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"...all mankind is us, whether we like it or not."

One of my favorite passages from Samuel Beckett's Waiting For Godot, in which a lengthy period of indecision, dawdling and stasis is suddenly interrupted by a stirring call to arms -- and immediately followed by a wonderfully silent rebuttal:

Let us not waste our time in idle discourse! (Pause. Vehemently.) Let us do something, while we have the chance! It is not every day that we are needed. Not indeed that we personally are needed. Others would meet the case equally well, if not better. To all mankind they were addressed, those cries for help still ringing in our ears! But at this place, at this moment of time, all mankind is us, whether we like it or not. Let us make the most of it, before it is too late! Let us represent worthily for once the foul brood to which a cruel fate consigned us! What do you say? (Estragon says nothing.)

April 15, 2007 in Books | Permalink