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Memory and the narrative imperative: St. Augustine and Samuel Beckett.

"Lord, since eternity is yours, can you be ignorant of what I say to you?" St. Augustine asks at the outset of book 11 of the Confessions; and being certain that all that takes place in time is eternally present to the mind of God, Augustine goes on to ponder the next logical question about the act he has been engaged in throughout the first ten books of the Confessions: "Why then do I put before you in order the stories of so many things?"(2) We all know the kinds of stories Augustine has been putting before God in order, stories, like the one of stealing pears, that have little moment in themselves but that, echoing events in both the New Testament and the Old Testament, reverberate in significance far beyond their apparent triviality. Shorn of Augustine's theological terminology and the confessional context, this question about narrative motives and intentions is essentially the same question that the various narrators of Samuel Beckett's fiction and the characters of his drama ask over and over again. What is the impetus, Beckett's many different personae ask, why the compulsion to begin and rebegin, all over again and incessantly, these futile stories of futility, in search of something that though it may be desired cannot even be named? "And ever murmuring," as the anonymous voice of The Unnamable puts it, "my old stories, my old story, as if it were the first time."(3) Augustine's "Why then do I put before you in order the stories of so many things?" becomes in Beckett, "Why should I try to put in order, time after time, the stories of so few things, my old stories, my old story, as if it were the first time?" With Beckett, the impulse to narrate, which could be and was given rational analysis and logical explanation by Augustine, has become irrational and illogical, compulsive, obsessional, repetitive, unwilled and often unwanted but not to be denied.

The entire justification, validation, necessity, and indeed exemplary instance of writing one's life, of finding the words that signify the self and its history, are offered to us for the first time (according to my narrative) in the Confessions; by the time of Company, the justification and validation established by Augustine are long since vanished and all that remains of the Augustinian legacy, drawn on so many times by so many writers from the fifth to the twentieth century, is the necessity of performing the narrative act without a first person in sight to perform it or to do the remembering that precedes, accompanies, and follows the narrating. That necessity, however, has lost nothing of its compulsive force. "Strange notion," the eponymous narrator of The Unnamable says, "Strange notion in any case, and eminently open to suspicion, that of a task to be performed, before one can be at rest. Strange task, which consists in speaking of oneself" (BT 285). Strange as the task may be, however, the last words of this exercise in life-writing confirm the necessity of carrying it out. "I don't know," as the narrator says,

I don't know, that's all words, never wake, all words, there's nothing else, you must go on, that's all I know, they're going to stop, I know that well, I can feel it, they're going to abandon me, it will be the silence, for a moment, a good few moments, or it will be mine, the lasting one, that didn't last, that still lasts, it will be 1, you must go on, I can't go on, you must go on, I'll go on, you must say words, as long as there are any, until they find me, until they say me, strange pain, strange sin, you must go on, perhaps it's done already, perhaps they have said me already, perhaps they have carried me to the threshold of my story, before the door that opens on my story, that would surprise me, if it opens, it will be I, it will be the silence, where I am, I don't know, I'll never know, in the silence you don't know, you must go on, I can't go on, I'll go on. (BT 285)

But let me return to Augustine's Confessions to establish the beginning of the historical, philosophical, psychological process that issues finally in Beckett's "I don't know, I'll never know, in the silence you don't know, you must go on, I can't go on, I'll go on."

When I say that the justification, validation, and necessity of writing one's life are established in the Confession, I have principally in mind a passage in book I I in which Augustine happens when he recites a psalm that he knows. This absolutely crucial passage on narrative comes after the equally crucial disquisition on memory in book 10 and the twin meditation on time in book 11, toward the end of which Augustine writes: "It is now, however, perfectly dear that neither the future nor the past are in existence, and that it is incorrect to say that there are three times - past, present, and future. Though one might perhaps say: |There are three times - a present of things past, a present of things present, and a present of things future.' For these three do exist in the mind, and I do not see them anywhere else: the present time of things past is memory; the present time of things present is sight; the present time of things future is expectation" (CSA 11.20). That one might perhaps say" that there exists such a temporal hybrid as "a present of things past" follows from Augustine's exalted conception of memory, and it is what grounds his ideas about narrative in general and about life narrative in particular. Suppose," Augustine says of the narrative act and the way it realizes itself in time,

Suppose I am about to recite a psalm which I know. Before I begin, my expectation is extended over the whole psalm. But once I have begun, whatever I pluck off from it and let fall into the past enters the province of my memory. So the life of this action of mine is extended in two directions - toward my memory, as regards what I have recited, and toward my expectation, as regards what I am about to recite. But all the time my attention is present and through it what was future passes on its way to become past. And as I proceed further and further with my recitation, so the expectation grows shorter and the memory grows longer, until all the expectation is finished at the point when the whole of this action is over and has passed into the memory. And what is true of the whole psalm is also true of every part of the psalm and of every syllable in it. The same holds good for any longer action, of which the psalm may be only a part. It is true also of the whole of a man's life, of which all of his actions are parts. (CSA 11.28)

Augustine conceives of memory according to various formulations at different places in the Confessions. Here he imagines it as a great reservoir which provides the matter that is to be recited or narrated and which receives it back again, but no doubt altered and enriched by the process of reciting, when the recitation/narration is completed. Beckett imagines very much the same process, though with two reservoirs or vessels, when, in his little book on Proust, he writes, "The individual is the seat of a constant process of decantation, decantation from the vessel containing the fluid of future time, sluggish, pale and monochrome, to the vessel containing the fluid of past time, agitated and multicoloured by the phenomena of its hours."(4) The process as Augustine, again, describes it is perfectly circular, and there is a point before recitation begins and after it ends when expectation and memory coincide and are identical. A psalm that one knows and can recite - knows "by heart," as we say - is the object of expectation, but, to be known, it must also be secure in memory; likewise, "at the point when the whole of this action is over and has passed into the memory," it immediately becomes available again, as a whole, for re-recitation, and expectation is thus, once more, "extended over the whole psalm."

It may seem too casually dropped in to bear such significance, but surely the final quoted sentence - "It is true also of the whole of a man's life, of which all of his actions are parts" - is intended as justification for the procedure of the entire volume of the Confessions. It was not at all obvious to Beckett that the whole of a man's life is narratable as the whole of a psalm is recitable. "[B]ut an instant, an hour, and so on," the Unnamable wonders, "how can they be represented, a life, how could that be made clear to me, here, in the dark" (BT 375). But let us consider what the narrative procedure is according to the Augustinian passage and what it has been for the first ten books of the Confessions. In the moment of reciting or narrating, expectation and memory lie on one side and the other of the present, on one side and the other of the enunciation of syllables, words, sentences, and larger syntactic units. It is as if the elements of narrative pass from expectation, which is allied with the future (what will be narrated), across the laser beam of the present (what is being narrated), to fall again into memory, allied with the past (what has been narrated). But the recitation or narrative once over, there is a merger of expectation and memory or a reversal of the two so that what fell into memory is now there in expectation for another act of recitation/narration. And Augustine clearly states that the whole of a man's life may be held in this reservoir that is memory/expectation and will there be available for recitation and re-recitation, for narrating and re-narrating, as that which is to be narrated is drawn from the future to pass across the beam of present narrating thence to fall into the reservoir of that which has been narrated . . . which will once again present itself for narrating as that which is now in the past as memory shows its other face as that which exists in the future as expectation. But all of this, we should remember, like all of Beckett's late narratives, takes place in the mind, and we should be careful not to speak, as I have just done, of past and future but rather of "a present of things past, a present of things present, and a present of things future." The Augustinian act of remembering and narrating is figured in Company in only slightly altered terminology when we are told that there is "no tense in the dark in that dim mind. All at once over and in train and to come."(5) The "dim mind" of Company is the twentieth-century version of the Augustinian mind where all takes place, where past, present, and future exist as the present of time past, the present of time present, and the present of time future; and in that dim mind, too, occurs the Augustinian act of narration or recitation where all is held in expectation, then in recitation, finally in memory.

This whole process figures in Augustine's text frequently as pairs of verbs - recordor et confiteor, recolo et narro - as if they were bound each to each by an internal, unbreakable bond of identicalness: remember-and-confess, recall-and-narrate, recollect-and-tell. The paired verbs serve to suggest a reverse mirror likeness in the two activities; or perhaps one might better say that the verbs suggest a single activity of dual dynamic, recalling a story backward and telling it forward. "A voice comes to one in the dark. Imagine" (C 7). So begins the Beckettian process of remembering-and-narrating in Company, in some ways strikingly like the process described in book 11 of Augustine's Confessions and in other ways, of course, strikingly unlike that process both as described in book 11 and as it is realized in the first nine books of the Confessions. "To one on his back in the dark," the narrative of Company continues. "Only a small part of what is said can be verified. As for example when he hears, You are on your back in the dark. Then he must acknowledge the truth of what is said. But by far the greater part of what is said cannot be verified" (C 7). Why is it that most of what the voice says to the one in the dark is unverifiable? Presumably because it comes as the voice of memory, speaking of past events that cannot certainly be connected with present being. Memory, if it is truly memory according to the Augustinian understanding, should be the guarantor of identity and continuity of being across time, the only liaison - but an unbroken and fully capable liaison all the same - between past experience and present consciousness. Thus the claim that Augustine makes for memory, a claim that Company calls radically into doubt: "by far the greater part of what is said cannot be verified. As for example when he hears, You first saw the light on such and such a day. Sometimes the two are combined as for example, You first saw the light on such and such a day and now you are on your back in the dark. A device perhaps from the incontrovertibility of the one to win credence for the other. That then is the proposition. To one on his back in the dark a voice tells of a past. With occasional allusion to a present and more rarely to a future" (C 7-8). Were Augustine the one on his back in the dark, he would not admit that what the voice says to him cannot be verified; on the contrary, he feels himself fully present to himself in an irrefragable continuity, and the past of which the voice tells would be verifiable (perhaps "ratifiable" would be a more precisely appropriate term) by his full apprehension of "a present of things past, a present of things present, and a present of things future."

It is ingenious of the Beckettian voice that, in this earliest reference to events past, it should choose that event that, it is said, no one is able to remember, that is, the event of birth (ironically enough, Beckett implies several times that he remembers being born, or if not Beckett then fictional characters who clearly stand in for him claim to remember their birth). Autobiographers and other life-narrators, of course, frequently begin with this unremembered experience: "I was born on such and such a date in such and such a place. . . "(6) What the narrative of Company succeeds in doing by beginning with this absolutely unverifiable event is not only to cast great doubt on everything else the voice tells of a past but to render impossible the assertion of "I" in the recalling of these unrecallable events. If you cannot say "born on such and such a day," you cannot say I" either: if you cannot remember the event, you cannot narrate out of the continuity of being that "I" implies. Augustine gets around this as best he can by writing, not of his birth to be sure but of his early infancy, "Then all I knew was how to suck, to be content with bodily pleasure, and to be discontented with bodily pain; that was all. Afterward I began to smile; first when I was asleep and later when awake. So, at least, I have been told and I can easily believe it, since we see the same thing in other babies. I cannot of course remember what happened in my own case" (CSA 1.6). The "I" can perfectly well hold here because it is to later, verifiable experience that Augustine appeals for his account of these unverifiable events of his own past - "A device," the narrator of Company, who sees through this sort of thing, says, "perhaps from the incontrovertibility of the one to win credence for the other." Here is the "device" as Augustine employs it: "This, I have learned, is what babies are like, so far as I have been able to observe them; and they in their ignorance have shown me that I myself was like this better than my nurses who knew what I was" (CSA 1.6). It must be acknowledged, however, that "by far the greater part of what is said" - by the voice, by Augustine, by any life narrator - "cannot be verified." Ratified it may be, perhaps, but not verified.

Even ratification, however, which would require saying "I remember," thus implying a belief in the continuity of being covered by the use of "I" and a belief also in the capacity of memory to sustain this continuity of being, seems impossible in Company, for the one lying (and the reader can never be free of the double meaning of "lying") on his back in the dark "cannot but sometimes wonder if it is indeed to and of him the voice is speaking" (C 9). Is the past that the voice tells of the past of the one lying in the dark? Are these his memories or someone else's memories? We never know. What ecstasy it would be - "What an addition to company that would be!" - we are told in Company, if he to whom the voice speaks were one day able to say, "Yes I remember. That was I. That was I then" (C 27). But Beckett, or his creature, a "devised deviser devising it all for company" (C 64), will not permit this easy resolution, this easy claim of remembering and of a secure identity. What makes all this so anguishing is that in any piece of life writing of the type of the Confessions and Company (and I maintain that they are of the same type) reference - to take up the prickly question of referentiality that properly troubles critics of this kind of writing - is never to events of the past but to memories of those events. "The present of things past is memory," as Augustine says, but how are we situated if memory is so uncertain or unstable, both epistemologically and ontologically, that we do not even know if a given set of memories is ours or someone else's? To think of autobiography's referentiality as pertaining not to events of the past but to memories of those events solves a lot of problems arising in a good many texts, but Beckett, like other writers of our time, has altered the terms and raised the stakes of the wager by calling into doubt, in the most radical way, memory's capacity to establish a relationship to our past and hence a relationship to ourselves grown out of the past.

The Confessions and Company are alike in that they are both narratives about the act of remembering and they are also narratives about the act of narrating. Augustine, like Beckett, tells the story of himself telling the story of himself telling the story of his life. For the process of remembering-and-narrating as Augustine describes it in the passage I have quoted on reciting a psalm there is a perfect modern analogy not available to Augustine in his time but made full use of by Beckett: the tape recorder and player, an analogy which becomes the literal vehicle of Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape. In that short play Krapp, "a wearish old man" of sixty-nine, listens to a tape that he made on his thirty-ninth birthday ("Thirty-nine today, sound as a bell, apart from my old weakness, and intellectually I have now every reason to suspect at the ... (hesitates) ... crest of the wave - or thereabouts."(7) - a tape that he prepared to make thirty years earlier by listening rather mockingly, as he is listening now, to a tape made in a yet earlier year. "Just been listening to an old year," the thirty-nine-year-old voice on the tape says to the "wearish old man," "passages at random. I did not check in the book, but it must be at least ten or twelve years ago" (K 218). Each time that he prepares, at age twenty-seven or twenty-nine, thirty-nine, and now at sixty-nine (and there appear to be many more tapes in between since the tape made at thirty-nine is spool five from box three), to reflect back on the previous year and previous years, Krapp, in order to assist himself in extending expectation over the whole of his life, listens to the narrated episodes of his life pass from the spool of expectation on the left across the head of the tape player, which corresponds to the present of narration, to be taken up by the spool of memory on the right - which, when rewound, becomes once again the spool of expectation. The analogy to the Augustinian recitation of a psalm - "true also of the whole of a man's life" - is quite exact.

What the sixty-nine-year-old Krapp hears on the tape made by his thirty-nine-year-old incarnation and his latter-day reaction to it are also, mutatis mutandis, rather Augustinian: "Just been listening to an old year, passages at random. . . . These old P. M.s are gruesome, but I often find them - (Krapp switches off, broods, switches on) - a help before embarking on a new ... hesitates) ... retrospect. Hard to believe I was ever that young whelp. The voice! Jesus! And the aspirations! (Brief laugh in which Krapp joins.) And the resolutions! (Brief laugh in which Krapp joins.) To drink less, in particular. (Brief laugh of Krapp alone)" (K 218). Is not the laughter of the two Krapps at the very young Krapp, succeeded by the "brief laugh of Krapp alone" at both of the earlier Krapps, rather similar to this celebrated passage on chastity in the Confessions? "But I, a most wretched youth, most wretched from the very start of my youth, had even sought chastity from you, and had said, Give me chastity and continence, but not yet!' For I feared that you would hear me quickly" (CSA 8.7). Whether or not one hears the same kind of mocking laughter in these two passages, there can be little question about the similarity in retrospective reflection cast back over retrospective reflection. For Beckett's character as for the Augustinian confessant, the making of earlier tapes of recollection or the recall of earlier acts of retrospection are made a part of the twin acts of memory and narration in the present, so that memorial acts surround earlier memorial acts which surround earlier memorial acts which ... as far back as memory reaches. Is this not the nature of the autobiographical act as established by Augustine in the Confession and as practised by Beckett in his late fictions-cum-dramas-cum-life-writings - a perpetually renewed attempt to find language adequate to rendering the self and its experience, an attempt that includes within itself all earlier attempts and that draws up behind it all these earlier attempts in this latest quest? At the beginning of The Unnamable the narrator imagines that all of Beckett's earlier creations and projections - Murphy, Molloy, Moran, Malone, Macmann, and so on - are present in and for this summary narrative: "To tell the truth," he says, "I believe they are all here, at least from Murphy on, I believe we are all here . . ." (BT 268). And we must suppose that for both of them, the Augustinian protagonist and the Beckettian one, the dramatized confessant and the dramatic character, the act of remembering-and-narrating, of recalling-and-confessing, will go on as long as life continues. As Krapp puts it: "Ah finish your booze now and get to your bed. Go on with this drivel in the morning. Or leave it at that. (Pause.) Leave it at that. (Pause.) Lie propped up in the dark - and wander. Be again in the dingle on a Christmas Eve, gathering holly, the red-berried. (Pause.) Be again on Croghan on a Sunday morning, in the haze, with the bitch, stop and listen to the bells. (Pause.) And so on. (Pause.) Be again, be again. (Pause.) All that old misery. (Pause.) Once wasn't enough for you" (K 223). So it is that Estragon responds to Vladimir's observation that "to have lived is not enough for them" with "They have to talk about it": to live a life is not enough; it must be narrated, even compulsively, obsessively narrated: "Once wasn't enough for you."

The narrative imperative across the centuries seems clear enough. There remains the question of how a life is to be narrated. Augustine, we recall, speaks of telling "in order [ex ordine] the stories of so many things." What is this order for Augustine's stories and how is it established? He repeats the phrase at the beginning of chapter 2 of book 11:

But my pen's tongue will never have strength to declare all your exhortations and your terrors, the consolations and the guidance by which you brought me to become a preacher of your word to your people and a dispenser of your sacrament. And suppose I have the strength to declare all this in order [ex ordine], yet the drops of my time are too precious, and for long I have been full of a burning desire to meditate in Thy law and to confess to you both my knowledge and my lack of skill in it, the first beginnings of the light you shed on me and the remnants of my darkness, until my weakness be swallowed up in strength.

Now, it would be easy to imagine that ex ordine has a simple chronological significance and that not only the "plot" of a life story but the memory that recalls it has the pattern (or nonpattern) that E. M. Forster in Aspects of the Novel describes as that of the most primitive kind of fiction: "and then . . . and then . . . and then."(8) Indeed, I have at times claimed that the narrator of a life-story remembers in reverse chronological order as s/he has lived and narrates in forward chronological order. I am not sure that this is altogether wrong, but I do feel that the matter is considerably more complicated than this rather simple formulation would suggest.

Much earlier in the Confessions, when Augustine is engaged in recounting ex ordine the stories of so many things, he gives a hint of what the source and nature of the order sought and discovered (or invented) might be: "sine me, obsecro, et da mihi circuire praesenti memoria praeteritos circuitus erroris mei, et immolare tibi hostiam iubilationis." Rex Warner, whose translation I have been quoting, renders the passage thus: "Allow me this, I beg, and grant me the power to survey in my memory now all those wanderings of my error in the past and to offer unto Thee the sacrifice of rejoicing" (CSA 4.1). This is interesting as it emphasizes the root meaning of erro ("to wander," "to stray") so that we have "wanderings of my error [or of my wandering] in the past," but it fails to capture the wordplay that repeats circuire ("to go round in a curve") in circuitus ("a going round in a circle, circuit, revolution") and that suggests linguistically the isomorphic relationship between the act of memory and the act of narrative. Peter Brown comes closer to capturing the pun of the original in his translation: "Allow me, I beseech You, grant me to wind round and round in my present memory the spirals of my errors."(9) For Augustine, the winding round and round in present memory is the precise linguistic and structural analogue of the going round in a circle of errors of the past, and a narrative that would be adequate to the experience of present memory as well as the experience of past erring must display that one same structure that is responsible, according to Augustine, for the continuity of identity between past experience and present memory of that experience. Moreover, a Latin dictionary will tell us that in rhetorical terms (Cicero is cited for this usage) circuitus signifies "a period"; and for a rhetorician of Augustine's eminence this would suggest that rhetoric - specifically the rhetoric of narrative - is fully capable of rendering equally the circuitus of past errant experience and the circuitus of present imitative memory.

That Beckett, too, wishes desperately and strains mightily to achieve this same sort of equivalence of experience, memory of experience, and what I have just termed the rhetoric of narrative is, I think, unquestionable: "you must say words, as long as there are any, until they find me, until they say me." Tom Driver, in an account of a conversation he had with Beckett in Paris, quotes Beckett to this effect: "One cannot speak anymore of being [as, one might interject, Augustine could do], one must speak only of the mess." As an artist, Beckett went on to say, "one can only speak of what is in front of him, and that now is simply the mess." Then, according to Driver's account, Beckett

began to speak about the tension in art between the mess and form. Until recently, art has withstood the pressure of chaotic things. It has held them at bay. It realized that to admit them was to jeopardize form. "How could the mess be admitted, because it appears to be the very opposite of form and therefore destructive of the very thing that art holds itself to be?" But now we can keep it out no longer, because we have come into a time when "it invades our experience at every moment. It is there and it must be allowed in.... What I am saying does not mean that there will henceforth be no form in art. it only means that there will be new form, and that this form will be of such a type that it admits the chaos and does not try to say that the chaos is really something else. The form and the chaos remain separate. The latter is not reduced to the former. That is why the form itself becomes a preoccupation, because it exists as a problem separate from the material it accommodates. To find a form that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now."(10)

The belief that the chaos of experience must not be reduced simply to the form of the art work, but rather that the two should necessarily "remain separate," in a very nearly intolerable tension and antagonism, has various consequences for Beckett's repeated and renewed attempts at narrating a life. First of all (for my purposes), there is the tremendous difference from Augustine in narrative means that this belief entails. Augustine, we recall, says of the act of recitation/narration, And what is true of the whole psalm is also true of every part of the psalm and of every syllable in it. The same holds good for any longer action, of which the psalm may be only a part. It is true also of the whole of a man's life, of which all of his actions are parts." For Augustine, the form of a life narrative did not at all, as Beckett puts it, exist "as a problem separate from the material it accommodates." On the contrary, the form and the material it accommodates are, for Augustine, one and the same and they are both thoroughly traditional - one might almost say conventional, if one thinks, for example, of the account of Augustine's conversion, which has within it echoes of earlier conversions (St. Paul's, of course, but also intratextual conversion accounts: Simplicianus's tale of Victorinus and Ponticianus's embedding of several conversions within a single narrative) and which, in its turn, provided the conventions according to which conversions would be narrated for centuries to come.

A second consequence of accepting Beckett's argument that the task of the contemporary artist is "to find a form that accommodates the mess" would be that for a writer in the modern world there could be no security in the set of narrative conventions that Augustine partly accepted from previous life narrators but mostly established for future ones. To seek a form that accommodates the mess will mean obeying in the strictest way the modernist injunction to "make it new," refusing not only any traditional narrative conventions that may exist but also any momentary formal successes the individual writer may have enjoyed in previous attempts, and this Beckett unquestionably did in the astonishing series of works of the last forty years or so of his life: Molloy, Malone Dies, Waiting for Godot, The Unnamable, Endgame, Krapp's Last Tape, How It Is, Happy Days, Not I, Company, Ill Seen Ill Said, and Worstward Ho, each a renewed attempt "to find a form that accommodates the mess," neither easing nor falsifying the situation that demands the narrative effort and the search for the accommodating form. And yet, while Beckett certainly seeks an ever new form, subtly adapted to the mess in front of him, and while he rejects those conventions of narrative that we might think of as Augustinian, he works to an impossible end - impossible as he himself sees it - that is precisely the end to which Augustine worked and to which, as Augustine saw it, he could well hope to attain. Nor is Augustine without formal lessons for the twentieth - century writer, at least as far as Beckett has been concerned. "I take no sides," Beckett wrote to Harold Hobson. "I am interested in the shape of ideas. There is a wonderful sentence in Augustine: |Do not despair; one of the thieves was saved. Do not presume; one of the thieves was damned.' That sentence has a wonderful shape. It is the shape that matters."(11) This "wonderful sentence" (which, incidentally, is much easier to find in Beckett than in Augustine), or rather the passage in Luke to which it refers, is, of course, central to the dramatization of the mess in Waiting for Godot where Didi, after musing, one of the thieves was saved. . . . It's a reasonable percentage," goes on to worry that, although all four of the evangelists "were there - or thereabouts" at the time of the crucifixion, only one of the four mentions that one of the thieves was saved.(12) The blankness in the other three evangelical accounts presumably reduces the "reasonable percentage" considerably.

In the conversation with Tom Driver, Beckett turns once again to his "wonderful" Augustinian sentence and precisely in the context of discussing the "chaos" for which the artist must seek an accommodating form. "Yes. If life and death did not both present themselves to us," Driver quotes Beckett as saying,

there would be no inscrutability. If there were only darkness, all would be clear. It is because there is not only darkness but also light that our situation becomes inexplicable. Take Augustine's doctrine of grace given and grace withheld: have you pondered the dramatic qualities in this theology? Two thieves are crucified with Christ, one saved and the other damned. How can we make sense of this division? In classical drama, such problems do not arise. The destiny of Racine's Phedre is sealed from the beginning: she will proceed into the dark. . . . Within this notion clarity is possible, but for us who are neither Greek nor Jansenist there is not such clarity. The question would also be removed if we believed in the contrary - total salvation. But where we have both dark and light we have also the inexplicable.(13)

It is interesting, and very much to the purposes of the present discussion, that the twentieth-century dramatist should ally himself with the saint of the very early Middle Ages (who long found it difficult to break from his adherence to Manichaeanism) rather than with Greek or Jansenist, for whom there was clarity even if only the clarity of darkness. The implication that we must take from this is that Augustine, for all his apparent assurance that a life could be narrated in the same way that a psalm could be recited, faced (at least in Beckett's judgment) something of the same mess or chaos as his twentieth-century descendant in life narration. For Beckett, if not for Augustine (and I am not so very sure that this may not hold for Augustine as well), the primary agent in the making of the mess - and perhaps in its unmaking too - is nothing other than human memory which, like narrative in Beckett, is obsessive, self-creative and self-destructive, a faculty that for better and worse is much more than a faculty, too often out of our control or any control. "And through the spaces of the dark," Eliot writes in "Rhapsody on a Windy Night," and one thinks of all of the narrating voices of Beckett's late fiction,

And through the spaces of the dark Midnight shakes the memory As a madman shakes a dead geranium.(14)

Let us look a little more closely now at what Augustine says of memory, primarily in books 10 and 11 of the Confessions, and at what memory is as dramatized and analyzed by Beckett, primarily in Company.

Book 10 of the Confessions, we should recall, constitutes Augustine's attempt at confessing not "what I have been but what I am. . . . what I am inside myself, beyond the possible reach of . . . eyes and ears and minds" (CSA 10.3). It is confession of himself, not of his actions, not even of his thoughts, but confession of his very self that Augustine undertakes in book 10, and it is altogether significant how immediately he comes to memory in this confession of himself. Here narrative, even at this moment the product of memory, in an act strikingly analogous to Augustine's attempt to discover God where he dwells, tries to turn back on itself and inside out to encompass memory, its very begetter, within the narrative frame. This, as Augustine comes to realize, is like the mind trying to know itself which, in turn, may be, although Augustine certainly does not say this, rather like the eye trying to see itself. In the De Trinitate, in response to those who "will say that this is not memory whereby the mind, which is always present to itself, is said to remember itself, since memory is concerned with the past and not with the present," Augustine argues thus: "Wherefore, as in past things, that is called memory which makes it possible for them to be recalled and remembered, so in a present thing, which the mind is to itself, that is not unreasonably to be called memory, by which the mind is present to itself, so that it can be understood by its own thought, and both can be joined together by the love of itself."(15) The mind, through memory - and in the Confessions Augustine will say that mind and memory are one and the same thing - can recall experiences of the past, but it can also, in the present, recall itself to itself, "can be understood by its own thought," and this too, whereby "the mind is present to itself," is accomplished through memory.

Memory is altogether specific to the individual, according to Augustine, but beyond its particularity and uniqueness it also affords a bridge between time and eternity and is the nonlocatable locus where the individual may discover God, "the embracement of my inner self - there where is a brilliance that space cannot contain, a sound that time cannot carry away, a perfume that no breeze disperses, a taste undiminished by eating, a clinging together that no satiety will sunder" (CSA 10.6). Attempting to make his mind present to itself so that he may make it present also to his readers, Augustine simultaneously seeks to know the God who is the embracement of his inner self: "I shall pass on, then, beyond this faculty [of the senses] in my nature as I ascend by degrees toward Him who made me. And I come to the fields and spacious palaces of memory, where lie the treasures of innumerable images of all kinds of things that have been brought in by the senses" (CSA 10.8). Here one is reminded that in the Middle Ages memory was called the interior sense, as it were the integrative and summative sense thilt transforms the rich but disordered experience of the external senses - which, however, are likewise specific to the individual - into the stuff of selfhood, giving to that experience the shape and pattern of the interior sense itself: "and through these senses, with all their diverse functions, I act, retaining my identity as one soul" (CSA 10.7).

There is, in Augustine, no distinguishing of memory from the self. "Great indeed is the power of memory!" he exclaims. "It is something terrifying, my God, a profound and infinite multiplicity; and this thing is the mind, and this thing is I myself" (et hoc animus est, et hoc ego ipse sum) (CSA 10.17). And when it comes to the act of remembering Augustine has no problem at all in asserting the first person singular: "It is I myself who remember, I, the mind" (ego sum, qui memini, ego animus) (CSA 10.16). It is otherwise with Beckett however; the act of remembering in Company, with what should be, according to Augustine, a concomitant calling in being of a self continuous across time, assumes all the pathos attendant upon yearning on the one hand and failure on the other. Of the voice that comes to one lying on his back in the dark we are told, "Another trait its repetitiousness. Repeatedly with only minor variants the same bygone. As if willing him by this dint to make it his. To confess, Yes I remember. Perhaps even to have a voice. To murmur, Yes I remember. What an addition to company that would be! A voice in the first person singular. Murmuring now and then, Yes I remember" (C 16). Memory, like narrative, is obsessive in Beckett, but it is ultimately unsuccessful in evoking "the first person singular." The twentieth-century act of confession - and I take it that Beckett is deliberately nodding to Augustine in the sentence, "To confess, Yes I remember," which, in its confess-remember sequence, is no more than a reversal of the Augustinian "recordor et confiteor: I remember and confess" - yields only a subjunctive condition that, however much desired, is contrary to fact: "What an addition to company that would be!" That this "would be" will never become "is" we can know, if we haven't known it long since, from the last words of Company, where even the conditional "I" has disappeared and the hope of company that might ensue upon confessing "Yes I remember: ego memini" is seen to be simply, sadly illusory:

And you as you always were Alone.

There is finally no company in Company, no "I" and no remembering, and false, therefore, is "[t]he fable of one with you in the dark," and false, too, "[t]he fable of one fabling of one with you in the dark" (C 88-89). Narrative, in this latter-day parable, has no more validity, no more power to seek out and to discover or to create a self than has memory. Augustine describes, but can hardly imagine, the state in which Beckett's narrator finds himself when, in book 10 of the Confessions, he says, "[T]his force of my memory is incomprehensible to me, even though, without it, I should not be able to call myself myself" (CSA 10. 16). This describes the affliction, though it is virtually unimaginable to Augustine, of the Beckettian figure, unable to call himself himself because without the assurance that memory would give of a continuity of being or of being at all. When the voice of The Unnamable says, "In the meantime no sense bickering about pronouns and other parts of blather. The subject doesn't matter, there is none" (BT 331), I take it that "the subject" has not only linguistic and grammatical reference but epistemological, ontological, and theological overtones as well. It is to be remarked that in drawing the bond between the force of memory and the ability "to call myself myself," Augustine employs the subjunctive to describe the condition of not having memory, not having an "I" and a self, whereas Beckett employs it to describe the condition of having memory, an "I" and a self, the state of being able "To confess, Yes I remember": "What an addition to company that would be" - but never will be for this bereft, late-twentieth-century inheritor of the Augustinian confessional imperative.

As Augustine explores his own memory and analyzes the nature of memory itself in book 10 of The Confessions, he presents, in effect, two different models for memory, quite distinct one from the other and widely divergent in their implications for the act of narrating. The first of these I will term an archaeological model, the second a processual model. When offering us an archaeological model for memory, Augustine writes of levels and layers and deposits; he thinks in spatial terms and speaks of "the great harbor of memory, with its secret, numberless, and indefinable recesses," of "the fields and spacious palaces of memory, where lie the treasures of innumerable . . . things," and of "a vast and boundless subterranean shrine." "Who," he goes on to ask rhetorically, "Who has ever reached the bottom of it?" When the archaeological model is in play, the implication is that memory is something fixed and static, a site where the archaeologist of memories can dig down through layer after layer of deposits to recover what he seeks. And when he finds the memories he is looking for, they will be as they were when deposited, unchanged except as they may have suffered from the decaying effects of time. "When I am in this treasure house," Augustine writes, "I ask for whatever I like to be brought out to me, and then some things are produced at once, some things take longer and have, as it were, to be fetched from a more remote part of the store" (CSA 10.8). On occasion, the wrong memories come forward, but this presents no problem to Augustine: "With the hand of my heart I brush them away from the face of my memory, until the thing that I want is discovered and brought out from its hidden place into sight." And when it is a question of going into the treasure house of memory to recite a psalm or to narrate a life story, everything comes out ex ordine, in order, as Augustine says of the stories he has been telling throughout the Confessions: "And some things are produced easily and in perfect order, just as they are required; what comes first gives place to what comes next, and, as it gives place, it is stored up ready to be brought out when I need it again. All this happens," according to Augustine, "when I repeat anything by heart," and we have to recall, although it must be proleptically, the reciting of a psalm that will come in book 11.

"All this I do inside me, in the huge court of my memory," Augustine says, continuing the archaeological model for memory; but within a few lines he subtilizes and modulates this description until, almost imperceptibly, he comes to be employing a processual model for memory which plays itself out in temporal rather than spatial metaphors.

There too [in the huge court of my memory] I encounter myself; I recall myself - what I have done, when and where I did it, and in what state of mind I was at the time. There are all the things I remember to have experienced myself or to have heard from others. From the same store too I can take out pictures of things which have either happened to me or are believed on the basis of experience; I can myself weave them into the context of the past, and from them I can infer future actions, events, hopes, and then I can contemplate all these as though they were in the present. (CSA 10.8)

Weaving, as a characteristic metaphor for the operation of memory, will have a long history in the tradition of life writing that springs from Augustine's Confessions. Unlike the archaeological dig, the weaver's shuttle and loom constantly produce new and different patterns, designs, and forms, and if the operation of memory is, like weaving, not archaeological but processual, then it will bring forth ever different memorial configurations and an ever newly shaped self. The verb translated as weave in this passage is contexo ("to weave together"), from the root texo ("to weave"): "ex eadem copia etiam similitudines rerum vel expertarum vel ex eis, quas expertus sum, creditarum alias atque alias et ipse contexo praeteritis." The relevant part of the passage might be literally translated, "I weave these remembered experiences together into likenesses of things of the past" (though one must acknowledge Rex Warner's translating ingenuity since his "context of the past" picks up on and repeats the contexo of "I weave together"). The past participle of texo is the neuter textum or masculine textus, meaning "that which is woven" and figuratively, of a written composition, "texture, style," or of discourse, "mode of putting together, connection." It also, of course, gives us modern English text, which is hardly a step,away from a narrative text like this one of Augustine in process before us. Augustine weaves his weaving, his text, his narrative, weaves it out of memories that are themselves in process and taking on new forms, even as he analyzes and describes memory by way of a metaphor of weaving. This makes the narrating of a life story, ruled by a metaphor of weaving, something different from reciting a psalm, ruled by a metaphor of archaeological recovery. Yet even the latter may not be quite so fixed in character and significance as it at first seems if we recall Hegel's saying that the old man repeats the same prayers he learned as a child but now altered, weighted, given entirely new coloring and a different emotional affect by the experience of a lifetime.

Beckett's weaving of memories into a narrative that will simultaneously compose and decompose a text is as double as Penelope's activity in the Odyssey: weaving a shroud for Laertes by day and undoing it by night to keep the suitors at bay. For Beckett's various narrators, as for him as narrator of their narrating, the dual act of remembering and narrating is at once painful and pleasurable, at once necessary and impossible. And drawing the analogy to Penelope's weaving a shroud is not altogether idle, for Beckett conceives of his weaving as an act both of life and of death: his narrative destroys as it creates, it devours the life it records as it devours the remainin sheets in the exercise book and the pencil with which he writes. In the trilogy (Molloy, Malone Dies, and The Unnamable) he summons all those stand-ins for his own life, "at least from Murphy on" as we are told in The Unnamable, so that their lives can be consumed one last time in the consummation of the ultimate narrator's life. "But I write them all the same," Moran says of the lines he puts down as the narrative of Molloy's life, "I write them all the same, and with a firm hand weaving inexorably back and forth and devouring my page with the indifference of a shuttle" (BT 122). Weaving and devouring - the double image suggests that with Beckett memorial narrative is itself both the ultimate sign of life and the cancellation of that life and a movement into death. All of his late fictions move in this direction, devouring the bit of life remaining as words come to an end and narrative exhausts itself. "But this innumerable babble, like a multitude whispering?" Malone asks of himself in Malone Dies. "I don't understand. With my distant hand I count the pages that remain. They will do. This exercise-book is my life, this child's exercise-book, it has taken me a long time to resign myself to that. And yet I shall not throw it away. For I want to put down in it, for the last time, those I have called to my help, but ill, so that they did not understand, so that they may cease with me. Now rest" (BT 252). And so Malone - or Beckett, rather, the "devised deviser devising it all," as he says of himself in Company - with a firm hand weaves inexorably back and forth and devours his page - not, however, as Moran claims, "with the indifference of a shuttle" but with considerable emotional anguish: "Devising figments to temper his nothingness. . . . Devised deviser devising it all for company. In the same figment dark as his figments" (C 64).

Augustine, of course, is not happy or complacent about the memories he has of his preconversion self, but still those memories do not generally have about them the same open-wound painfulness or the desperately yearning quality that memories have in Beckett. Augustine established a long tradition of narrative confession as something compelled by God and imposed as a duty on every Christian. Beckett hasn't this explanation or justification in God's will for his repeated performances in recalling and narrating, but the activity is at least as obligatory and compulsive for Beckett as for Augustine - indeed, rather more so, I would say. It is difficult to say, for a character like Krapp in Krapp's Last Tape, whether his memories of a very distant love relationship are more painful or more pleasurable, but for certain obsessive, recurrent memories in Beckett's writing there can be no doubt about the dominance of pain; yet they will not be denied but must be narrated and not once only but again and again. "Memories are killing," according to the narrator of a story called "The Expelled." "So you must not think of certain things, of those that are dear to you, or rather you must think of them, in your mind, little by little. That is to say, you must think of them for a while, a good while, every day several times a day, until they sink forever in the mud."(16) The only problem with this strategy and advice is that the real and really painful memories decline to sink forever in the mud. There is one such memory in Company that makes earlier appearances in Malone Dies and in a piece called "The End" from Stories and Texts for Nothing. Here is the memory as narrated in Company:

A small boy you come out of Connolly's Stores holding your mother by the hand. You turn right and advance in silence southward along the highway. After some hundred paces you head inland and broach the long steep homeward. You make ground in silence hand in hand through the warm still summer air. It is late afternoon and after some hundred paces the sun appears above the crest of the rise. Looking up at the blue sky and then at your mother's face you break the sitence asking her if it is not in reality much more distant than it appears. The sky that is. The blue sky. Receiving no answer you mentally reframe your question and some hundred paces later look up at her face again and ask her if it does not appear much less distant than in reality it is. For some reason you could never fathom this question must have angered her exceedingly. For she shook off your little hand and made you a cutting retort you have never forgotten. (C 12-13)

Never to have forgotten is always to have remembered, and no matter how often thought of, little by little, in the mind, this memory is not going to sink in the mud. As recalled and reported in Malone Dies - as woven into a likeness of something experienced in the past - the episode goes like this:

One day we were walking along the road, up a hill of extraordinary steepness, near home I imagine, my memory is full of steep hills, I get them confused. I said, The sky is further away than you think, is it not, mama? It was without malice, I was simply thinking of all the leagues that separated me from it. She replied, to me her son, It is precisely as far away as it appears to be. She was right. But at the time I was aghast. I can still see the spot, opposite Tyler's gate. A market-gardener, he had only one eye and wore sidewhiskers. That's the idea, rattle on. (BT 246)

As with Augustine's model for narration, where a psalm or a life story, once recited or narrated, becomes available again for re-recitation and re-narrating, so this unfortunate experience seems to offer itself for telling again and again. As we are told of the voice of memory in Company, "Another trait [is] its repetitiousness. Repeatedly with only minor variants the same bygone" (C 20). In Malone Dies, in addition to the repetition of the story "with only minor variants," we are given a suggestion of how to deal with such insistent and painful memories: surround them, drown them with more narrative; distract the mind's attention with the irrelevant information that Tyler was a market-gardener who had only one eye and wore sidewhiskers. "That's the idea, rattle on," until you get over this treacherous and rough patch in the narrative. Not that this will sink it in the mud, but at least it allows you to go on until the next time the memory thrusts itself upon you and into your narrative, as it does once more in The End: "Now I was making my way through the garden. There was that strange light which follows a day of persistent rain, when the sun comes out and the sky clears too late to be of any use. The earth makes a sound as of sighs and the last drops fall from emptied, cloudless sky. A small boy, stretching out his hands and looking up at the blue sky, asked his mother how such a thing was possible. Fuck off, she said. I suddenly remembered I had not thought of asking Mr Weir for a piece of bread."(17) That's the idea, rattle on about Mr. Weir and a piece of bread. Who wouldn't, if addressed by his mother in this manner?

No one would claim that this obsessive memory that turns up several times in Beckett's fiction has world-shaking importance about it, but then neither does the stealing of pears in St. Augustine. So why do both of them tell their stories with such urgency? Whyas I had Augustine asking at the beginning of this paper - "Why then do I put before you [before God] in order the stories of so many things?" Beckett in effect asks the same question, but puts it in the mouth of his partner in dialogue in "Three Dialogues with Georges Duthuit." The premise of his writing, Beckett says in the first dialogue, and the premise of any art sufficiently conscious of the conditions under which it must be produced in our time to make that art of any value, is "that there is nothing to express, nothing with which to express, nothing from which to express, no power to express, no desire to express, together with the obligation to express."(18) And by the time of Company not only is there "nothing with which to express, nothing from which to express, no power to express," and so on, there is also no longer any narrative "I" to do the expressing. (Yet curiously enough - especially curious after the trilogy and its conclusion in The Unnamable - there is in Company something to express: the series of bygones, sixteen (?) in number, of which the voice speaks and which constitute a coherent, followable life story. Moreover, most of the episodes can be, on external evidence, directly associated with Beckett. That is, the voice is speaking to Beckett of his own bygones.) When, in the third dialogue, Duthuit asks why, then, given the general absence of content, means, and ability to express, the artist is obliged to express, Beckett's answer is of an ultimate simplicity: "I don't know" (142). Augustine could say, "Because God so wills it." Beckett never gives this response, but there is nevertheless the sense that it is a force outside and beyond him that compels him to the narrative act, that obliges him to tell and retell his story by weaving together likenesses of things of the past remembered now in the present. One might say, on the model of la poesie pure, that a text like The Unnamable constitutes an instance of la narration pure: narrative without substance, form without content; or perhaps more accurately, it takes form - narrative form - as content. It shows us a consciousness or a subject in quest of itself, but as the Unnamable says, "the subject doesn't matter, there is none." It seems to me that the question of why both Augustine and Beckett are obliged to narrate their stories is like asking why they - and all of us - possess and have imposed upon us the capacity and the necessity for remembering. Once you answer the one question, I suspect you will have the answer to the other, but for as long as we are within the circle of remembering and narratingso long, that is, as we are alive - Beckett's seems the only intelligent answer: "I don't know."

On the occasion of his seventieth birthday, Beckett told his British publisher, John Calder, that in old age work would be his company. However futile it was, however helpless to make anything outside itself happen, the work of remembering and narrating became his company, his obligation, perhaps his salvation. It is as if Beckett responded to Freud's observation that there is nothing of value in human experience but love and work by shearing away the first and leaving only work. It is a mighty bleak vision, but as honest and courageous as it is bleak; what is especially curious about Beckett's vision, however, as expressed in its extreme form at the end of The Unnamable, say, or in the conclusion to Company, is that it is positively lyrical, even buoyant in its rhythms, in its style and manner, even as it is grimly pessimistic in its message (if we can speak of a message in Beckett). It seems profoundly paradoxical that a statement about the apparent futility and meaninglessness of human life in its twin aspects of remembering and narrating should be (as I feel it anyway) so songlike, so lyrical, so irrepressibly buoyant. But I wonder if this isn't merely a reformulation of the "wonderful sentence" that Beckett found in St. Augustine: "Do not despair; one of the thieves was saved. Do not presume; one of the thieves was damned." Of the end of The Unnamable or Company one might say that the paradoxical sentiment expressed seems to be: "Do not despair, the lyrical buoyancy says, for you may be saved; do not presume, the vision says, for you may be damned." Is this not an expression, for our time, of the (nearly) impossible and totally paradoxical tension "between the mess and form," as Beckett termed it in his conversation with Tom Driver? I wonder, too, if what I have been calling the buoyancy of the last words of Company, however bleak they may be in themselves or in what they seem to be saying, is not due to a parallel buoyancy in the narrative impetus. "Tell us a story": Is there not something incipiently exciting and inherently buoyant - the buoyancy of the human spirit itself - in that demand and its satisfaction? "Supine now you resume your fable where the act of lying cut it short," the final portion of Company begins:

Supine now you resume your fable where the act of lying cut it short. And persist till the converse operation cuts it short again. So in the dark now huddled and now supine you toil in vain. And just as from the former position to the latter the shift grows easier in time and more alacrious so from the latter to the former the reverse is true. Till from the occasional relief it was supineness becomes habitual and finally the rule. You now on your back in the dark shall not rise to your arse again to clasp your legs in your arms and bow down your head till it can bow down no further. But with face upturned for good labour in vain at your fable. Till finally you hear how words are coming to an end. With every inane word a little nearer to the last. And how the fable too. The fable of one with you in the dark. The fable of one fabling of one with you in the dark. And how better in the end labour lost and silence. And you as you always were.

(1) Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot, in The Complete Dramatic Works (London, 1986), p. 57. (2) St. Augustine, The Confessions of St. Augustine, tr. Rex Warner (New York, 1963), bk. 11, ch. 1, hereafter cited in text by book and chapter number as CSA. (3) Samuel Beckett, The Beckett Trilogy: Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable (London, 1979), p. 277; hereafter cited in text as BT. (4) Samuel Beckett, Proust (New York, 1970), pp. 4-5. (5) Samuel Beckett, Company (New York, 1980), 45-46; hereafter cited in text as C. (6) The French way of saying "I was born" (Je suis ne: I am born), as Germaine Bree has remarked (in an unpublished lecture), gets around this problem of narrating the unrememberable event very deftly, though it also introduces some complexities into the situation that the philosophically and linguistically simpler English locution does not have. "Je suis ne a Geneve en 1712 d'Issac Rousseau, Citoyen, et de Susanne Bernard, Citoyenne" (I am born in Geneva in 1712 to Issac Rousseau, Citizen, and to Susanne Bernard, Citizen). Thus Rousseau's narrative brings him into the world, but is he recording a historical birth or is it a birth into narrative that occurs only as a simultaneous consequence of the act of writing the words "Je suis ne . . ."? See Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Les Confessions, ed. Jacques Voisine (Paris, 1964), p. 5. (7) Samuel Beckett, Krapp's Last Tape, in Complete Dramatic Works, p. 217; hereafter cited in text as K. (8) See E. M. Forster, Aspects of the Novel (New York, 1927), pp. 61, 66. (9) Peter Brown, Augustine of Hippo: A Biography (Berkeley, 1967), p. 164. (10) Tom Driver, "Beckett by the Madeleine," Columbia University Forum, 4, no. 3 (Summer, 1961), p. 23. (11) Harold Hobson, "Samuel Beckett: Dramatist of the Year," International Theatre Annual, no. 1 (1956), 153-55. (12) Beckett, Waiting for Godot, in Complete Dramatic Works, p. 14. (13) Driver, "Beckett by the Madeleine," p. 24. (14) T. S. Eliot, "Rhapsody on a Windy Night," in Collected Poems 1909-1962 (New York, 1963), p. 16. (15) St. Augustine, The Trinity, tr. Stephen McKenna (Washington, D.C., 1963), 14.11.14. (16) Samuel Beckett, Stories and Texts for Nothing (New York, 1967), p. 9. (17) Samuel Beckett, The End, in Four Novellas, tr. Samuel Beckett and Richard Seaver (London, 1977), p. 74. (18) Samuel Beckett, "Three Dialogues with Georges Duthuit," in Disjecta, ed. Ruby Cohn (London, 1983), p. 139; hereafter cited in text.
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Title Annotation:Papers from the Commonwealth Center for Literary and Cultural Change
Author:Olney, James
Publication:New Literary History
Date:Sep 22, 1993
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