Saturday 5 March 2022


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Mouthpieces by Eimear McBride  {Reviewed by THOMAS}
To remove from language the ornamental aspects of that language, to undercut the words until the uncuttable is all that’s left, to remove from a text all rationale, to leave all bare, is a path of negation, of austere interrogation, he wrote. “There is no occurrence upon which doubt cannot be thrown,” she wrote. The space cleared by Samuel Beckett surely is or could be an enterable space, not a fenced space, if there are any who would enter and could enter, some few perhaps, but some, he wrote. Space for a voice, a voice tied with the breath, or by the breath, whatever, to the body, to the mind, to the mouth and to the ear, if there is not no such thing as a body or a mind, or a mouth and an ear, he wrote. The most is nearest the least. Three pieces by McBride, I’m ear, call them pieces, call them texts, nothing else to call them, three voices, women’s voices, attrited by all that surrounds them and attrites, by all that expects, by all that intrudes upon them and demands, by all that surrounds them and occludes, but voices made more clear by all attempts, at all times and from all quarters, to stifle and occlude, he wrote. Kick away the crutch and see what walks. There is more threat or rage in the uneraseable than in that which has yet to be erased, though the impulse to erase remains, an impulse no longer able to be expressed, from which expression is exhausted, or denied, or is itself erased, he wrote. Some breath remains unsmothered, some unsmotherable breath or some breath not quite yet smothered, some voice will name, or if not name resist, with irresistable resistance or with what must pass for resistance, the smotherers whose smothering is not quite yet done, whose smothering will never now be done or whose smothering is at least postponed by the voice, the voice that therefore must not cease, he wrote. Three brief texts made powerful by their briefness. I read, I unread and I reread, he wrote. I write this adminicle, this text as evidence of another text, the text I view and review, the text the reader of this adminicle would do well to read and reread rather than this rushed adminicle, this clumsiness, this crutchlessness, he wrote. How to go on? “She cannot find a way out because there is no way,” she wrote. “Because there is no out. Because there is no because. Just is.”

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