at the door, which smashes. She smirks sardonically.
LUCIA slowly dresses (once again the young girl of #102). She fusses about things in an aimless way but the result is still plain and mousey. By the piano GIORGIO is doing singing exercises. He is a callow youth, attempting a not-exactly-convincing American slangy style of speech.
JOYCE is seated in his armchair writing laboriously because of his eyesight on large coloured cards. NORA is in the kitchen (in the pool).
GIORGIO Hey Lucia! You wanta come'n play f'me?
LUCIA O I don't know.
GIORGIO O c'mon.
JOYCE looking up momentarily Don't forget those higher exercises - you're a tenor, remember.
GIORGIO Hell Babbo, I'm not!
JOYCE O'Sullivan agrees with me, now.
GIORGIO Under his breath O ph-ph-ooey.
JOYCE returns to his concentration. LUCIA wanders rather listlessly over to GIORGIO. On the way she encounters NORA who steps up from the kitchen, drying a mouligrater.
NORA Listen teso', olive oil, y'couldnt just go for some?
LUCIA yawning I'm accompanying Giorgio.
NORA Well, when you've finished?
LUCIA I'll see what I feel like.
NORA And I'll see whether I feel like making lunch!
As NORA returns LUCIA makes a yappy gesture. At the piano LUCIA sits uninquisitively while GIORGIO finds the correct page. She registers only minimal interest in his conversational sorties.
GIORGIO I'm supposed to've learnt this for my lesson today. But actually, I'm not going. I've got a date with Helen. You wont tell?
LUCIA breaking into a stifled sob You're always going out with someone. Nobody ever asks me.
GIORGIO O they will, they will; (conspiratorially) but y'know these days you gotta give the boys a bit extra.
LUCIA I don't know how to, nobody ever asks me. I would.
GIORGIO Maybe you don't put out more? Here, Helen says she may take me to New York as her singing tutor.
LUCIA Do you really know enough Gio?
GIORGIO No, but I know enough about a lot of other things! (confidentially) She's gonna divorce Ralph.
GIORGIO O Helen's gorgeous! You'd really like her.
LUCIA Couldn't you ... couldn't you speak to Sam, again?
GIORGIO Listen, I did. He just doesn't seem to be, well, that interested in girls.
LUCIA So much happening out there - but inside I can't escape.
GIORGIO O you'll find someone.
LUCIA It's my wretched squint ...
LUCIA What is it then? Everybody's got somebody - except me.
NORA calling Here now, Lucia! If you aren't going to rehearse I need that oil.
LUCIA O I'd better go. Have a good afternoon.
GIORGIO You bet.
LUCIA wanders into her father's room.
LUCIA Babbo ...
JOYCE (not keen on being interupted) ...Òcould see thru the blindest word to the heinous truth - anus of truth - to the Janus truth ...Ó Yes teso'?
LUCIA Babbo, could I have my squint straightened?
JOYCE Well with this damned iridectomy mebbe we could get 2 for the price of one! But seriously, whyd'sit matter?
LUCIA Nobody wants to take me out.
JOYCE O come now, it's much too soon for that sort of thing. At home , why you wouldn't be allowed out of the house b'yourself at your age.
LUCIA Well we're not Ôat home', and in any case Ireland isn't my home. We're in Paris. And it's humiliating.
JOYCE Alright alright, we'll see if it can't be done; but for now leave me be, Mr Beckett's due and I want to finish this chapter - for if he can take it to Miss Beach b'teatime maybe we shall get some diner this evening.
LUCIA desperately wants to stay with her father, be noticed by him, but he doesn't take the hint. She can't think of anything else to say and meanders away. As she reaches it a doorbell rings.
That'll probably be him now.
LUCIA hastens to the front door, pausing anxiously to experiment with various seductory innovations in front of a mirror before opening the door. She stands in the way, attempting -but failing- to look provocative.
BECKETT O hallo Lucia.
BECKETT Your father at home?
BECKETT C'n I?
She tries hard to smoulder, but BECKETT is unsynged. Eventually LUCIA is obliged to give way. He goes straight into JOYCE with whom he falls immediately into animated conversation, JOYCE indicating by his gestures the difficulty he has in seeing what he writes. LUCIA is humiliated and heartbroken. NORA emerges.
NORA Lucia, Lucia, get me the oil now wouldyou?
LUCIA savagely Yes yes! Just give me the money.
She takes the money and her coat and slams out.
A pattern of dancing light runs diagonally across the stage from the projector onto an unseen screen, while a piano hurls honky-tonk sounds into the darkened auditorium. LUCIA enters and sits alone. The action of the film is ambiguous. We concentrate on LUCIA's immediate total immersion in the narrative, as it veers from the comic to the cliff hanging.
She wants to touch the screen, to reach thru it to a non- temporal reality where she can become someone special and find what belongs uniquely to her - where she wont have to share anything with anyone she doesn't want to. The cinema is the only place where she seems fully relaxed. (Ideally, LUCIA won't utter these thoughts but will project them towards the audience as intense prayers.)
LUCIA thinks In here I can escape from Time: it passes so quickly it might not exist. Perhaps this is reality? If only I could enter behind the flickering screen. O Charlie, come and rescue me. We wouldn't care about money, we'd have so many laughs.
The film finishes. The light go up. LUCIA remains in her transported state for a little while, then slowly relapses to her aimless depression. She wanders out, having completely forgotten the oil.
A chic restaurant. There are 2 tables either side of the acting area. JOYCE enters in an expansive mood with his family, plus O'SULLIVAN & BECKETT. JOYCE, O'SULLIVAN &
NORA all beseat themselves with their backs to the acting area, LUCIA & BECKETT sit next to each other with GIORGIO opposite his mother. They pick up the menus as if to order. The other table is empty.
JOYCE Would you look at that now O'Sullivan? crivisse and Homard thermidor!
O'SULL The way you say it Joyce it sounds like a curse!
JOYCE deadly serious No no! Never say that.
NORA Now you should know better than that! Jim's more superstitious than m' old aunt Eileen.
JOYCE always covers his face with his hand when NORA teases him.
O'SULL I'm sorry, no offence.
LUCIA Yes and the other things Babbo doesn't like are rats or dogs.
NORA Now now, that's enough of that.
JOYCE O a rat can make me faint clean away, I'm telling you. They're most unlucky.
BECKETT You saw one that night in L'Archet, you remember?
NORA Can I forget?
GIORGIO Don't think I was there.
O'SULL And what happened?
BECKETT O it just ran across the floor. A big one.
JOYCE Jesus, was it not?
O'SULL And you fainted?
JOYCE As if I'd been cudgeled.
NORA Fortunately he was sitting down.
O'SULL Well that's-a-mercy.
JOYCE Now then, lets start all that again, shall we?
LUCIA So that's why we never go there now, I liked it.
JOYCE I'll say Homard thermidor! and O'Sullivan, you say ...
NORA Yes I liked it too, but after that we couldn't ...
O'SULL Oh, er. You sound like ... Sarah Bernhardt!
JOYCE Ah, now that's got the evening off to a better start! And calmar dans son encre. Can you see it dansant there?
O'SULL O you've a way with words, Joyce.
JOYCE I know all the right words to be sure, it's the right order that's the tricky part!
BECKETT over, dryly: Dans son oncle?
GIORGIO That's a good one.
BECKETT Actually calmar dans son encre would be a good title for a novel if everybody didn't know what it meant.
JOYCE O no, that's makes it ideal, because everybody thinks they know what it means.
JOYCE But nothing beats the sound of calamari nel suo tinto or nal so tanto as that old waiter used to say in Split.
BECKETT Oh - we boiled the uncle, now we have the aunt!
JOYCE Ha, very good! Well now, I've been boiling in me own ink these 5 hours, so that's for me.
NORA At 235 francs?
JOYCE O come now Nora, it's Bloomsday. This is no time to be pinching pennies. I remember, Giorgio, that was the first time you ever saw an crevisse.
GIORGIO And I was so frightened I jumped into your arms, I know.
NORA Well you were only 4.
LUCIA And what was I?
JOYCE You teso', were a with waggly antenn3⁄4 and a curly-up tail. (squinting at the menu) Och look Lucia, I've had enough of words for one day, here, you order for me. Ex-cuse us if you would, O'Sullivan and I are going to make some music for you.
They go to the piano. GIORGIO chats to his mother. JOYCE speaks conspiratorially:
LUCIA Here, Sam, will you help me? I don't know what any of these things mean?
BECKETT How can one person choose for another? Philosophically it's impossible, practically it's undesirable.
LUCIA O phwaph, you always make an issue out of everything. Oh Sam ... (lets her head fall onto his shoulder)
BECKETT For the love of Maxwell, Lucia, what're you doing? What'd your father say?
NORA's attention is fixed on JOYCE, even as she talks.
LUCIA He can't see. And Nanno, look at her, she doesn't care what happens to us as long as she doesn't lose him.
BECKETT O no, Lucia, stop it. Your desire is like a bottomless pit. I'm afraid if I lost my balance I'd fall in, and never come up again.
LUCIA O hell, why is it always me?
JOYCE & O'SULLIVAN sing The Brown & Yellow Ale. At one point JOYCE ceases to sing and interpolates:
JOYCE Y'see? She likes you. I've no objection. ÔTwould interest me and all ...
O'SULL No no, m'friend, not with you bein' ...
As the song finishes the SCOTT & ZELDA FITZGERALD sweep in to sit at the other table in a blast of hot Jazz with HEMINGWAY. They're loud, drunk, and convinced of their happiness. JOYCE & O'SULLIVAN return to their table.
ZELDA Oo-oo I can still feel that buzzing right down in my stomach. Say Scott, Goofo ...
HEMING Ah c'mon now Zelda, that's the fifth highball. You always get a buzzing after the fifth highball. Why, Ida said you were the most thoroly buzzed person I knew.
ZELDA O? So what - don't you know me anymore, Ernest Hemingway, hnh? Well 2 can play at that game!
She turns her back on him and suddenly becomes aware that SCOTT is crawling under the table.
Scott? Scott, just what are you doing down there?!- (to HEM) And anyway highballs buzz in your head not in your ... down there.
HEMING O I get it, those are lowballs.
ZELDA Ernest you're just being coarse. O what a simply g-o- rgeous afternoon? We must do it again. Mmmm, looking down on all the little houses and their little back yards? (holding up an empty glass) I wish I'd taken a handful pebbles to drop down each smoking chimney and - Scott!? Je-sus, Scott!!
SCOTT I'm looking for my soul.
HEMING O nuts Scott don't be corny. You know you never look for your soul before 3AM. Hell! Nobody looks for their soul at 9.30 for christsakes - well, nobody who is anybody!
Rebuked, he rises rather petulant at being ignored.
ZELDA And those pencil-thin roads between the poplars with the dinky little cars going so slowly. I suddenly felt I understood everything, y'know if only Jesus Christ could've taken everybody up in an airplane ...
SCOTT O yeah. That's real profound. For you. Bit I loved was that bridge with the train going across - all that smoke drifting away into the sunlight.
ZELDA And the Seine so small you wanted to straighten out the kinks.
SCOTT It musta been going south? Ida liked to've followed it all the way to the dazzling sea.
HEMING Cept it'd been dark by the time you got there.
SCOTT Guess so.
HEMING I'd kinda like to get to fly that kite myself.
SCOTT Do a better job of it than that French fairy.
ZELDA Whaddaya mean fairy?
SCOTT Faggot ...
ZELDA The hell he was, he was a damn good aviator. Better than you'd ever be. You can't even drive a goddam car straight.
SCOTT Yeah, an I could see the way youw're looking at him too.
ZELDA O you could, could you? Well I'll look at who I damnwell like how I damnwell like, you goddam Victorian!
SCOTT Don't you call me a goddam Victorian!
ZELDA Well you are! All that Jazz stuff is just show. You wanna see Jazz, I got Jazz ...
HEMING Hey shut-the-hell-up children would you for christsake? D'you know who that is, over there?
SCOTT Over where?
HEMING O don't be an idiot, how many people are there in here?
ZELDA O yea, there. I think she's rather sweet -that little girl- don't you? She looks kinda lost & lonesome, Hi-i
HEMING Would you just can it Zelda, that only happens to be James Joyce.
SCOTT O no! God, I mean he's God!
HEMING Now listen, you hicks, if you think you manage not to make complete assholes of yourselves I'll introduce you.
SCOTT O shoot, yes.
They get up
ZELDA Well, I don't see how we could look more like assholes than you, Ernest darling, cause y'all got the right kind of hair for one.
HEMING I'll ignore that.
ZELDA I guess ever' time you look in a mirror you do anyhow.
HEMING sotto Okay, greatest living author - no shit!
Arriving at the Joyces' table
HEMING Ernest Hemingway.
JOYCE peering O yes, of course.
HEMING F Scott Fitzgerald.
JOYCE Mr Fitzgerald!?
HEMING And ...
Before ZELDA can be introduced SCOTT blurts out a gauche greeting. ZELDA is offended.
SCOTT O Mr Joyce, you don't know what a thrill this is, your writing's such an inspiration. God, if I could only manage just a single page like you.
JOYCE O well, it's not that difficult y'know? Y'just have to stop and think a bit. Now music, there's an art. Any fool with a pen is a writer, but a singer ... M' friend O'Sullivan here outsoars us all, and on what?
JOYCE Air - breath - mere ether.
Ignored, ZELDA slowly detaches herself and begins to dance, slowly, mesmerically, at first.
O'SULL Ha! Joyce! That's ridiculous talk from a man that's known the world over for originality of thought.
JOYCE Ah! - for the thought, yes. That's another thing; but writing, why, chimpanzees can do it!
SCOTT impulsively descends to one knee
SCOTT O God, this is the biggest thrill of my life. Say but a word of blessing - plant your sainted hand on my un- conscious brow.
HEMING Okay, Scott, take it ...
JOYCE jovially Mr Fitzgerald, that's absurd. Why, your books sell in millions, mine only in thousands. I'm the one in need of blessing this Bloomsday!
HEMING catching the signal Oh? Is it ...?
SCOTT barging on You know if you asked me to go and jump out of that window I'd do it. Just say the word.
JOYCE But Mr Fitzgerald I don't know what word makes people jump out of windows, d'you O'Sullivan? - Psephologically? Reticulate? Zeugmaticism? You see?
Focus on ZELDA, she is dancing now with bacchantic abandon, oblivious of the surroundings. She is. From time to time, in the context of dancing, she raises her skirt so that her garters &c are exposed, which renders the dance sexy, tho none of her movements are suggestive. ZELDA finishes quite suddenly. There is a burst of applause - ideally from the audience!
ZELDA Come on guys. This place is slowin' down. Let's hit the Deux Magots.
HEMING Or the BÏuf ...?
ZELDA Yeah, whatever. C'mon, Scott. Jesus!
SCOTT, completely forgetting JOYCE, flings a fistful of notes and change on the table and they sweep out as abruptly as they swept in. (As soon as possible they resume their other characters and slip unobtrusively back into the places of their cardboard cutouts.) JOYCE & O'SULLIVAN look at each other and then burst out laughing.
O'SULL What in the b'Jasus was that?
JOYCE Y'wouldnt see that in O'Donnell's of a Saturday Nicht.
O'SULL More's the pity, I'd say.
NORA Who were they?
JOYCE Fitzgerald? He's a woman's writer I'd say; couldn't really be bothered with it, very fashionable tho.
NORA And the other?
JOYCE Hemingway? More ... grit to him. Spare. Good writing, but - boring. Trouble with Americans, they've no imagination - can only write about what they see - think you've got to do it or it isn't real. Faugh.
O'SULL But the girl?
JOYCE I don't know, somebody's wife - lover?
O'SULL O but can't she dance!!
LUCIA (on TV, in CU, lilting and distant) It was unbelievably beautiful. Everyone was watching. She is Ôit'. I know I could do that. I know I could. They'd be watching me. Watching me. (over, fading)They don't just sit here all night long, talk, talk, talk.
live She studies with Eg?rova. Her dancing is Ôit' - Simply G-o-rgeous!
JOYCE As far as my children are concerned I am always asking the impossible. A father feels at a loss.
LUCIA But I could dance like that.
JOYCE Of course ye could me dear. Of course ye could.
The others rise and leave LUCIA alone in a spotlight.
LUCIA Imagine me, the little mouse - everyone applauding. If I was somebody Sam'd have to love me. If I could just ... get the space I could ... but I can't push away ... darkness É every side ... How can you if nobody cares whether you do or not? I could just get out there and ... Very tentatively LUCIA gets up and tries to imitate ZELDA. But suppose I did and nobody even noticed?
It's gawky, uncoordinated and, frankly, embarrassing. She gives up.
Hopeless, hopeless! Someone has to need me. I'd come alive in the power of their thought and be everything, be all the ideas in my mind - live my own life in the clean breath of God's free air, not somebody's daughter, or girlfriend, or wife - be ... myself! - whatever that is.
Mmm. Rich and beautiful young men would invite me to dine in cool restaurants, and they'd ... I wonder how a man falls in love with a little mouse? They don't go down on their knees anymore do they - or send you flowers? How does he show he's in love with you? - gaze for hours into your cool afternoon eyes over a hazy white table? Or say it? (with hesitant passion) ÔI l-love you, Lucia.'
Hunh. That's ridiculous isn't it! How victorian! Nobody's who modern would ever say that, and anyway, what is there is to love (about me)? sits
And next? How does he know you want him to kiss you? Sam's always been afraid to touch me. (lost in a reverie) Imagine his fingers running over my skin? O God, I think I'd explode if Sam touched me anywhere sensitive. And what are you supposed to say?
If he ... grownups make jokes É it's scary. I've seen Babbo's, and Giorgio's, but I don't see how É I mean, it doesn't look as if it would, somehow. It must be awfully embarrassing.
She moves toward the exit.
Perhaps soon they'll have babies in test-tubes so we won't need men. Still, I'd like to try it once before everybody stops doing it.
JUNG suddenly appears on the catwalk and jumps off. He wears a safety-harness so that he can interupt his descent almost immediately. Everything JUNG has the magical flamboyance of a natural showman (shaman) to it. The lighting is concentrated in the upper area, and has an almost glitzy vulgarity - maybe a revolving glitter-ball in the centre. 3 fairground-type distorting mirrors are placed around the area beneath JUNG's rope. The scene should dazzle both kinetically and philosophically. The adlibs in brackets mustn't distort the flow of the argument.
JUNG Now then - for every person's conscious awareness there is an oppositio compensandum, a subconscious of equal and opposite dimensions - Newton's Third Law, indeed, would lead us to expect no less!
He looks around inquiringly
Not difficult to understand? (What about you sir? When was the last time you had your speculum animarum out? - young people, I dont know! At it all the time these days.
(ÔSigmund', I said, ÔSigmund, I dont think he understood a word of it.' And he said to me, ÔCarl Gustav, I donnow vy ve bozzer.' Anyway, look, no, I want to tell you a limerick I made up about old Sigmund. Laugh? I thought hed forgotten how to - accused me of infantile coprophilia. So I said, Ôcmon Siggie, can't you take a joke?' And he said ÔVots a choke? ... If zats a choke give me a good psychosis, any day.'
JUNG suddenly descends a little more.
The folks who frequent picture-palaces
Don't hold with psycho-analysis.
Tho Dr Freud is distinctly annoyed
They cling to their long-standing fallacies.)
So, what can we expect to find in this Sub-conscious of ours - an old thrupny bit? a torn picture of your first love? the Barbra Streisand ticket lost in Wembley carpark? a spare tampax? grandmother's false teeth? No - Yes? É a submerged empire of contradictions that keep the personality in balance.
With a flourish he produces a big shiny cooking ladle and swings round, showing it to the audience like a sales demonstrator before balancing it on a fulcrum.
If I take this ladle and place it -so- it falls off. To balance it I must find the point of equilibrium - ¾quis ponderibus librarandum.
With the gesture of an illusionist JUNG materialises a couple of small objects.
If the bowl contains little matter then Newton's law says É
The ELECTRICIAN or DSM interupts reading Newton verbatim, but indistinctly, over the talkback
ELEC ÔTo every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.'
JUNG pointedly ignoring him É the effect of a counterweight increases in relation to its distance from the fulcrum. (That's all you need, a smartass electrician! You spotted that at once didn't you Missus? O they give out PhDs these days as consolation prizes instead of Social Fund grants. XXX there got one because he couldn't get on a YTS course for sperm donors.)
JUNG descends further and substitutes another, old-fashioned ladle.
Now the variations are endless - a heavy handle requires a greater counterbalance.
He materialises some objects we can't clearly see.
Ha ha! What's the matter?
He materialises a silk scarf and suspends it above the point of the fulcrum, hiding the spoon.
You don't know, do you? (Honestly! Fancy coming out on a night like this when you could be curled up in the dog's basket dreaming of Scunthorpe.) You don't know what's hidden behind this veil do you?
So that's the problem Siggie and I have every time one of you nutters walks thru our door. Of course you can't tell us a bloody thing about it because your all off your rockers.
JUNG dextrously throws the objects in his ladle out over the audience, they explode and turn into flowers that drift lightly down. He slips everything else back in his pockets and drops down further, quite near the stage by now, and partly reflected in the mirrors. The lighting changes to a mysterious glittering green glow coming partly from beneath him, distorting his facial mask.
Part of the ¾quis ponderibus librarandum comes from knowing -or thinking we know- which way up everything is. (You, madam, was this a blind date? You mean you knew what he looked like, and you went out with him? So there's still hope for me! Why don't you ditch him and come round for a drink afterwards, okay? I don't suppose you've anything to lose!)
He suddenly swings upside down and turns his back on the girl. The lighting on his facial mask now appears Ônormal', yet is inverted. To everyone:
(Look at me, go on.
He turns back to the girl
You see, I'm not as ugly as you thought: just antipodean.)
All those contradictions inside yourself ...
he turns the right way up.
are like separate bits of a mosaic mirror. None of them is completely you, and yet you are all of them. But there are bits of the glass you don't want to look into, aren't there? You don't even want to acknowledge they're part of you.
So which is right? -
JUNG drops down so that he is suspended between the distorting mirrors just above the floor.
The way you think you appear? Or your reflection in the mirror?
He swings around
Is either? Look at my shadow. The stronger the light the bigger my shadow. (Come on sir, don't look so glum. It's not long to the interval now. You can go and cheer yourself up watching snooker in a TV shop.)
We need the darkness to distinguish the shape of our lives. If it was all light we would be able to see nothing at all. So it's a game, you see. If you can fit all the bits of the mirror together within a single frame you can go on to another round. You think that's impossible? It is impossible. The white is so blinding and the black so dark they'll never fit together.
JUNG jumps down and releases his harness.
But it's like sex - just because you didn't get it right first time didn't stop you trying again, did it?
In the bedroom area ZELDA is in a silk slip, preening herself for a party in front of a pier glass. She has a beautiful body and doesn't care who knows it. SCOTT, halfway to evening dress, is sitting half off the bed contemplating a bowtie suspiciously - a tumbler of scotch and a bowl of nuts by his elbow. His alcoholically-suppressed libido creates a kind of voyeuristic narcissism between them that appeals to her more than sex - being desired she remains the centre of attention, whereas being Ôtaken ...' is synonymous with Ôfor granted'.
The sounds of a party are audible o/s. During this scene an ASM brings on a monochrome cut-out of LUCIA and places at the far corner of the stage, watching longingly.
SCOTT How long has this party been going on?
ZELDA Silly! Two and a half years, and it's only just begun.
SCOTT Whose is it?
ZELDA Ours of course.
SCOTT Oh. Have we been to it?
ZELDA rolls on some stockings up to the top of her beautiful legs. SCOTT watches mesmerised, remembering something submerged.
Proudly: Y'know, I'd think Paris was all a hallucination if I could tell it apart from reality.
ZELDA more to the mirror while lipsticking herself: Tonight, something will happen.
SCOTT Happen? O. Nothing's happened for ages. I think I Ôhappened' a long time ago. He tries to crack a nut. Matter-of-factly: That's why I can't write. I thought, maybe something would happen if we came to Europe.
He slings the nut back in the bowl, and tries another. She selects a dress.
ZELDA Come on Goofo, I'm ready to fly.
SCOTT self-pityingly So, fly then.
ZELDA Love me. Promise you'll love me for ever and I'll fly.
Gets into the dress and bends to let him zip her.
To the mirror: Not yet? But I will. I will.
He zips her, strokes her bottom affectionately but without lust, and takes a massive drink.
SCOTT Poor wingless child.
Putting the finishing touches to her toilette ZELDA looks $1M
ZELDA I want, somehow, to be paid for my soul. Like you.
SCOTT Being the most envied couple in New York & Paris isn't enough?
ZELDA C'mon, here, gimme that.
She takes and ties his bowtie, while SCOTT fumbles unsuccessfully with the nuts
We never disappoint our public! It's just, you know what you've got. I don't. Yet. I feel it's here, lurking in a Montmartre alleyway - beyond the deserted pools of cobbled lamplight, behind the scuttling raindrops on the shining taxi-window. It's much too exciting to stop now.
The party explodes into the room. ZELDA is immediately queen bee, MEN cluster around her, but she has no difficulty in keeping them where she wants.
ZELDA I'm raising my daughter to be a flapper. If we're the jazz generation, hers'll be even jazzier. I don't care if she's a genius because flappers are brave and gay and beautiful.
MAN 1 rather morosely Don't you think Jolson is just like Christ - those great eyes?
ZELDA O yes! (thinks) D'you think that makes God happy?
MAN 1 Is he happy?
ZELDA I don't see how he could be really.
MAN 2 O! Hell! We're running out of Americans.
ZELDA Don't be stupid Harold, we can't be, I ordered another couple of boatloads only last week.
MAN 2 O that's alright then.
ZELDA Dance with me Ernest. Scott won't. Look at him.
HEMING Well, it's hot.
ZELDA He's in love with you, you know that?
HEMING And where does that leave you?
ZELDA With him or with you?
HEMING With you.
ZELDA O I don't think men take women seriously.
HEMING Do women take women seriously?
ZELDA Look. I'll show you!
ZELDA sweeps into a fantastic choreographic routine, culminating in a spectacularly dangerous-looking leap - if possible right offstage, or into the Ôpool'. Everything stops until ZELDA returns. She looks as if she has hurt herself but is determined that noone shall know it. There is a spontaneous burst of applause.
A cross-dressed DYKE approaches ZELDA and takes her hands. She speaks in a throaty Raassian kind of way.
EGîROVA My dear, you are a born dancer. You must study with me. It is your destiny.
ZELDA hesitantly at first Yes. Yes, yes - it is.
EGîROVA Dance. Dance for, Egrova!
ZELDA dances again, but this time she makes a self-conscious effort. The thought should cross our mind that training her spontaneous talent could be a disaster. The lights slowly dim on her.
Film starts. LUCIA slips into the cinema again. It's a silent Musical As before, she is transported as she watches eagerly. Once again, as it finishes she just deflates, and goes back drably into the everyday world.
Night. The JOYCE family enter their sitting room as if after a good dinner and sit contentedly in the semi-dark for a few moments.
JOYCE So, it's to be our last huddled night together as the family we once were then, is it? Think; tomorrow Mister Giorgio Joyce takes over his own glittering establishment, with servers and carvers and wivers and all that sort of splendid thing. And there's young Helen, the Pallas Athene of Brooklyn Heights, waiting with her dish poised to receive your cherrystone, m'lad, and you in the lap of luxury, playing a game of tennis now and then or taking a drave in your mag-nificent automobile. What'll become of your singing, eh? For you'll never need to earn a living now ...
GIORGIO O no Babbo, Helen says there're great teachers in New York. I'll make my debut.
JOYCE I daresay, I dare-well-say; but it worries me that you won't need to lift a finger.
GIORGIO And where's the harm of that?
JOYCE Because nothing lasting was ever made that way.
LUCIA gets up to put on the light.
JOYCE Listen. Why does this tiny gourd make such a sound when I hit it?
LUCIA Because it's empty?
JOYCE Emp-i-ty? No, because it's full. Full of resonating air. And why?
NORA Och all these riddles Jim, when you're aching to say!
JOYCE Because the maker scraped and worked away at the insides of the instruments until it was no more than a thin membrane covering a big empty resonant space. We artists, Giorgio, you and I, are that membrane but for us to resonate we have to be hollowed out.
GIORGIO You don't make it sound very pleasant.
JOYCE Well, you've seen it for yourselves, you've seen what our lives have been.
NORA Coffee all?
GIORGIO No thanks! I've still got a few things to pack.
NORA exits to kitchen. GIORGIO exits too.
JOYCE So from tomorrow it'll be just the 3 of us.
LUCIA But you've always got your nose into that green suitcase of yours.
JOYCE If I don't write I'm dead.
LUCIA listlessly Have you ever thought that I'm dead already?
JOYCE Bless my soul now; you've your music and your painting ...
LUCIA I'll never be any good - like you.
JOYCE Silly, those pretty blue-veined fingers dash across the keys, and what of the drawing now?
LUCIA Oh I can see the mountain peaks, but I'll never get there. I feel that dancing ...
JOYCE O it's dancing now is it?
LUCIA I can't stand that stupid old typing school. With a good teacher I could really express myself ...
NORA returns with some mugs. LUCIA clams up.
JOYCE Here, Nora, Lucia's after dancing lessons now.
NORA O. Dancing. I thought we'd had that last summer?
LUCIA But you don't understand.
LUCIA This is real. I could really make a career. They're crying out for dancers all over Paris. I'm young enough.
NORA That's all fine and airy fairy. But if you keep on with the typing, you'll never be out of a job.
LUCIA ceases to plead and suddenly turns angry.
LUCIA Typing's boring. And I'm not going to do it anymore.
It has an interesting effect on NORA: she immediately stops matronising her daughter and exhibits something akin to physical fear. Why? What has happened?
NORA Well - well - what do you think Jim? I don't know m'self.
Ignoring NORA LUCIA throws herself at her father
LUCIA O please say yes. Please Babbo please. I'll go mad if you don't.
JOYCE casts a sidelong glance of relief at his wife
JOYCE laughing uneasily O well if that's the alternative ...
ZELDA takes her first class with EGOROVA. She is being made to do an elvation exercise, repeatedly rising and falling on her toes. The piano thumps away in the BG - played by JOYCE?
EGOROVA Use some imachination Zelda! Don't just do it like robot.
ZELDA trying not to cry I'm sorry Madame. I am trying to.
She makes an extra effort.
EGOROVA No no no. You are not ready to do that yet. Keep to what I tell you.
ZELDA Sorry Madame. I thought ...
EGOROVA Don't thought. Ask me. Eg?rova knows! Now look ... EGOROVA holds ZELDA's stomach and back erect
This must always be viertical.
When EGOROVA releases ZELDA she lets her hand brush against her breast, smiling faintly to herself. She pats her bottom.
This must go too.
ZELDA I'm doing my best. 97, 98, 99, 100.
She reaches for a towel. EGOROVA motions to the pianist, who stops.
EGOROVA You are dilettante. All Americans are dilettante.
ZELDA I'm doing everything you say; religiously.
EGOROVA It's not enough. You must understand.
ZELDA But what? How? For Christsake tell me. (cries) God it's like a maze.
EGOROVA Look into my eyes. (pause) What do you see?
ZELDA tentatively at first Rocks, moss; cliffs with light spilling over, and trees dancing lazily. A deep, deep cave, with a velvet dragon.
EGOROVA And what does dragon mean?
ZELDA half-heartedly You?
EGOROVA No. Wisdom, power, the will to succeed. turning away
You saw it for yourself, so there's a cha ...
EGOROVA sees SCOTT who has entered silently, and is looking like a small thundercloud.
SCOTT And just what in the hell is that all?
ZELDA O Scott, Goofo, hallo.
SCOTT Is that what you get up to all day long?
EGOROVA haughtily There are many things you could not understand. You are American.
Uncomfortable, EGOROVA moves around the studio packing up her things.
SCOTT You're right. Yeah. I maybe American. But there are a lot of things I can understand. And that's one of them. Come along Zelda, lets get outa here. If you were a man, Madam Eggerover, I'd knock you over.
ZELDA Madame had something in her eye ...
SCOTT Yeah yeah, I tried getting girls to kiss me like that. Usually worked. Sorry I came too soon!
EGOROVA Ôtwas nothing like that at all.
She sweeps out.
SCOTT Well that's it, Miss Red Shoes. No more dancing, with her at any rate.
ZELDA O but Scott ...
SCOTT You think I'm going to stand for that? Jesus. Now I know why you don't wanta make love with me any more.
ZELDA No, no, it's not like that. Honest to God. (pause) You're rough with me, I'm afraid.
SCOTT But not of her it seems.
ZELDA No. She's gentle. She's teaching me.
SCOTT Yeah I can see. That's what worries me. You think I want Scottie to have a dyke for a mother? ZELDA bursts into tears and runs offstage. SCOTT follows her. O shit, Zelda. I'm sorry. I didn't mean that ... Zelda? Honey?
ZELDA offstage Get away from me. I'm tryina make something of my own. Jesus, Scott, gimme a break! I'm not a dyke. She's my friend, and the only way I can learn from her is how she teaches. That's all.
A Christmas Party is in progress chez Joyce. A sense of paradox has to be imparted: the most sought-after avantgardist is profoundly bourgeois in his domestic life. As his star rises he appears more dandaical, in particular he always wears ornate rings, which get more progressively elaborate. The party inevitably consists of his crony O'SULLIVAN, and disciple BECKETT.
JOYCE Christmas wont be the same without Giorgio.
NORA The first of our babbies to fly the coop.
LUCIA awkwardly catches BECKETT's eye as he circulates topping up glasses, but he doesn't respond. She blushes.
O'SULL Are y'expecting anyonelse?
Doorbell. LUCIA goes for it, grateful for the excuse
NORA Perfect timing.
JOYCE Yes. Alexander Calder, you know, American artist.
O'SULL O who was at Les Trianons the other night? coughing
JOYCE Yes that's the one.
Having divested himself CALDER enters. JOYCE rises politely
So there you are, Mr Calder. Know everyone?
CALDER nods politely to each in turn.
CALDER Good evening Mrs Joyce, a happy Christmas to you. sotto Hey, Sam is there going to be any chow? I'm famished, couldn't even afford a croissant today.
BECKETT Have a quiet word with Lucia. She'll maybe make you a sandwich ... if she knows how.
CALDER gives him a slightly perplexed look. JOYCE puts his glass down on what he thinks is the table. It falls to the floor.
O'SULL That's no good now Joyce, those eyes ...
BECKETT hastens to clean it up.
JOYCE I'll tell you in confidence, m' old friend, they're deathly bad. I've to've another operation on the left.
O'SULL O no.
JOYCE I've a wonderful man in Zurich, been under him ever since we lived there.
O'SULL That's a blessing.
BECKETT hands him another glass
JOYCE And he doesn't charge me a sou! Thank you Mr Beckett.
O'SULL Well I never ...
JOYCE His service to literature and all that kind of thing!
CALDER Quite right!
Both look slightly displeased at this conversational intrusion, and turn to each other.
JOYCE But listen now O'Sullivan, it pains me I shan't be able to come to London to hear you sing for Beecham.
O'SULL Coughs Id've liked ye there, a trusted friend ...
JOYCE And Id've liked to've been there, but no mistake, some things y'can post-pone and others y'can't.
Slightly discomfited, CALDER moves away.
O'SULL That's the truth of it m'learned friend.
JOYCE And isn't m' glass gasping with air?
O'SULL Ha, that's one thing you can see at least! (Coughs into a laugh)
LUCIA and BECKETT find a conversation inescapable.
BECKETT What've you been up to?
LUCIA O, dancing mostly.
BECKETT How's it going?
LUCIA Fine. You?
BECKETT O the usual. A little. Slowly!
LUCIA Yes, isn't it.
CALDER joins NORA sitting a short way off.
NORA You've a wife I believe Mr Calder?
CALDER Yep. Back home somewhere! We see each other once in a coupla years!
NORA O well it's alright when you're young. But I've done it too long. We're just like tinkers really, no sooner do we settle in than Jim has to up sticks and start all over again from scratch somewherelse. (sadly) M'self, I'd prefer to go back home to Ireland, but himself there wont hear of it, so ...
CALDER Say Mrs Joyce, you're really disillusioning me.
NORA Oh, that's just as well then, if you're to be any good you'll have no use for illusions ...
CALDER But what else is Art?
NORA Ah, Art itself may be illusion -and the Artist ill-used- but for every lock (taps her heart) there's a different key; and you've to find yours, m'dear. If you do, all the people who can't be bothered to look for their own will pay you no end of money, or kill you - they're one and the same.
CALDER gobsmact A-are you an artist yourself?
NORA O good lord no, I've no time for that kind of thing at all. Excuse me, problem with the water-works these days.
BECKETT is paying court to JOYCE. LUCIA stands awkwardly by herself. CALDER approaches.
CALDER Hi! You're Lucia? - I'm Calder.
LUCIA O, shall I close the window?
CALDER laughing No, Alexander Calder, but I'm called-a Calder. What do you do?
LUCIA O. O, I see. Um, I -well- dance, sort of.
CALDER O say that's great. Shall we cut the rug?
LUCIA No, no please don't, mother'd be livid.
CALDER No I meant, dance. Shall we dance?
LUCIA O god yes: well, I don't know: you see they don't really like that sort of music.
CALDER You're real cute, y'know that?
LUCIA is so nervous she looks as if she's about to run off
D'you have a boyfriend?
LUCIA Boyfriend. She casts a panic-stricken glance at BECKETT O no, well, that is, sort of.
CALDER You sort of do a lot of things. D'you ever sort of make love to him?
LUCIA Um. Heavens what a question.
CALDER Hell I was only asking.
LUCIA No, um, well, you see - I think I'd better just, um ...
LUCIA scuttles away, excited. JOYCE gets up.
JOYCE Time for a little mewsic wouldntya say?
O'SULLIVAN coughs ostentatiously as a general move to the piano takes place. In the confusion CALDER catches up with LUCIA again.
CALDER Hey, um' no chance of a pastrami on rye? chuckling at LUCIA alarm Say that's just a sandwich! Sam says you're a mean cook.
LUCIA looks crestfallen
O heck no. That means kinda neat Y'know?
LUCIA O alright.
The music party is already in action with JOYCE singing Finigan's Wake [sic] as CALDER follows LUCIA to the upstairs section where there is a shelf. She finds bread.
CALDER Here. Let me.
As he cuts it she look among the pots.
LUCIA What do you want on it?
CALDER Peanut butter?
LUCIA dismayed Peanut butter?
CALDER You don't got peanut butter over here yet? Christ! Europe, when are you gonna wake up?
CALDER O yeah it'll do, but make the butter nice and thick sweetheart.
As she spreads CALDER comes up and presses himself against her back, lightly swaying his trousers across her dress at first and then, meeting no resistance, unambiguously centring his cock between her buttocks. LUCIA has stopped buttering, in a quandary whether to tell him to stop or to go on. He turns her round and she makes no resistance to his kiss. They feed on each others' mouth for a time, as the silly Irish songs float across from the party. Then CALDER begins to play with LUCIA's breasts. She reacts with horror-delight. He lets his less obvious hand drift slowly down to her cunt. On its arrival she tries to fend him off but doesn't actually repel him. He masturbates her thru her dress. As she reaches a climax, LUCIA begins to make cries of delight. CALDER looks round in alarm, and shushes her. LUCIA trembles with orgasm and collapses against him, tenderly accepting his support. The song comes to an end.
LUCIA O Christ. So that's what it's all about!
JOYCE Where's Lucia? I need her to accompany me.
LUCIA What about you? I thought you had to climb on top?
NORA O yes, and she was going to do her Charlie Chaplin routine too. She's been practising it.
CALDER We'll do that another time.
JOYCE O yes, to be sure. You'll like that O'Sullivan. Most amusing.
CALDER Do you want to feel it?
NORA She made the costume herself.
LUCIA Oo gosh, it's all hard. Now I understand.
BECKETT I think she's probably putting something in a sandwich for Calder. I'll fetch them.
O'SULL Did she now?
LUCIA How it fits.
CALDER starts to und Lucia just makig me some food.
JOYCE O that's alright. Are you a musician?
CALDER No not really.
CALDER Sure. (bluffly) Here's to sin.
JOYCE superstitiously O no. I wont drink to that.
Nobody can think of anything to say. There is a silence of crippling embarrassment, broken only by LUCIA's entry as Party at Charlie Chaplin. Everybody laughs too loud. This psyches LUCIA who doesn't realise what they're laughing at. She does her Charlie Chaplin act, but it gets off on the wrong foot and goes on wronger. Eventually LUCIA runs off in tears.
JOYCE O dear. That was going so well.
CALDER Yeah it was great.
O'SULL Quite original.
JOYCE Nora dear, just go and see she's alright.
BECKETT Unique, I'd say.
NORA sounding a little afraid I don't know if that's such a good thing.
BECKETT reluctantly D'you want me to?
NORA Would you?
BECKETT leaves without comment and goes toward LUCIA's bedroom.
JOYCE Now that reminds me of a little song I knew once.
LUCIA is crying her eyes out. She looks up as BECKETT enters. He sits on the bed beside her. LUCIA seizes his head and kisses him as if she was being rescued from drowning. BECKETT struggles unsuccessfully to get free.
Meanwhile NORA has stuck her hands in her ears.
NORA O there he goes again. Don't you know when people've had enough Jim?
JOYCE O come now Nora. Don't be after spoiling the evening.
NORA Getting up Who's spoiling it with all these silly ould songs. Come on Jim, I've had enough, and I'm sure these good people have too.
At exactly the same moment in opposite corners of the stage NORA upends the piano stool tipping JOYCE off, while LUCIA forces BECKETT back onto the bed and leaps on him in her Chaplin kit.
A party to launch Ulysses in Shakespeare & Co bookshop. There is a book display featuring it. There is the crawly atmosphere of a publisher's party. JOYCE presents NORA with a copy. He clutches the copy with pride.
JOYCE Here we are, my dear. At last. Ulysses. After an Odyssey of 14 years. 14 years? It hardly seemed a week! I want you to read it. It's the story of our life too.
NORA Well, thank you very much Jim. I want to tell you how much this moment means to me.
She turns away from him to the audience
Ye've been a hopeless husband to me, and just because it's over now, doesn't mean it's going to stop. Like Ulysses, you set off into the unknown on a voyage of discovery that was at times distressing, at times dangerous, but always exciting. For you, 14 years were but a week. I stayed at home, as women are supposed to: there were no excitements, no rewards, just children with runny noses, worries about how to pay the bills. Every week seemed like 14 years - seeing them grow and having noone to share it with. Now you're back, covered with honour; history will reward you with the niche you sought. But how will it reward me? And the kids? How will it repay us for the 14 lost years? If, with a fond smile, I use a childish word there is no treasure house of memories in it for you. Will you harden conkers for a boy no longer at school, or help with homework a full-grown woman?
I'll tell you God's honest truth. I'll not read it. I'll not read the book at all. For one thing I don't understand it, for another it's written in blood. Our blood. Ye've not even spared the blood from my menses. Ye've drawn it from us at any time of the day or night - whether we wanted to give it or no. It would be too painful to see it all set down; too painful to know what you really think of us each.
turns back to him
I shall keep it tho, and treasure it as an artefact - even if I am afraid to cut the paper.
JOYCE fondly Thank you Nora. Thank you very much indeed.
JUNG arrives, bluff and jovial, under his overcoat a flying harness. He wears gloves and removes one to shake hands. He speaks on a radio mic, whose amplification is barely discernible at first. JOYCE is honoured by his attendance.
JOYCE Ah! Sehr geheerter Herr Doktor! Es ist gut du bist hier gekommen. 
JUNG Sehr geheerter Herr Joyce. Es ist ein ehrwurde. 
JUNG shakes hands with JOYCE and gives him an electric shock. JUNG roars with laughter at this, and promptly squirts him in the eye with a trick bowtie.
I could cure your eyesight. Do you want me to?
JOYCE How? You're not that kind of Doctor, are you?
JUNG What kind of blindness is it?
JOYCE I can see what I want to.
JUNG Ha ha! My point. It's what you want to see.
JOYCE I am telebyotic, even the walls of time are transpicuous to me.
JUNG suddenly sweeps 3M into the air. The balance of direct: amp sound goes up to about 55:45.
JUNG Maybe. But you don't know where I am now, do you?
JOYCE looks around without caring very much
JOYCE You can't accomplish everything in a life, you've to settle for what comes.
JUNG Ah but from whose viewpoint?
JOYCE Mine. Who else's have I?
JUNG rises slowly in the air as he speaks
JUNG Yours at the time you wrote? - Yours as a boy? - Yours as a young man? - Yours as a father? - Yours as an old man?
JOYCE Ogh you ask impossible questions! I have no body but the one I put on this morning.
JUNG But you have, you have. Think what you might see.
JOYCE The degree to which you can escape the earth's gravity defines the distance in time from which your work may be viewed.
JUNG squirts him with a water-pistol
JUNG Very profound Mr Joyce.
JUNG descends as quickly as poss
But also very elevated.
He comes to rest just off the stage
And yet you still don't see ...
JOYCE Cut the crap Jung. Did you read it, Ulysses?
JUNG comes down to earth, and deftly uncouples his harness. He puts his arm round JOYCE like a director with an actor and walks slowly with him. The direct:amp balance rises to about 75:25. It isn't loud: if anything JUNG speaks quieter to keep the perceived level equal.
JUNG You have a photographic power of observation and sense-perception, but your method of presentation that takes no account of the readers.
JOYCE They'll learn!
JUNG Every sentence arouses an expectation that is not fulfilled;
They walk towards a corner. JUNG has a false left sleeve on his jacket (into which the glove is sewn) which attaches by Velcro to JOYCE's shoulder.
Gradually, to my horror, it dawned on me, that there is nothing to expect.
Reaching the NW corner exit JUNG turns with JOYCE, but in doing so slips his arm from the sleeve and exits. JOYCE walks slowly back toward the centre under the impression JUNG is still with him. JUNG's voice continues perfectly normally via the radio mic.
After several attempts I fell asleep.
JOYCE suddenly realises he is alone, and begins to be afraid. The lighting begins to pulse, almost like a disco, dramatically altering our perception of the scene with each separate state.
When I awoke I found I understood. I started to read the book backwards. I realised it had no back and no front, no top and no bottom. The whole work has the character of a worm that if cut in half can re-form a new head or a new tail as required.
Continuing to walk, JOYCE has reached the NE corner. Under the cover of a light change (which continue) JUNG miraculously rejoins him, and leads them slowly both to CS, where they pause.
The analogies between Ulysses and the schizophrenic mentality are clear enough even to the layman:
JOYCE, already looking cross, attempts to intervene. JUNG materialises a chirruping bird which fascinates JOYCE.
for the psychiatrist the analogy is startling.
They begin to descend the pool, step by step. JOYCE's attention is fixed on the bird.
yet the unvarying repetition normally found in a lunatic's writing is notably absent. What we are left with then is the insane person of an uncommon sort: but as a psychiatrist I have no criteria for judging such a person.
The lighting changes to a steely white. The pool fills with dry ice.
What seems to be mental abnormality may be a kind of mental health which is inconceivable to the average understanding.
They have descended and are all but covered by the ice. JUNG's voice continues in a pre-recording of identical quality. The audience should remain riveted on the ice wondering what happens next.
(V/O) For the man dazzled by light, darkness is a blessing, and the boundless desert is a paradise to the escaped prisoner. Looked at from the shadow-side, ideals are not beacons on mountain peaks, but taskmasters and gaolers.
Under cover of darkness JUNG makes his way to the pretty girl he identified by name at his first entrance. He gets close to her and, with his radio mic switched on, begins to chat her up by name, making sure that her replies are heard as well. The action is suspended for a moment.
Suddenly JOYCE appears nearby, wearing the flying harness: Immediately the lighting changes.
JOYCE Are you here to celebrate my work or your own opinion!
They resume walking to CS, JUNG as mentor.
JUNG Causally, Herr Joyce, you are a victim of Roman Catholic authoritarianism: teleologically, a reformer satisfied for the present with mere negation.
JOYCE is not amused. At all. At all at all. The lighting grows colder and colder.
Ultimately, the shattering thing about Ulysses is that behind the thousand veils nothing lies hidden: your method of observation can allow no secrets to the individual; it turns neither to the world nor to the spirit but, cold as the moon looking on from cosmic space, leaves the comedy of genesis and decay to pursue it's own course.
JUNG concludes, enormously pleased with himself for all the long words. And absolutely stunned when JOYCE turns to him in a fury. Even so, JOYCE hardly raises his voice.
JOYCE In german my name is Freud. And would you've dared to say all that then?
JOYCE flies up in the air.
I have just one word for you IMBECILE!
He begins to piss on JUNG from a great height.
Fool! Cretin! Villain! Traitor!
JUNG is driven from the stage. JOYCE calls after him Words are all we have in common - but at least my words mean something!
Cold unforgiving moonlight, as if seen thru a single immense window. LUCIA is in bed, unnoticed at first? She tosses and turns in her sleep.
LUCIA I can't ... can't .... get thru.
JOYCE enters with one eye bandaged carrying a cage containing the singing bird JUNG gave him. Placing it on the sitting room table he speaks to them, peering right in at the bars, half as if Nora were present.
JOYCE voice processing Would you look at that? Would you look at them beauties now? Here Nora, Tetrazzini seems a little under the weather today, not quite her usual melismatic self. I wonder why can that be? We musta been doing something wrong.
LUCIA I'm sinking ... falling ...
JOYCE straight What's the matter wit' you darling? No mate? We must find you a cock. smirks O not just any cock! A cock wit' a heart! Or would you prefer a heart wit' a cock? Or a just heart without a cock? s
LUCIA over, still asleep, indistinctly Babbo, Babbo ... I'm alone in a great pipe, there's 'wall 'f water rushing to'rd me. I'll drown. I'll drown!
She addresses her father as if calling on God. JOYCE's reaction is noteworthy. As he becomes aware of her he is more intrigued than concerned. He leaves the birds and goes over to her bed. Donning a wizard's hat (as if he had had it all along but always kept it hidden) he produces a pair of callipers and carefully measures her head. He returns to his armchair, opens his green suitcase and begins to write, watching her closely. Meanwhile:
see 'f I could dance ... dance, I could keep the water ...
One by one a pattern of veils slowly descends /unfurls E-W across the stage. They are both on the same side.
oh - oh - ohhhh!
Flailing, as if drowning, LUCIA afterwards rises somnambulistically and shuffles blindly around the stage, her arms outstretched in supplication. She walks into a chair, but JOYCE makes no effort to help her.
oh - Babbo - pleease. O god, let it be over. I don't want to beel this way.
BECKETT appears on the catwalk above her, stern but reassuring
BECKETT Your time will come.
LUCIA looking up blindly O no, oh no. Time runs thru my fingers, try as I will. I can retain none of it.
BECKETT If not you then ...
LUCIA after a pause Who - how, can I be another? What use is that to me?
BECKETT Beyond is - silence, dust, the invisible movement of light.
LUCIA But if I and time are out of phase, what way is forward? You above all deny me a handhold on this mighty wall.
BECKETT I can not control the arrival of time.
LUCIA But you can, you could, hold me, help me up ...?
BECKETT Look. The wall is not here yet, what good would it do?
LUCIA O, when O when will time start?
BECKETT When it is time.
LUCIA If it is not time, what is it yet?
BECKETT ... not time.
LUCIA We could just leave ...?
BECKETT And go where?
LUCIA Out, just out forever into some interstellar space.
BECKETT Then we would no longer be waiting.
LUCIA But how long, how long? I can't stand it, not knowing.
BECKETT If you want to you have to wait, there's no choice.
LUCIA It's all the same to you?
BECKETT O no. No. Not at all. Different is the same.
LUCIA Does love change anything?
BECKETT Hard to say. In the long run.
LUCIA Why is it all so slow? Even making a man hard for the second time is an eternity.
BECKETT The clock is upright only once an hour, why should man be faster?
LUCIA I God's supposed to be love then why does he ooze away like ectoplasm, wasting himself on your tummy or seeping out onto the bed?
BECKETT If you find God it will send you mad.
LUCIA How? Knowing?
BECKETT No. Because the experience will run thru your fingers like quicksilver: you can never Ôpossess' it. Listen, I must go, it's been nice chatting.
LUCIA Sam - Sam -
She whimpers, tired and alone.
Always, when I think I might understand it all falls apart.
JOYCE w voice processing Into the thieving fog her silence bled, that doomed gray within the recession of an I; prints of pain unnoticed above a roaring buoy; and aloof in the madonna-gold gloom, lurked the rushing voices echoing thru the caverns of stalled Time.
Writing, JOYCE rises and walks -tho blind- slowly and precisely thru the maze of veils hardly disturbing them.
straight Over the synaptic minefield a sentry picks his way amid contradictory orders writhing like withered telephone whynes. The naked speaker whispers a betrayal of all battles, ducking the great gun which should have silenced, beneath a measured dread of after-longings, all innocent despair.
LUCIA watches him determined to try and follow. After some hesitation LUCIA attempts it.
Streaming up to her impossibly high place, she could see them, at sea all; perspiring mist wrapt like the wound under a nurse's hand, despair her sentry. Could she not've flown the all-unseeing panic?
She beats the veils about unable either to advance or to retreat. She tries turning to left and to right but only becomes hopelessly lost. She becomes more and more hysterical. JOYCE watches, writing all the time.
During this CALDER has appeared at the top of the stairs with a massive prosthetic erection poking thru his raincoat.
JOYCE voice processing I think perhaps of the albatross, born to fly, yet still unborn, afraid of air, body galvanised within the polar currents. Ha-ha, can you decline the verb to be? Dare you accept?
LUCIA becomes exhausted with the effort and gradually desists, beaten back. As she sees CALDER standing there, one by one the veils are withdrawn. Completely Ôfucked over' LUCIA becomes almost an automaton, at the nether end of exhaustion. She eyes CALDER's prick as if it was -not her dream- but her best hope of reality. Speaking mostly to herself, she begins slowly and greedily to approach it via the stairs.
LUCIA Gently, gently, pull me apart till I'm so high the pain becomes the pleasure. You know I love it, a distant planet where there are no unanswerable questions and no rebukes. Just being! I live for one thing alone, to be opened, to be warmed, filled with an explosion of fruit. If you can give it to me, fine: if not, fuck off.
They lie on the catwalk and he simulates sex on top of her. On the stage JOYCE is still writing, but really he is addressing his birds.
JOYCE In our turning we are the same, you and I: landlocked, crying for freedom, aching for certainty - or fettered peace. Most, y'see, the pain of liberty too great, present their locks for another's key and from the safety of their cages moan or curse the unfair play.
To each a certain kind of certainty; the bleached shapes' darkened edges: fear of the obvious, the strident reassurances of clich. O yes, o yes Signora Tetrazzini I see you all, yes I do, I do indeed, bickering over trifles, while your larger cousins find the currents, and glide effortless over the thin green uplands, worn bare and fraying as they are.
SCOTT is woken by her dressing. Altho very early ZELDA is absolutely hyper.
ZELDA I'll be late for class.
SCOTT badly hung over O for Godsake Zelda. It's Sunday!
ZELDA No no, my muscles are all flabby, I can feel them.
SCOTT Zelda - for Christsakes - you've been going 10 hours a day for 8 months.
ZELDA No no, they are I know, I just know. Egorova's are like ...
SCOTT O God! I can halfway bear this dance-craze, but that fucking woman's name ....
ZELDA Yes yes I know. Sorry!
SCOTT Look, it's only 8 o'clock, you're not even due there till 9.30.
ZELDA But I've got a taxi coming.
SCOTT Jesus! Whyntcha say good morning to Scottie once in a while.
ZELDA She's never awake.
SCOTT fully awake and angry Goddammit Zelda, you're like a rat in a trap!
ZELDA Yes yes, that's it exactly: I must get out. I must. This is my way, my way out.
SCOTT The hell it is. This is your way to the funny farm.
He grabs her hand firmly as she passes and tries to drag her onto the bed.
You gotta rest! You gotta unwind Zelda. Jees' you're gonna go nuts.
ZELDA So what? So what if I am? At least I'll achieve something.
There is a deathly silence. They have both of them inadvertently uttered the truth. There is a taxi horn.
That's the cab now.
She backs towards the door, half-afraid SCOTT's going to physically prevent her. It's obvious they no longer talk about anything personal, but she feels obliged, somehow, to try and explain:
Everyday I get this void in the pit of my stomach: I have to work and work and work. If I stopped I'd disappear, just vanish away - and nobody'd ever notice. That's why I have to find it, my destiny, wherever - beyond the gates of madness if need be. My body's hardening, it's mine, my achievement. And you can't take it away from me, nobody can.
SCOTT concerned Zelda ...
ZELDA You'll be proud of me, when it's over, you'll be real proud of me. And Ill've done it myself. Just me and -
Realising it's serious SCOTT jumps out of bed and tries to catch her, but ZELDA is out and in the taxi before he's even at the door.
A cacophony of sound. In different parts of the stage GIORGIO is singing a baritone aria (not very well), NORA is preening him: O'SULLIVAN sings a popular song: the bal musette orchestra of accordion, clarinet, and trumpet play a slow sensual tango. The restaurant (aka cafe) chairs and tables are on the E side of the stage.
LUCIA is in a dressing room (in the pool, a mirror & light bulbs on the shelf) preparing for a dance competition. Her dress is intended to be sexy but in trying too hard looks tarty - we should feel she made it herself. LUCIA anxiously addresses her dialog, to the other performers who aren't listening, and of which the audience probably only hears snatches over the din. Despite her nerves there is something more Amazonian and animal about her than we have seen before.
LUCIA Could you see them, Giorgio, feel them - beyond the lights - wanting you? Oh, to tear off that mask of indifference, yes, to go straight to the heart.
Giorgio? There's something I must say - something I know matters if only I can, get them to ...
Well, it's ... the way I am, because ... I know things, see things they - but I can't ... (communicate). Nobody.
Yet. I could ... O why is noone listening? See, give me space, I can ... O look, please look! wont you.
NORA & JOYCE tango sensually together.
God I don't stand a chance. (I've done is) all wrong. How can I (-go on?) Let me die - now. O this living death.
LUCIA is ready to emerge. On her way to the tables she sees a STRANGER (If there is a live MUSICIAN this vignette should be played with him, if not it should be GIORGIO /CALDER /BECKETT but as a stranger.) She takes him aside and after the most cursory seduction fellates him greedily -in mime!- leaving the STRANGER startled and abandoned.
LUCIA sits at a table as if nothing had happened. BECKETT enters and sits at a separate one nearby. During the V/O their eyes meet momentarily, the attempted smile shatters like a looking glass.
LUCIA v/o What use is love if I can't get thru to you? O Sam, Sam, look at me.
BECKETT v/o I'm slowly crawling up a long dusty hill towards a flickering shade, but you race around without direction. There's more to sex than mere availability.
LUCIA v/o It's the eternal now, there's no forever.
BECKETT v/o Ah but what if there is? - And it's nothing?
LUCIA v/o What the hell ...
BECKETT v/o Precisely.
JOYCE & NORA finish.
BECKETT live Once and for all: you don't want me, you want anyone who happens to be me. If I want sex it's easier to do it myself, or pay: the effect's the same, and cuts out the hours of nonsense about meaning. A fuck's not worth that effort.
Wearing shades, JOYCE takes the role of ANNOUNCER with a stand mic
AN'NCER Mamzelle Lucia Joyce ...
LUCIA Then fuck you, Samuel Beckett.
She gets up. Everybody clusters around fussily wishing her well. She looks back at him with strong emotion, but it's hard to say whether it's love or hate.
BECKETT I'd wish you the same, but you're doing a grand job b' yourself.
LUCIA strides out into a screen of blinding light. The music starts. She dances. It's the right dance but the wrong music (or vice versa). She needs a partner but there isn't one. It's so nearly very good. We need to feel her tragically reaching, seeking for what could probably never be found. And for a fearful moment each of us must believe we have caught a reflection of our naked selves.
JOYCE immediately joins the others as they ALL gather round adlibbing their resentment:
ALL Second prize. / It's an outrage. / A miscarriage of justice. / The audience clearly awarded her the first prize by its applause alone. / Don't be upset. / Well I thought you were definitely the best. / He cheated! / That kind of negroid dancing was just cheap vote- grabbing!
As they storm off toward the pool exit, LUCIA detaches herself and takes a last look round as if moving out of somewhere she'd been fond of.
LUCIA absently I wonder what Zelda would've done?
This scene requires the elegant choreography of a ballet. People and situations metamorphose into each other. C/S there is a bed of blinding whiteness. The video monitor should assist the audience to feel as if its in the bed itself. 2 NURSES (1 female, 1 man in drag) move silently around it personipulating large white, translucent screens (dropping one over the other like leaves of a heavy album) sometimes in the same direction, sometimes in a contrary one, which are lit in changing hues of gray and rose and mauve. There are no sounds except those of the atmospheric electro-music score. There should be plenty of space between the lines of non-sequitur dialog. JUNG appears under a spotlight near the edge of the stage, made thin as a matchstick by a distorting mirror. He answers an unasked question:
JUNG At 3 o'clock this afternoon.
He starts to laugh insincerely as he fades away - a bright surface of metallic laughter. The NURSES express professional solidarity with a single perfunctory laugh.
L TEC reads from the lighting plot over the talkback. As for instance: In state 49a, 16,77 & 22 on bar 2 are grouped onto 6 in the memory.
ZELDA clearly but unseen, from the bottom of Ôthe pool' There is a tiny corner of my head missing, my mind is trickling out onto the sand.
NURSE So. She was raped? By a lily?
JUNG appears elsewhere, beside a fattening mirror, laughing.
JUNG No a shower-jet. We've all done that.
DSM reads stage direction over talkback At first ZELDA is there alone, hunched and bedraggled, almost unrecognisable. They had a daughter.
ZELDA speaks in a light so low that she might not be noticed at first - only a slight tremolo betraying her intense emotion.
ZELDA How can I dance if I've got to stand here and count butterflies?
SCOTT is walking endlessly up stairs (in strobe?) - his body hardly ever moves. He thinks these thoughts: The turnings make no sense. Violence is too good a way to turn my daughter's nightmares into a dream.
MALE NURSE puts down his wall to light a cigarette, showing his ordinary clothes beneath the white dress. He speaks in a regular voice with utter conviction.
M NURSE z193. Like the and what ants Ha! no longer mm-but just in-it Ha! recoils, un never bottle. There! in a (shrieks, of humanity but colours There, d'you see it. All Like suddenly) ants. I see all or none.
The lights swirl around the bed, oozing from yellow to white. Unseen, ZELDA speaks from a different position.
ZELDA f..dcxIA. x. Somz,tvimez.s my mind hurt;/xxfo mk uch I thCXLUink tsxhere arexxC, thorns inscxZide mxwsy sdsxzskull.
JOYCE is watching from a rain-flecked gallery. He addresses LUCIA-on-TV sympathetically.
JOYCE You must bear in mind whose daughter you are.
LUCIA is on TV wearing the clothes of a hospital patient.
LUCIA (on TV, elegantly, as if being i/v'd on a talk-show) But I want to express myself.
JOYCE When you were young I dreamt of you frightened by ghosts.
LUCIA (on TV) Why didn't you tell me then, when I could've done something about it?
On TV there are disjointed shots of ZELDA at a table.
JOYCE O it was too late, then.
LUCIA (on TV) Yes but I had no childhood.
The sound repeats and fades, but the image continues to dance back and forth. JUNG's head only is visible, like a Cheshire cat
JUNG (e208 raffish elegance.
DSM - Midnight from Circe -
SCOTT a small girl with no childhood)
Video loop stops, rewinds at high speed, and then resumes live action
JOYCE It can't be mended now.
ZELDA has moved to the top of the stairs
ZELDA But oh- oh- oh- the pain of it.
NURSE And said one. The other one was as almost and obscenely laughed the whole of Agon.
JUNG unseen & mephitic How could he laugh so much? Matchstick and piker behind his hand.
NURSE Toss it into a corner and it grows back.
M NURSE Or was it Apollon Musagte?
SCOTT raised voice Invisible without
ZELDA correcting but not addressing them Naked. I felt naked
NURSE Easier in those interminable
M NURSE Do things. Act. She could
ZELDA starting to descend Obliged to wear it more and more
In pain ZELDA closes her eyes and leans her head against the newel post.
JUNG (he is) by the thin mirror - Be someone?
JOYCE A private plaything.
NURSE Both their eyes on the same side of their nose, like plaice.
ZELDA continues her descent, reading her case notes (from a script?) - apparently not understanding they refer to her.
ZELDA At first Mrs Fitzgerald declared she wasn't sick but had been brought here by force, and constantly demanded to resume ballet in Paris as her only satisfaction in life. The husband's visits occasioned violent arguments, especially when refuting the patient's allegations of homosexuality.
SCOTT has begun to ascend, She passes him without noticing and proceeds somnambulistically toward the bed, lying onto it with one foot dangling on the floor.
JOYCE Restaurants ...
NURSE Somehow she was naked without any kind of serious comment.
A mic is suspended above the bed, the underlined words are captured and sustained - each should be pitched on a different note.
ZELDA Against the Escape walls, she could lie like Think pages from Alert a wedding there and press Look rosepetals between her thighs Opportunity to frustrate the buds Determined if they bouqud thought Cant've.
M NURSE In fact he'd already gone back to Paris.
JUNG appears, by the fat mirror.
ZELDA When will my ...?
JUNG This afternoon at 3.
ZELDA , but How could he laugh so much?
The NURSES discard their uniforms and become like JAILERS, exhibiting casual indifference by smoking or producing a copy of The Sun, but continue watching her suspiciously as if she were a wild animal. They cease even to move their walls adequately. A hideous distorted picture of Scott appears (UV light?) on the moving screens around her bed. SCOTT descends the stairs with a faceless mask like a dummy, buttoning himself into a Doctor's white coat. JUNG is lit from beneath watching from the gantry.
JOYCE quietly Twice a day he returned to the hospital but they wouldn't allow him in.
On the TV SCOTT & ZELDA arrive at the Clinic. It is about 3 shots, cut and re-cut many different ways.
ZELDA (on TV) Why? Why've? Wh-why have you brought me he-he-here? ... have you brought me here?! Where are we?? I've got cla-, got a class in the morning. I can't miss, I-I can't ... Eg?ro, I want Eg?rov', sh-she ...
SCOTT (on TV) It's rest you need, honey. You've exhausted yourself.
In his disguise as a faceless medic SCOTT approaches the bed. He takes woven hands and undoes her skull: stars, perhaps even fireworks, and brightly coloured streamers like tulips spring out. Halfway thru the Video changes back to live action. SCOTT labours with dextrous intensity rewiring her brain and clutching ineffectively at what has already emerged which evaporates in the air like grainy photographic shapes against the dying sun.
The NURSES go to sit on stage-side chairs during the following. The Female NURSE strips off her tunic to reveal a gray prison-visitor-type suit beneath.
ZELDA plaintively, as if under sedation Scottie, who's looking after Scottie? (whimpers) Is she alright?
SCOTT as he works furiously Yes quite alright. Madame is with her.
ZELDA more distantly You're only doing this so you can make out with Ernest.
SCOTT angrily delving harder O God, don't start that again!
ZELDA The air is so light I can't feel my body anymore. (Suddenly, with absolute clarity) I'll never leave here, you know that?
SCOTT fades away. Lying absolutely still ZELDA screams in a high-pitched but fully conscious scream.
JUNG almost derisively Even Christ was innocent of that.
Fade light on him.
GRAY WOMAN We're your friends, we're here to help you.
ZELDA tries to sit up, but the GRAY WOMAN firmly, yet not cruelly, prevents her.
ZELDA You know what keeps me from getting well? Shyness.
GRAY WOMAN loses interest and walks off to chat with the other NURSE.
It's this asthma and eczema that has just disrupted our - when it was running so well. I feel as if ...
If only somebody had taught me tennis. I thought if I could - you see I'm thrown - could quite ... And a terrible inferiority complex. So tho I'm not fit to live in this world I'm not ... (unhappy)
There is a long slow cadence to the scene.
JOYCE is talking on the phone. LUCIA is standing angrily nearby, working herself into hysteria. NORA hovers uncertainly in the b/g. They all talk at once.
JOYCE Ulysses's been acquitted y' say, in a Federal Court now?
LUCIA Why're you going on about this? Why wont you pay attention to me?
JOYCE No I'm sorry I didn't quite catch ...
LUCIA All I want is some money to go to the cinema.
NORA Husht, he's on the line to America.
JOYCE So you think they wont try again and we- we're free to publish now?
NORA Saints and angels be praised, tho who'd ever buy it is another question.
LUCIA I need some money to go to the cinema.
JOYCE to L: yes yes. to the phone: Heavens! What a thing - go to jail just for a stunt?
LUCIA over I don't care about that!
JOYCE Nora, a man called Freed went to jail! To publicise Ulysses!
LUCIA Listen! Give me some money! Give me some money!
JOYCE Yes, sorry, there's a bit of a ...
NORA Lucia, don't!
JOYCE In a second, Lucia ...
LUCIA takes a pair of scissors and cuts the phone line. JOYCE looks round blindly, not understanding at first, but with an air of increasing apprehension.
LUCIA I wont be second, I wont.
NORA Lucia, look what you've done. You've cut off America!
LUCIA Well, don't you try and cheat me, I've got something very important to say.
JOYCE Alright, alright, Lucia, calm down; say it then if you must.
LUCIA dejectedly: I've forgotten. I don't know.
NORA And for that you had to cut off the phone? Really! I don't know! You're impossible these days.
LUCIA anger rising again: It's all your fault for interrupting!
NORA Me? Interrupting!
LUCIA Yes, when I'm trying to think, you're always interrupting. hits her
NORA O no, Lucia, no!
LUCIA hitting her repeatedly: Yes! Yes! Yes!
JOYCE half getting up: No no, Lucia! Lucia!
NORA in pain: oh! ah! You bastard.
LUCIA A-ha-ha-ha! That's what you really always thought: I'm a bastard, yes!, and who made me one, who ...?
NORA finally pushes LUCIA away, who falls into an armchair. JOYCE has felt his way over.
JOYCE No no no No: this wont do at all Lucia. (to N) Are you alright my pretty brown bird? (to L) If this goes on again, it'll have to be a doctor.
NORA No no, no doctors, no sanatorium, no blood tests ...
NORA Y' never know what doctors'll do once they get you ...
JOYCE to L: Now what was it you wanted?
LUCIA apathetically: I don't know. Whatever I think I want always turns out wrong. There are so many questions, I'm confused.
JOYCE O we're all confused. Confucius was confused. Did you want to go to the fillums now?
LUCIA Yes. I s'pose so. (turning her head as if drugged) Maybe.
JOYCE Well, here's 20 francs then, buy something nice, a at Philippe's.
LUCIA gets wearily up, takes her coat from the peg and trails it across the floor. NORA moves instinctively to correct her, but then forces herself not to comment.
JOYCE to N: Are y'alright then?
NORA's shrug says it's too late for words.
LUCIA mopes to the cinema. She half-tries to pick up a PASSER-BY who pauses, uncertain whether he has been invited or not, then decides it looks more trouble than it's worth, and strides on. LUCIA is bitterly dejected that even the one talent she thought she had has defeated her. LUCIA enters the cinema and sits down. It is the same film as usual, but this time she isn't entranced at all. Suddenly the film comes into terrifying focus. It's a man wrestling in the grip of an octopus (or, just a writhing octopus). The image gets bigger and bigger till it covers the stage. LUCIA is terrified. She screams and screams and screams, until first ATTENDANTS, and then her PARENTS hurry in anxiously to lead her away, quieter but unpacified. Noone can at first understand what has frightened her because she is terrified to use the word octopus - and, of course, there was no octopus in the film. They put her in a straight-jacket.
For a long time LUCIA sits in an unfastened straight-jacket at a table on which are some graphics materials. She is at work (or not) designing the letter A. She seems unaware of it or us. Her mind is on these idea: She feels her hands are claws, holding onto thin air. She does not know how much longer she can hold on. Hold onto nothing. Her voice has a metallic quality (way to Sc105).
LUCIA It's ... something I ... nothing. Alone. Christ? The thorns. It is to be my-y crown.
LUCIA continues mentally to project what she cannot express verbally, tho she might occasionally stutter out an insignificant word (as in Sc122, where the words come in a disjointed order): My mind hurts so much it's like a martyrdom. A crown of thorns presses down on my head. It's stuck to me like a childhood joke. Then I could play with it on or off, toss it aside: but gradually it grew into my flesh. I came to feel naked without it. It gave me something to do in those interminable restaurants where if I made any kind of serious remark my father's friends would turn and stare like fish, with both eyes on the same side of their nose.
During this she unwinds herself mesmerically from the chair and goes to one side (N?) of the acting area. At one corner (by the stairs?) there is a cluster of bars suspended from the catwalk on a rail. They reach down to about her waist-height. Slowly and heavily LUCIA draws them along their tracks until one side of the acting area suggests a cage. (Possibly the bars are dark like a prison, possibly they are bright like a birdcage.)
Spoken: O how pointless. Martyrdom - death. O death! Nothing can be worse - this (pain), behind the eyes, cannot, see - out, anything. (Her thoughts become more and more intense, like an old loony you see barking silently in the street.) It got me noticed. I could do things. Act. Be someone. Only, it got tighter and tighter. It became matted in my hair, pressing in harder and deeper, I can't get it out anymore - would be terrified, invisible, alone, if I could.
Go away! Get away! Who would understand? How could I - explain (what?) better than being ignored?
In a fury of self-hatred and despair begins seeing everything: Red. The only light source is from behind the bars. At first it is a colour so dark as to be hardly distinguishable.
Time. Time is running out. Time is against us (me). Time is against all of us. Christ!
Christ is coming, then you'll see! Bastards, bastards! I know that my redeemer liveth.
(focal peak:) Who will lead me out of this blindness and this night?
She tries painting the bars of her cage Blood red, slashing away at them with one of her paint brushes, (lighting FX only).
frenzied They wouldn't let me hold him! They wouldn't let me hold him!
LUCIA runs drawing a crimson banner behind her in long, beautiful, ecstatic shapes: Rising. Dying. Wrapping the chair and bed in it. Drawing a red veil across the window.
Craftily The trees drip with blood in the mist, the bars are there to keep them out.
She concludes by ruffling it into a pile in the centre. LUCIA seems to set fire to the room. The focus narrows right down to the centre, Then the walls glow, red-orange at first, but gradually lighter and brighter.
Like my father's face. Red. Like my father's face. Blood is the colour of my father's face. But fire is white, pure truth.
The smoke is at first pale but soon, like the fire turns darker, angrier. LUCIA begins to panic.
No. No! That's wrong - not lies. That's the devil. Fire! Fire! I want fire. Or blood. My blood. In here. Alone. To be ... fire! Agnes Yavishta. The Goddess of Fire. I dance, I can dance again. I am of fire - it cannot burn me. Dancing. Red. Yes, yes. I am at one with the blood of my father! But not darkness, not black -NO!- sick, no, not sick. Not sick, choking. Not S-I-CKKKKKK. Black ...
She dances, now, for the first time, brilliantly, sensationally, and with absolute rhythmic coordination. ATTENDANTS rush in, pandemonium ensues as they drag her away screaming.
END OF ACT ONE
Notes on the text
||Set design considerations||