un’inutile attesa

Man and Woman Contemplating the Moon by C. D. Friedrich (1824)
Waiting for Godot (1952) By Samuel Becket is a strange short  play where nothing “happens”. It was first performed (recitata) on January 5, 1953, at the Théâtre de Babylone, Paris and was immediately successful,  praised (lodata) by dramatists such as Tennessee Williams, Jean Anouilh, Thornton Wilder, and William Saroyan. In 1957 the play was performed by a company of actors from the San Francisco Actor’s Workshop in front of over fourteen hundred prisoners of San Quentin Jail (prigione): the prisoners were well conscious of the meaning of waiting, time passing (il passare del tempo) and hope. Becket said that the tragicomedy was inspired by a painting by Caspar David Friedrich, Man and Woman Contemplating the Moon,  of 1824.  The useless “waiting” for Godot gave origin to a variety of interpretations. Beckett himself explained: “I don’t know who Godot is. I don’t even know (above all don’t know – soprattutto non so) if he exists. And I don’t know if they believe in him or not – those two who are waiting for him. The other two who pass by (passano) towards (verso) the end of each of the two acts, that must be to break up (per interrompere) the monotony. All I knew I showed. It’s not much, but it’s enough for me, by a wide margin (ampio margine).”