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Play a tumour in the head and air pollution : a translation of Dušan Jovanović’s Igrajte tumor v glavi… Soule, Lesley Wade 1984

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PLAY A TUMOUR IN THE HEAD MD AIR POLLUTION A T r a n s l a t i o n of Dusan Jovanovic's I g r a j t e Tumor v G l a v i i n Onesnazenje Zraka by LESLEY ANNE WADE B.A., The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1979 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Theatre) We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the r e q u i r e d standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l 1984 (c) L e s l e y Anne Wade, 1984 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the requ i rement s f o r an advanced degree a t the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Co lumb ia , I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and s tudy . I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e copy ing o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be g ran ted by the head o f my department o r by h i s o r her r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s under s tood t h a t copy ing o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a in s h a l l no t be a l l owed w i thou t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department o f The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Co lumbia 2075 Wesbrook P l a c e Vancouver , Canada V6T 1W5 E-6 (2/79) ABSTRACT Play a Tumour i n the Head and A i r P o l l u t i o n i s a drama i n three acts w r i t t e n by the Yugoslavian playwright and d i r e c t o r Dusan Jovanovic i n 1971-1972. The o r i g i n a l v e r s i o n i s i n Slovene, the language of Yugoslavia' northernmost province, S l o v e n i a , where the dramatist (a Serb by b i r t h ) has l i v e d since the age of twelve. P l a y a Tumour... was f i r s t produced i n G e l j e , S l o v e n i a , by the well-known experimental d i r e c t o r L j u b i s a r R i s t i c . L ater i t was a l s o staged i n Belgrade. The p l a y was w r i t t e n to d i r e c t a t t e n t i o n at what Jovanovic regards as the " m o r t a l i t y " at work i n s o c i e t y , and uses t h e a t r i c a l performance i t s e l f as a metaphor f o r the s t r u c t u r e s of s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l l i f e . The a c t i o n centers on a r e v o l t by the avant-garde members of the S l a v i a Theatre company, who e j e c t the other a c t o r s , b a r r i c a d e themselves i n s i d e the t h e a t r e and c a r r y on b i z a r r e experiments aimed at overcoming the f a t a l b a n a l i t y o f conventional t h e a t r e and everyday l i f e . The play's outer a c t i o n and inner p s y c h o - p o l i t i c a l l i f e are s u b t l y interwoven. Although r i c h i n stage a c t i o n , the p l a y focusses s t r o n g l y on problems of the nature o f language and thus presents i n t e r e s t i n g challenges to the t r a n s l a t o r . This t r a n s l a t i o n i s intended to provide the English-speaking reader w i t h a s i g n i f i c a n t , example of the concerns which engage a l e a d i n g playwright i n the c u l t u r a l and p o l i t i c a l m i l i e u of contemporary S l o v e n i a . I t i s t h e r e f o r e a complete and f a i t h f u l rendering of the o r i g i n a l , r a t h e r than a f r e e adaptation intended f o r staging before Western audiences. The play's f i r s t act takes place i n a r e a l i s t i c a l l y presented newspaper o f f i c e , where the lock-out at the S l a v i a Theatre i s discussed and attempts are made to f i n d out what i s going on t h e r e . The second and t h i r d a c t s , set on the stage o f the t h e a t r e i t s e l f , show the a c t i v i t i e s and experiments of the " r e b e l s " and t h e i r i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h two i n v e s t i g a t o r a policeman and a j o u r n a l i s t , sent i n t o di s c o v e r what they are up t o . The play's s t r i k i n g ending i n v o l v e s not only a metaphorical " c r o s s i n g over i n t o death" by the two i n v e s t i g a t o r s but a l s o a c o n f r o n t a t i o n of the audience w i t h the b a s i c mystery-problem o f s o c i o - t h e a t r i c a l r e a l i t y . iy TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT i i INTRODUCTION 1 PLAY A TUMOUR IN THE HEAD AND AIR POLLUTION: Act One 17 Act Two h9 Act :Three 91 NOTES 118 BIBLIOGRAPHY 119 1 Dusan Jovanovic was born i n Belgrade i n 1939. Since 1951, however, he has been l i v i n g i n S l o v e n i a , the northermost province of Yugoslavia. He took a degree i n E n g l i s h and French from the U n i v e r s i t y of L j u b l j a n a i n Slovenia's c a p i t a l , then went on t o study d i r e c t i n g at L j u b l j a n a ! s Academy of t h e a t r e , r a d i o , f i l m and t e l e v i s i o n . As a f r e e l a n c e d i r e c t o r he has worked over f i f t e e n years i n a l l the Slovenian t h e a t r e s , and has been guest d i r e c t o r at many other Yugoslavian t h e a t r e s . His productions have appeared f r e q u e n t l y at both Yugoslavian and f o r e i g n f e s t i v a l s . At present he i s the a r t i s t i c d i r e c t o r of the Slovenian Youth Theatre i n L j u b l j a n a , and i n 1983 was a v i s i t i n g p r o f essor at New York U n i v e r s i t y . As a w r i t e r Jovanovic has published nine plays and c o l l e c t i o n s of plays i n Yugoslavia, and eight o f h i s plays have appeared i n p e r i o d i c a l s t h e r e . He w r i t e s i n both the Slovenian and Serbo-Croatian languages, and f o r t e l e v i s i o n as w e l l as f o r the t h e a t r e . His plays have won much recog-n i t i o n both at home and abroad, having been performed i n many Yugoslavian t h e a t r e s and i n I t a l y , A u s t r a l i a , and the U n i t e d S t a t e s . Jovanovic's plays vary c o n s i d e r a b l y i n s t y l e . One-of h i s e a r l i e s t , The Fools (1968), an 'angry' p l a y i n f l u e n c e d by John Osborne, deals w i t h a f i c t i t i o u s r e v o l u t i o n w h i l s t at the same time p o r t r a y i n g r e a l persons i n r e a l p l a c e s . Generations (1977) i s a conventional drama i n the Chekhovian s t y l e , d e a l i n g s p e c i f i c a l l y w i t h the r e l a t i o n s h i p between c u l t u r e and p o l i t i c s . His h i g h l y s u c c e s s f u l The L i b e r a t i o n o f Skopje (1977) and The Brothers Karamazov (1980) are founded on h i s t o r i c a l and p o l i t i c a l determinism. His l a t e s t p l a y i s M i l i t a r y Secret (1983), f i r s t performed at the Slovenian t h e a t r e i n T r i e s t e , I t a l y . I t contains l e s s p h y s i c a l and scenic movement than h i s other works, d e a l i n g as i t does 2 w i t h s t a t e s o f mind and the s t a t e o f language i n the agony o f a s o c i e t y approaching i t s end. The p l a y i n v o l v e s research i n t o animal language i n an attempt t o make i t t r a n s l a t a b l e i n t o human language terms and to put t h i s t o p o l i t i c a l and commercial use. The L i b e r a t i o n of Skopje and The Brothers Karamazov were given an i n t e r n a t i o n a l tour and performed i n Sydney, P e r t h , and Melbourne, and i n Washington, New Jersey, Denver, Los Angeles, and New York. In New York The L i b e r a t i o n of Skopje was hosted by the S t . John the D i v i n e company and The Brothers Karamazov by La Mama. The company which undertook t h i s s e l f - f i n a n c e d t o u r was almost e n t i r e l y made up of Slovenian a c t o r s , though the group i s based i n Zagreb, C r o a t i a , and the plays were performed not i n Slovene but i n Serbo-Croat, the o f f i c i a l language of Yugoslavia. The name of the company, "KPGT", i s an acronym based on the words f o r " t h e a t r e " i n four of the Yugoslavian languages: " K a z a l i s t e " ( C r o a t i a n ) , " P o z o r i s t e " ( S e r b i a n ) , " G l e d a l i s c e " (Slovene) and "Teater" (Macedonian). I t i s sometimes s a i d i n Yugoslavia t h a t the t h e a t r e f u n c t i o n s b e t t e r than i n d u s t r y . The f a c t o r i e s themselves are a major market f o r the season t i c k e t s s o l d by the va r i o u s n a t i o n a l ( i . e . p r o v i n c i a l ) t h e a t r e s . These w e l l - s u b s i d i z e d n a t i o n a l t h e a t r e s are, according to Jovanovic, "unprovoca-t i v e " , ^ - s t a g i n g as they do a r e p e r t o i r e of f a i r l y c onventional modern, European and n a t i o n a l c l a s s i c works. The l e s s i n s t i t u t i o n a l , smaller c u l t u r a l or youth centre t h e a t r e s , on the other hand, g e n e r a l l y have enough money f o r o n l y minimal production budgets. T h e i r audiences, drawn from a l l s t r a t a o f s o c i e t y , are l a r g e r than those of the n a t i o n a l t h e a t r e s , however, so th a t productions can be p r a c t i c a l l y s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t . The Slovenian Youth Theatre, where Jovanovic has been the a r t i s t i c d i r e c t o r f o r the l a s t t h ree y e a r s , i s one of these. L i k e other such companies, i t i s made up of serious people t r y i n g to stage productions of a h i g h a r t i s t i c standard and contemporary relevance. The Slovenian Youth Theatre gives performances i n s c h o o l s , as w e l l as many others s p e c i f i c a l l y f o r a d u l t s . The company i t s e l f i s composed mainly of young ac t o r s f r e s h from drama schools. The n a t i o n a l t h e a t r e s , on the other hand, give tenure t o t h e i r company members, a f a c t which o f t e n i n h i b i t s experimental work. Apart from some degree of necessary s e l f - c e n s o r s h i p , , t h e a t r e s are connected w i t h t h e a t r e c o u n c i l s , which "help" decide which plays may be performed. These c o u n c i l s c o n s i s t of members drawn from the t h e a t r e i t s e l f as w e l l as delegates from other i n s t i t u t i o n s and even from i n d u s t r y . U n t i l r e c e n t l y , the theatres have been able t o choose these e x t e r n a l delegates themselves. Now, however, they are nominated from without and the t h e a t r e s are i n s t r u c t e d to i n v i t e these nominees. When i t was f i r s t w r i t t e n , Tumour i n the Head... was o f f e r e d t o the Slovenian N a t i o n a l Theatre. F o l l o w i n g common p r a c t i c e , a referendum was h e l d among the members of the t h e a t r e to decide whether i t would be produced. For t h i s purpose, one-hundred and twenty copies of the p l a y were d i s t r i b u t e d to a l l the workers i n the t h e a t r e , i n c l u d i n g the t e c h -n i c i a n s . A l l one-hundred and twenty copies were " l o s t " . The head of the t h e a t r e at t h a t time was a Serb from Belgrade T e l e v i s i o n . The p l a y was e v e n t u a l l y performed i n C e l j e , a small town north-east of L j u b l j a n a . Because of the nature of the p l a y , the C e l j e t h e a t r e became a p s y c h o l o g i c a l battleground. A war of nerves went on throughout the r e h e a r s a l p e r i o d . The theatre's t e c h n i c a l s t a f f i n p a r t i c u l a r objected t o the play's being produced and various acts of sabotage fo l l o w e d . Cables were c u t , the k sound cabinet was b u r g l e d , music tapes were s t o l e n . The night before the f i r s t general r e h e a r s a l , the stage f l o o r was painted a b r i g h t green and was l e f t t h i s c o lour throughout the ensuing three months of r e h e a r s a l . Some of the actors remained l o y a l , but others f r e q u e n t l y f a i l e d to appear at r e h e a r s a l s . Nonetheless, the production was a s u c c e s s f u l one, both i n terms of i t s r e a l i z a t i o n of the author's i n t e n t i o n s and of p u b l i c acclaim. T h e m a t i c a l l y , Tumour i n the Head... i s very complicated, w i t h s e v e r a l l a y e r s of a c t i o n and of s e n s i b i l i t y . The t h e a t r e i t s e l f i s presented as a metaphor of s o c i e t y , and the p l a y deals w i t h the t h e a t r e both as a s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l m i l i e u and as the focus of the personal and p r o f e s s i o n a l concerns of those working t h e r e . The author a s s e r t s t h a t the stimulus t o w r i t e the p l a y was "a need f o r change, a need f o r something r e v o l u t i o n a r y to happen t o overcome the s o - c a l l e d dead or grey banal s i t u a t i o n s or r e p e t i t i o n s of t h i s d u l l n e s s i n everyday l i f e , i n the t h e a t r e . " I n Yugoslavia, the p o l i t i c a l system has been producing r e v o l u t i o n a r y p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l changes s i n c e 19^+5, but i n the playwright's view, "We didn't change the v a l u e s . Nothing happened t o c h i l d r e n . They have become, I t h i n k , even worse i n some ways." For Jovanovic, the deep need f o r change i n human s e n s i b i l i t y i s the e s s e n t i a l theme and task of the t h e a t r e . The characters i n the p l a y who are i n s i d e the S l a v i a Theatre are i n v o l v e d i n e f f o r t s t o t r y something new. T h e i r primary o b s t a c l e i s an imaginary "dead l i n e " , a s i t u a t i o n where nothing more can happen, where they f e e l as i f dead, or empty of p o s s i b i l i t y . The people i n the t h e a t r e are c o n s t a n t l y confronted w i t h the p o l i c e , the newspapers and so o n — i n s h o r t , w i t h people who b r i n g them up against t h i s "dead l i n e " , 5 a l i n e which perhaps can never he crossed. At the end of the play-there i s presented a t h e a t r i c a l , imaginary v e r s i o n of t h i s l i n e , which any i n d i v i d u a l , i t i s i m p l i e d , can make the d e c i s i o n t o step over. I t i s the playwright's i n t e n t t h a t each spectator and the audience as a whole can i n t e r p r e t t h i s " c r o s s i n g over" i n t h e i r own ways. For the author of the p l a y , there i s a m o r t a l i t y deep i n the s t r u c t u r e of s o c i e t y . " I t h i n k that a k i n d of slow death i s happening t o e v e r y t h i n g , that people are becoming j u s t f u n c t i o n s of the system or of everyday l i f e . They j u s t don't have enough energy, enough p o s s i b i l i t i e s , enough courage, enough need i f you l i k e , to become something e l s e . " The overwhelming nature of t h i s s i t u a t i o n i s shown when K r i z n i k and L e v s t i k d i e t h e a t r i c a l l y at the end o f the p l a y . T h e i r "death" i s "a k i n d of u t o p i a , a k i n d of obsession, a r e l i g i o u s way of f e e l i n g space." K r i z n i k and L e v s t i k do not d i e i n the c l a s s i c scenic way. When they r e a l i z e they are dead, they s t i l l l i v e on. This i s meant to be a k i n d of provocation f o r the audience, as i s the play's ending, which has no d e f i n i t e c o n c l u s i o n , no e x p l i c i t thematic statement, no i d e o l o g i c a l p o i n t or message. Indeed, i n t a l k i n g about the p l a y , Jovanovic f r e q u e n t l y r e f e r s t o "provocation". The two extremely d i f f e r e n t s e t t i n g s i n the p l a y are themselves intended to be a k i n d of c o n f r o n t a t i o n . Act One, whose s e t t i n g i s a news-paper o f f i c e f u l l o f desks and c l u t t e r , presents a w e l t e r of s u p e r f i c i a l , commonplace language, f a c t s and concerns. The E d i t o r - i n - C h i e f , p l a y i n g the r o l e of p r e s i d i n g censor, has the f u n c t i o n of making sure t h i n g s stay that way: "Don't dramatize!" he says repeatedly. In c o n t r a s t t o the everyday t r i v i a l i t y of the j o u r n a l i s t s i n Act One, those i n s i d e the S l a v i a Theatre i n Acts Two and Three are "digging 6 deeply i n s i d e themselves, t r y i n g to t h i n k , to f e e l , q u i t e d i f f e r e n t t h i n g s , q u i t e new t h i n g s , t o come t o some r e a l l y r e l e v a n t point of t h e i r l i v e s , " says the author. A k i n d of double o p p o s i t i o n of these two worlds i s thus presented i n terms of l o c a l e , language, subject matter and s i g n i f i c a n c e . The very choice of a j o u r n a l i s t and a policeman to conduct the i n v e s t i g a t i o n i n t o the " s p l e n d i d yet awful i s o l a t i o n " i n the t h e a t r e makes c e r t a i n p oints i n terms of t h e i r m o t i v a t i o n . F i r s t , they are the o n l y ones who are i n t e r e s t e d . Second, the p o l i c e are concerned w i t h the v a r i o u s accusations of drug-dealing and drug-taking, immorality, mysterious night excursions i n t o the v i c i n i t y and strange a c t i v i t i e s i n v o l v i n g c h i l d r e n . The other motive of the p o l i c e , perhaps l e s s immediately evident t o a Western reader, i s t h e i r concern w i t h the p o l i t i c a l danger inherent i n the t h e a t r e ' s " r e v o l t " and i n t h e a t r e i t s e l f . The j o u r n a l i s t , K r i z n i k , i s the most c l e a r l y p o s i t i v e non-theatre character i n the p l a y , because he undergoes a t r a n s f o r m a t i o n . At f i r s t he i s perplexed by what he f i n d s i n s i d e the t h e a t r e , then amused. But then, s l o w l y , he comes to an awareness that he i s "dead". To a spectator watching the " r e h e a r s a l s " of Act Two, says Jovanovic, the A c t o r s , the D i r e c t o r and the Dramaturge "must, I suppose, seem a l i t t l e b i t c r a z y . " What they are doing can e a s i l y appear unimportant, even strange, and o f t e n simply funny. Dular and P a l c i c , then, are at once wretched and c o m i c a l , yet i n some way sympathetic. Their c o m i c a l i t y stems from t h e i r obsessive determination t o wring every drop of s e n s a t i o n they can from an e x e r c i s e or r e h e a r s a l . They a l s o have t h a t c h i l d i s h n e s s so common among th e a t r e people. 7 The dramaturge, P a l c i e , . i s t r y i n g t o l i b e r a t e the A c t o r s ' imaginations i n the realms o f language and s e n s i b i l i t y , hoping t o f i n d v o c a l sounds tha t correspond w i t h c e r t a i n b o d i l y s t a t e s and sensations. But h i s e f f o r t t o f i n d some other language or means of po e t i c expression "which surpasses, or overcomes, the banal meaning o f outworn words, i s l i k e the w h i s t l i n g of the b i r d s , " says Jovanovic, t h a t i s , i n t e l l e c t u a l l y meaningless but at the same time s i g n i f i c a n t and d i s t u r b i n g . In the character of Ida, the author explores P i r a n d e l l o ' s double t r u t h , the ac t o r ' s problem o f dual i d e n t i t y . Says Jovanovic: "As a l i v i n g woman she i s not pregnant, but as an a c t r e s s . " The a c t r e s s i s performing a p r o j e c t i o n o f her inner d e s i r e and " t h i s other ego i s pregnant." When the Doctor k i l l s the imaginary c h i l d , he i s k i l l i n g the d e s i r e , the p r o j e c t i o n . In c o n t r a s t , the a c t o r Koscak i s ignorant, inchoate, i n d e c i s i v e . He can f u l l y r e a l i s e n e i t h e r where he i s nor what he i s doing. He s t u t t e r s , mumbles, cannot express h i m s e l f . The playwright sees many a c t o r s , even good ones, as having a personal and p r o f e s s i o n a l r e a l i t y o f t h i s k i n d . They are dependent on words from o u t s i d e themselves t o give them something they can grasp as t h e i r own, see as themselves: "They need the words t o recognize what they f e e l or think," says Jovanovic. The Stage-Doorkeeper and the Caretaker are a ki n d o f Lumpenproletariat i n v e s t e d w i t h a c e r t a i n potent a u t h o r i t y , r e p r e s e n t i n g i n f a c t a segment of s o c i e t y which has a growing power i n some s o c i a l i s t c o u n t r i e s . More s p e c i f i c a l l y , they here represent the growing power o f t h e a t r e t e c h n i c i a n s and support s t a f f t o t e r r o r i z e the a r t i s t i c workers i n the Yugoslavian t h e a t r e , as instanced i n the d i f f i c u l t i e s which beset the f i r s t production 8 of the p l a y i n C e l j e . The connections between the play's outer t h e a t r i c a l a c t i o n and i t s inner p s y c h o - p o l i t i c a l l i f e , and between i t s s p e c i f i c p o l i t i c a l and c u l t u r a l l e v e l s of a c t i o n , the author recommends should be handled d i s c r e e t l y i n production. For example, the mere f a c t of double-casting c e r t a i n o f the r e q u i r e d eighteen a c t o r s f a c i l i t a t e s the communication of such connections i n the play's subject matter. According t o the p l a y w r i g h t , the p l a y a l s o needs a d i r e c t o r and actors who are w i l l i n g to experiment, to take r i s k s . Such a d i r e c t o r Jovanovic was f o r t u n a t e to f i n d i n L j u b i s a r R i s t i c , one of Yugoslavia's l e a d i n g and most experimental d i r e c t o r s . R i s t i c i n s i s t e d t h a t the f i r s t act be performed elsewhere than i n the t h e a t r e , i n a space resembling a newspaper o f f i c e . The audience was then t r a n s f e r r e d t o a t r a d i t i o n a l t h e a t r e t o see the l a s t two a c t s . The main characters were p r e c i s e l y and r e a l i s t i c a l l y portrayed according to t y p e , a l s o to help point up the strong c o n t r a s t s between them. The a c t o r p l a y i n g Knez, t o c i t e an obvious example, was a c t u a l l y played by an o l d e r , more conventional a c t o r , who was v e r y proud of h i s r o l e and d e l i g h t e d i n c a r r y i n g a r'eal gun. A few words about some of the problems of language are necessary here, not o n l y because t h i s i s a t r a n s l a t i o n o f a p l a y from a f o r e i g n language but a l s o because such questions are imbedded i n the content of the p l a y i t s e l f . George S t e i n e r ' s d e s c r i p t i o n of language as a " t h i r d u n i v e r s e midway between the phenomenal r e a l i t y of the ' e m p i r i c a l world' and the i n t e r n a l i z e d s t r u c t u r e of consciousness"^ o b v i o u s l y a p p l i e s to a l l w r i t i n g and speech a c t s , and t h e r e f o r e t o a l l p l a y w r i t i n g . When we consider t h i s "median q u a l i t y , t h i s m a t e r i a l and s p i r i t u a l s i m u l t a n e i t y , t h a t makes of 9 language the d e f i n i n g p i v o t o f man and the determinant of h i s place i n r e a l i t y , " 3 ve can make a ready t r a n s f e r to the s p e c i f i c s i t u a t i o n s of the pla y at hand. The consciousness of the characters i n the newspaper o f f i c e i s very d i f f e r e n t from t h a t of the characters l o c k e d i n s i d e the t h e a t r e . The former determine, and are determined by, the surface r e a l i t i e s of both events and language. But they are cut o f f from the e v e n t s — a n d the r e a l i t y — i n s i d e the t h e a t r e . Here, a group of t h e a t r e f o l k have shut themselves away from s u p e r f i c i a l s o c i a l r e a l i t y i n order to seek a deeper r e a l i t y , a transcendence of t h e i r c l o s e d c i r c u i t s , p r i m a r i l y through experiments w i t h l a n g u a g e — i n p a r t i c u l a r spoken language. The t h e a t r e v i t a l l y represents "the dual mode of human e x i s t e n c e , the i n t e r a c t i o n s o f p h y s i c a l w i t h s p i r i t u a l agencies"^ contained i n language. In divergent ways, Dular and P a l c i c hope to f i n d t h e i r deeper r e a l i t i e s by r e d i s c o v e r i n g something a k i n t o the l o s t Ur-sprache which "bodied f o r t h . . . the o r i g i n a l Logos, the act of immediate c a l l i n g i n t o b e i n g." We see Dular w i t h Ida, f o r example, working down through conventional language to a l e v e l l i k e t h a t of Jakob Bohme's " s e n s u a l i s t i c s peech—the speech of i n s t i n c t u a l , untutored immediacy."^ He a l s o uses the ancient methods of r i t u a l t o t r y to " b r i n g a s l e e p i n g power to l i f e , " ^ working w i t h mantras, whose words and i n t o n a t i o n s must always be p e r f e c t l y c o r r e c t f o r the r i g h t magical e f f e c t t o be produced. I t i s not s u r p r i s i n g , even qu i t e l o g i c a l , t h a t t h i s modern shaman would use the r e c o n s t r u c t e d language of Esperanto, whose very name, as S t e i n e r reminds us, "has i n i t , undisguised, the root f o r an ancient and compelling h o p e . D u l a r ' s i m p r o v i s a t i o n of b u i l d i n g and d e s t r o y i n g a "house" could be seen as symbolic of the Tower 10 of Babel: " i f man could break down the p r i s o n w a l l s o f s c a t t e r e d and p o l l u t e d speech (the rubble o f the smashed tower) he would again have access to the in n e r p e n e t r a l i a o f r e a l i t y , " says Steiner.® P a l c i c , l i k e the Merkabah m y s t i c s , i s searching f o r the ci p h e r of the cosmos, "an absolute idiom or cosmic l e t t e r — a l p h a and aleph—which.; u n d e r l i e s the rent f a b r i c o f human tongues,"9 or the cosmic Word or Logos, which i s " l i k e a hidden s p r i n g seeking t o fo r c e i t s way through the s i l t e d channels o f our d i f f e r i n g tongues." U n l i k e D ular, he takes Kelper's mathematical approach, combining i t w i t h the harmonics o f c e l e s t i a l music: i n h i s case, b i r d - s o n g , which i n ancient times (see T e i r e s i a s , f o r example) was o f t e n regarded as the language o f prophecy. For good measure, we can even see the i n f l u e n c e o f Timothy Leary i n the Doctor's use of psychoactive drugs and i n P a l c i c T s attempt at space m i g r a t i o n . Any t r a n s l a t o r must needs share P a l c i c ' s concern t h a t "the mechanical problem o f d i s c o v e r i n g a mu t u a l l y acceptable communication channel cannot be separated from the problem o f the s e n t e n c e . " ^ The t r a n s l a t o r too must d i s c r i m i n a t e between the "deep s t r u c t u r e s of meaning, s t r u c t u r e s b u r i e d by time or masked by c o l l o q u i a l i s m , and the surface s t r u c t u r e s of-spoken idiom."-^ I n Act One of t h i s p l a y , so wholly r e l i a n t on contemporary c u l t u r a l reference;- and the surface s t r u c t u r e s of s o c i a l language, there i s the danger t h a t even t h e surface meaning, and consequently the deeper, may be l o s t i n t r a n s l a t i o n . The choices open to the t r a n s l a t o r of any play from one language t o another w i l l v a r y w i d e l y . In ge n e r a l , however, they range from a s o - c a l l e d " l i t e r a l " t r a n s l a t i o n t o what i s u s u a l l y c a l l e d an "adaptation". There are 11 arguments f o r both these extremes o f approach. The case f o r something l i k e l i t e r a l t r a n s l a t i o n i s f o r c e f u l l y put by y i a d i m i r Nabokov: In the f i r s t p l a c e , we must d i s m i s s , once and f o r a l l the conventional n o t i o n t h a t a t r a n s l a t i o n "should read smoothly," and "should not sound l i k e a t r a n s l a t i o n " (to quote the would-be compliments, addressed to vague v e r s i o n s , by genteel reviewers who never have and never w i l l read the o r i g i n a l t e x t s ) . In poi n t of f a c t , any t r a n s l a t i o n t h a t does hot sound l i k e a t r a n s l a t i o n i s bound t o be inexact upon i n s p e c t i o n ; w h i l e , on the other hand, the o n l y v i r t u e of a good t r a n s -l a t i o n i s f a i t h f u l n e s s and completeness. Whether i t reads smoothly, or not, depends on the model, not on the mimic.^3 At the same time, a p l a y , e s p e c i a l l y , i n v i t e s the t r a n s l a t o r t o "adapt" i t , not o n l y t o i t s new language but to the t h e a t r i c a l conventions of the new c u l t u r e or h i s t o r i c a l p e r i o d . The choices of the t r a n s l a t o r of drama are s i g n i f i c a n t l y comparable—though h a r d l y i d e n t i c a l — t o those of the stage d i r e c t o r and the a c t o r s . My choice here has been to work conside r a b l y nearer to Nabokov than to f r e e adaptation. I have t r i e d t o provide a readable, complete and f a i t h f u l t r a n s l a t i o n of the language o f the o r i g i n a l . My purpose has been to convey t o an English-language reader the e s s e n t i a l meanings and q u a l i t y of the p l a y as a piece o f dramatic w r i t i n g , w h i l e simultaneously (though s e c o n d a r i l y ) suggesting t o a pr o s p e c t i v e d i r e c t o r or a c t o r some of i t s p o s s i b i l i t i e s f o r performance. I t has a l s o been a part o f my purpose t o provide a u s e f u l and i n t e r e s t i n g example of the concerns of a contemporary playwright i n the c u l t u r a l and p o l i t i c a l context of S l o v e n i a today. F i n a l l y , I should add t h a t , because o f my own background, I have used predominantly the s p e l l i n g s and idioms of B r i t i s h r a t h e r than North American E n g l i s h . A l l proper names have been l e f t i n t h e i r o r i g i n a l form, as the 12 choices of c h a r a c t e r s ' names c a r r y no strong i m p l i c a t i o n s i n themselves, and any A n g l i c i z a t i o n o f them -would e n t a i l too personal a choice. To . leave the Slovenian names i n t h e i r o r i g i n a l forms serves a l s o t o emphasize the play's c u l t u r a l context. To a v o i d p o s s i b l e confusion i n p r o n u n c i a t i o n , however, I have de l e t e d the " j " from the proper names " S l o v e n i j a " , " S l a v i j a " , " S a v i n j a " and " L y d i j a " . I have a l s o found i t necessary t o break up somewhat the l o n g , i n v o l v e d and f r e q u e n t l y compounded sentences of the o r i g i n a l Slovene, most p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the author's stage d i r e c t i o n s (or d i r e c t o r i a l discourses) i n order t o improve t h e i r c l a r i t y and t o b r i n g them a l i t t l e c l o s e r to the s y n t a c t i c a l conventions of E n g l i s h p l a y -w r i t i n g . The l a c k of i n d e f i n i t e or d e f i n i t e a r t i c l e s i n Slovene has r e q u i r e d some c o n t e x t u a l d e c i s i o n s t h a t can only be v e r i f i e d i n r e h e a r s a l . The author's f l e x i b i l i t y , which stems from h i s own d i r e c t o r i a l experience and awareness, q u i t e r i g h t l y i s intended t o accommodate prospective d i r e c t o r s and a c t o r s . In doing t h i s , however, he f a i l s i n some instances to accommodate the non-professional reader. Thus, f o r example, when he o f f e r s s e v e r a l a l t e r n a t i v e s f o r the word " b i e r " i n d e s c r i b i n g an important stage prop i n the f i n a l scene (namely, "couch", "p l a t f o r m " and " c a t a f a l q u e " ) , I have opted f o r consistency. Two small problems remain t o be mentioned b r i e f l y . One i s t h a t the character of B e l i e i n Act One i s (the author informs me) s u b t l y w r i t t e n as a homosexual. Without the usual c l i c h e s of language, however, t h i s i s d i f f i c u l t t o convey i n the w r i t t e n t e x t . The other d i f f i c u l t y i s found i n the way the Managing E d i t o r concludes h i s telephone conversations and the t e l e x r e p o r t w i t h phrases t h a t are i n f a c t popular song t i t l e s from the p e r i o d 1950-1954,. The playwright h i m s e l f acknowledges that even a Slovenian 13 reader would miss t h i s nuance. Other song t i t l e s have been s u b s t i t u t e d . The author's c a s u a l mention i n conversation that the p l a y was meant to be set i n the e a r l y 1950s i s d i f f i c u l t to take a l t o g e t h e r s e r i o u s l y , e s p e c i a l l y s i n c e other p a r t i c u l a r references i n the p l a y do not j i b e : f o r example, the p o l i t i c i a n s Tepavac and Dubcek, r e f e r r e d to i n Act One, were only w i d e l y known i n the l a t e s i x t i e s and e a r l y s e v e n t i e s . From the author's comments and from the t e x t i t s e l f i t i s c l e a r that any t r a n s l a t o r , reader or d i r e c t o r of t h i s p l a y must be a l e r t f o r the ways i n which t h i s drama "may conceal more than i t conveys." For the p l a y contains not only a k i n d of t h e a t r i c a l i t y t h a t goes beyond v e r b a l language, but a l s o "a c l e a r sense... of the numinous as w e l l as the problematic nature of man's l i f e i n language."-^ PLAY A TUMOUR IN THE HEAD AND AIR POLLUTION A P l a y i n Three Acts by Dusan Jovanovic In memoriam: a cockroach k i l l e r Palas aron ozinomas baske bano tudan donas geheamel c l a o r l a y berec he pantaras t a y 15 Cast of Characters PRODUCTION EDITOR EDITOR-IN-CHIEF MANAGING EDITOR SECRETARY, (Draga) JOCO, a photographer KRIZNIK, a r e p o r t e r VESNA, a r e p o r t e r REPORTER 1 REPORTER 2 ERRAND GIRL BELIC LEVSTIK, a P o l i c e Inspector KNEZ, an a c t o r LYDIA, Knez.'s w i f e IDA, an a c t r e s s KOSCAK, an a c t o r Company of Actors i n the S l a v i a Theatre DOCTOR. Cernigoj DULAR, d i r e c t o r i n the S l a v i a Theatre PALCIC, dramaturge o f the S l a v i a Theatre STAGE-DOORKEEPER, (Roman) CARETAKER, (Hector) The actors from the F i r s t Act a l s o appear i n the Second and T h i r d A c t s . This i s important, not f o r economy''s sake, but 16 to serve the play's deeper meaning. In a l l , e x a c t l y eighteen a c t o r s are needed. The ac t o r s p l a y i n g the f o l l o w i n g r o l e s do not double: EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, SECRETARY, KRIZNIK, LEVSTIK, KNEZ, IDA, DOCTOR, DULAR, PALCIC, STAGE-DOORKEEPER, CARETAKER. IT ACT OWE The e d i t o r i a l o f f i c e of "The Daily News." A t y p i c a l newspaper o f f i c e with typewriters, telephones, etc. I have only prescribed the most important stage actions. The rest I leave to the director and actors, whose decisions w i l l depend on t h e i r production concept for the play. The actors could, for example, be continually moving about the space, leaving and re-entering the o f f i c e on specific errands or on random impulse. On the other hand, t h e i r movements could be less r e a l i s t i c , forming a more s t a t i c stage picture though with a constant l e v e l of appropriate "tension." I have s i m i l a r l y l i m i t e d my comments on the dialogue. MANAGING EDITOR: (on the telephone) Right, Chief, O.K.! No dramatizing.' REPORTER 1: (to REPORTER 2) I'm phoning down to the bar. What'11 i t be? REPORTER 2: Gin and tonic with lemon. MANAGING EDITOR: I t i s harmful! I agree! REPORTER 1: Don't you drink cognac any more? REPORTER 2: Can't. Doctor's orders. "Don't drink cognac!" he said. MANAGING EDITOR: (puts down the receiver with a sigh) "Don't dramatize!" I t ' s . a l l right for him to say "Don't dramatize". Those people are slaughtering each other right and l e f t , and we're supposed to s i t on the side-lines l i k e Dubcek. REPORTER 1: New l i f e s t y l e then? REPORTER 2: New, my arse. I can't take i t , i t gives me the s h i t s . 18 VESNA: (rummages through a p i l e o f newspapers, then t o MANAGING EDITOR) Those people i n the South have whipped up a ni c e s e n s a t i o n out of t h i s one. Just look at these headlines. REPORTER 1: (telephoning) Toncka? E d i t o r s ' o f f i c e here. Send me up a hot lemonade, a g i n and t o n i c , and a packet of Marlhoros. (Puts down the r e c e i v e r . ) MANAGING EDITOR: I'm going t o read him t h i s , Vesna, f o r a b i t of a laugh! (Takes a p i l e of newspapers and l i f t s the r e c e i v e r . ) ERRAND GIRL: (ENTERS, d e l i v e r s the post to Vesna, EXITS) H e l l o . Post f o r " T e l l Me Your Troubles". VESNA: Thanks. SECRETARY: (picks up the r e c e i v e r ) Judnic? Yes, one moment. (To PRODUCTION EDITOR) Jaka, take i t . . . the S o c i a l i s t F e d e r a t i o n o f Workers. (PRODUCTION EDITOR l i f t s h i s r e c e i v e r . ) REPORTER 1: Where d i d you p i c k up those scars? REPORTER 2: Concrete s t a i r s , w i t h some Northerner behind my back, and a few fancy t r i c k s . . . MANAGING EDITOR: (has a connection at l a s t ) I'm j u s t going to read you a few t h i n g s t o b r i n g you up t o date. PRODUCTION EDITOR: ( i n t o the telephone) At seven, r i g h t . An end t o p o l i t i c a l pressures. Great! (Hangs up.) MANAGING EDITOR: (reading from newspapers) The Serbian F i g h t e r : "The S l a v i a , Slovenia's o l d e s t and l a r g e s t t h e a t r e , on the b r i n k o f chaos." The C r o a t i a n Spring: "Sensational r i o t at the S l a v i a t h e a t r e . " The Cr o a t i a n Evening News: "The Avant-Garde has b a r r i c a d e d i t s e l f i n s i d e the S l a v i a Theatre and cut a l l connections w i t h the ou t s i d e w o r l d . " 19 The P o l i t i c a l Express: "A d i r e c t o r and h i s c l i q u e of a c t o r s throw the r e s t of the company out onto the s t r e e t . " The Freedom: "Who i s r e a l l y d i r e c t i n g the g a l a production at the S l a v i a ? " . . . and so on and so f o r t h . VESNA: (to REPORTER 2) Here, handsome, here's something f o r you. (Reads.) "Dear Edwina. I'm 18 years o l d and s t i l l very shy. When men come near me my heart s t a r t s r a c i n g , and my face turns r e d r i g h t away. I wouldn't mind i f my face went a b i t r e d , but I go as red.as a beetroot. I should add that my face i s already red by nature. Maybe t h a t ' s due to high blood pressure, because mine's l60. I'm scared t o go t o the doctor. What can I do?" REPORTER 1: Send her t o me. When I put mine i n her hands s h e ' l l go white. VESNA: Oh, you p i g ! (She laughs.) ERRAND GIRL: ( b r i n g i n g the d r i n k s ) Gin and t o n i c , hot lemonade, Marlboros. REPORTER 1: Thanks. (EXIT ERRAND GIRL.) MANAGING EDITOR: (puts down the r e c e i v e r ) Fucking h e l l . " O b j e c t i v e l y , c a l m l y , l e t ' s give i t time." Disagreements i n cooperative management, th e a t r e i n a r t i s t i c c r i s i s , dilemma i n the house of T h a l i a . What k i n d of headlines are those? God! You can't w r i t e l i k e t h a t ! PRODUCTION EDITOR: He's got nothing t o do but s c r a t c h h i s b a l l s . SECRETARY: ( r e p l a c i n g the r e c e i v e r ) Smith, r e p o r t i n g the a r r i v a l of more f o r e i g n correspondents. Ronconi from Rome, MacDonald of the BBC, and Pulman, Spiegel's Belgrade correspondent. They're at the Hotel L i o n and they want contacts. VESNA: A l l I'd l i k e t o know i s , how the h e l l can f i f t e e n a r t s y w a l l i e s throw t h i r t y - f i v e people out onto the s t r e e t ! MANAGING EDITOR: How? Oh, come on! (.To PRODUCTION EDITOR) Import taxes up k%. Two columns, eight spaces, s u b t i t l e : " i n d i v i d u a l s and businesses must pay another t a x on top of customs duty and f e d e r a l value-added taxes to maintain the balance o f p r i c e s and customs t r a n s a c t i o n s . " REPORTER 1: What about the s k i r t s i n the north? REPORTER 2: Huh. A house-party i n the s t i c k s . I get p l a s t e r e d . I ask some lover-boy: "Who's tha t pussy?" and the ponce goes p i s s i n g looney and fucks me o f f down the concrete steps! REPORTER 1: S h i t ! CHIEF: (ENTERS) Comrades! Let's-be:'.quite c l e a r about how we handle the S l a v i a t h e a t r e a f f a i r : no dramatizing. We wait f o r the parliamentary hea r i n g , the union's r e s o l u t i o n s , and the meeting of the t h e a t r e advi s o r y commission. Clear? ALL: C l e a r . (EXIT EDITOR-IN-CHIEF.) PRODUCTION EDITOR: (to MANAGING EDITOR) You know, these a c t u a l p r i c e increases are going to be bloody obvious, aren't they? Look a t ' t h e d i f f e r e n c e : automatic washing-machine w i t h up to twelve programmes, one thousand and f i f t e e n new d i n a r s , i n c l u d i n g t a x , and i t used t o be nine hundred and t w e n t y - f i v e . SECRETARY: ( l i f t s the r e c e i v e r ) Yes, I ' l l t e l l him. (To MANAGING EDITOR) Porenta i n P a r i s wants a summary of what's going on at the S l a v i a Theatre. MANAGING EDITOR: I ' l l d i c t a t e a r e p o r t f o r the t e l e x . Take i t down. REPORTER 1: (to PRODUCTION EDITOR) " F i l m d i r e c t o r . B o s t j a n Hladnik makes t h r e a t s . " Three column heading, page 6. Continue i n type. Figure i n space f o r a 4x2 p i c t u r e . MANAGING EDITOR: On the evening of the n i n t h of January, f o l l o w i n g a performance o f Shakespeare's Ric h a r d I I , a r e a l f i g h t , w i t h swords, r a p i e r s , and spears, breaks out among the a r t i s t s of the S l a v i a Theatre. R i v a l f a c t i o n s have formed: the t r a d i t i o n a l i s t s and the a v a n t - g a r d i s t s . The l a t t e r , l e d by the d i r e c t o r , D u l a r , the dramaturg P a l c i c , . and a Doctor C e r n i g o j , set up a r e v o l u t i o n a r y committee f o r t h S l a v i a Theatre. They throw two-thirds o f the t h e a t r e company out onto the s t r e e t . On the morning o f January 10th the avant-garde group announce the i n v o l u n t a r y retirement of the other t h i r t y a c t o r s and d i r e c t o r s , and b a r r i c a d e themselves i n s i d e the t h e a t r e . The r e v o l u t i o n a r i e s b r i n g i n some of t h e i r r e l a t i v e s , mostly c h i l d r e n , and cut o f f a l l contact w i t h the outside world. Strange things keep o c c u r r i n g i n the t h e a t r e - too many t o describe. Your l a s t column on the e l e c t i o n s was e x c e l l e n t . Say h e l l o t o your g i r l f r i e n d s . "Cheri j e t'Aime, Cheri j e t'Adore!" Yours, Managing E d i t o r . REPORTER 2: Vesna, read me my horoscope. S a g i t t a r i u s . VESNA: "You have allowed y o u r s e l f t o be l u l l e d by promises. I n s i s t on the p l a i n t r u t h . Very soon what you have been d e s i r i n g f o r so long w i l l at l a s t take p l a c e . " (They both laugh.) SECRETARY: ( l i f t s the r e c e i v e r ) Yes? VESNA: "Unexpected expenses w i l l get you i n t o t r o u b l e ; you are to go on a short t r i p . " 22 REPORTER 2: Huh, what a load of baloney. Aren't you ashamed of yourself? You'll r u i n the whole edition with that boring s t u f f . SECRETARY: (covering the phone) Pssst. An anonymous c a l l . (To the c a l l e r . ) I see. You don't want to divulge that. That's a p i t y . REPORTER 2: Do you know how to say i n Esperanto: Miss, can we get together tonight? VESNA: No. How? REPORTER 2: Fraulino, cu mi poves c i . vespere kunveni? VESNA: I t sounds so lovely. My back goes a l l t i n g l y . SECRETARY: (putting down the receiver) He says he's got proof those people i n the theatre are going out at night and kidnapping people, and he says we'll be getting a l i s t of people missing from the d i s t r i c t . Apparently, some of them are children. His theory i s , the avant-gardists are either cannibals or they're taking hostages. MANAGING EDITOR: Nonsense. A pack of l i e s . They'll take the l i s t of missing people and write "economic emigration" on i t . They've gone to be gastarbeiters. No-one's eaten them, they're better o f f than we are. REPORTER 1: What are they up to, what's behind i t a l l , why are they sealing themselves o f f l i k e that? Can anyone explain i t to me? REPORTER 2: I t ' s obvious. They're having sexual disputes. PRODUCTION EDITOR: It ' s a circus. They're a bunch of clowns, comedians, drunks, m i s f i t s , spear-carriers - stupid l i t t l e show-offs crawling with complexes, t r y i n g to attract attention at any price. MANAGING EDITOR: (to REPORTER l ) Hey, Marjan, t h i s won't do, you know, t h i s crossword vocabulary of yours. I t ' s too d i f f i c u l t . 23 REPORTER 1: (doesn't hear him) I d i o t s . T h e y ' l l have t o give rap sooner or l a t e r . Hunger w i l l open the c a s t l e ' s i r o n gates. (To MANAGING EDITOR) What won't do? REPORTER 2: Maybe they're on a hunger s t r i k e . MANAGING EDITOR: Por C h r i s t ' s sake, who :knows what "Ariman" i s ? . VESNA: The babies need food. The l i t t l e babies w i l l be the ones who s u f f e r . REPORTER 1: "Ariman" i s the p r i n c i p l e of e v i l i n the r e l i g i o n of the ancient P e r s i a n s . (To PRODUCTION EDITOR) They'd g i v e up soon enough i f the water and e l e c t r i c i t y boards cut them o f f . MANAGING EDITOR: (reads) O r i e n t a l water-pipe - " n e g r i l a " . One of the o l d e s t I t a l i a n f a m i l i e s - "Este". What do you mean, making i t hard f o r people l i k e t h a t ? PRODUCTION EDITOR: Let them commit s u i c i d e . I don't care. I l i k e f o o t b a l l . They can drop dead. REPORTER 1: This i s a p o c k e t - d i c t i o n a r y f o r aesthetes and i n t e l l e c t u a l s . I t ' s not a crossword p u z z l e f o r the masses. MANAGING EDITOR: W e l l , i t should be. CHIEF: (ENTERS, and remains by the door) Ladies and Gentlemen. Please - no dramati z i n g . The s i t u a t i o n i s extremely complex. A web of p r i v a t e i n t e r e s t s , personal hatred, games of p r e s t i g e , generation problems, i d e o l o g i c a l - a e s t h e t i c concepts beyond s o c i a l c o n t r o l , and so on and so on! But not one performance. Who's going t o take r e s p o n s i -b i l i t y ? Who's going t o r a i s e h i s v o i c e and say: "This i s a v i o l e n t gang of i n s u r g e n t s , we demand t h e i r l i q u i d a t i o n ! I f nothing e l s e w i l l do i t , b r i n g i n the army!" Who? Who'll r a i s e h i s v o i c e f o r 2k freedom f o r the avant-garde, f o r a dynamic, d a r i n g , r a d i c a l s o l u t i o n ? For a new k i n d of theatre? They w i l l ! Let them do i t themselves! Why don't they s t a t e p u b l i c l y what they want? Why don't they put t h e i r ideas t o the t e s t of democracy? Why are they h i d i n g l i k e mice i n a hole? (EXITS.)' REPORTER 1: Another g i n and t o n i c ? REPORTER 2: I can't... I've j u s t t o l d you, i t t w i s t s my guts. I tank two or three i n the morning j u s t to p u l l myself together. My hands tremble, my l e g s are l i k e j e l l y , my v o i c e i s a l l nervous. You know how your nerves fuck up y o u r . l n s i d e s l i k e you're going t o go out of your mind. REPORTER 1: Don't I know i t . ( i n t o the telephone.) Whiskey. Yes, B a l l a n t i n e s . And a hot lemonade. VESNA: (to SECRETARY) L i s t e n what reader Branka Tomazic w r i t e s . SECRETARY: O.K., Vesna, I'm a l l ears. VESNA: " I r e c e n t l y bought a r o l l of B r i s t o l / t o i l e t paper, a product o f t h e i r packaging f a c t o r y i n L j u b l j a n a . A l l the paper on the r o l l was symmetrically shot through w i t h h o l e s , more l i k e a net than a piece of paper supposed t o be used f o r we a l l know.what. Please do something so someone w i l l f i n a l l y step on those crooks' t o e s . " (She smiles.) I s n ' t t h a t l o v e l y ? MANAGING EDITOR: (telephoning) S l a v i a theatre? D a i l y News here. Let me t a l k t o the d i r e c t o r , Mr. Dular. REPORTER 1: How's the c o i n c o l l e c t i o n going? REPORTER 2: I t ' s , a j o k e ; I've been l o s i n g a l l the time l a t e l y . T h i r t y quid at Toni's on Saturday. REPORTER 1: Toni's cards are l o u s y . 25 MANAGING EDITOR: Managing e d i t o r , D a i l y News here. T e l l him i t ' s urgent. PRODUCTION EDITOR: (whispering to MANAGING EDITOR) Say you've got c o n f i d e n t i a l i n f o r m a t i o n f o r him, otherwise they won't put you through. REPORTER 2: S t a n c i picked up h i s b a l l s and bananaI SECRETARY: Here's the l i s t , Vesna. Read out the h i t parade f o r me, w i l l you? MANAGING EDITOR: I f Mr. Dular's busy, give me Mr. P a l c i c . I t ' s to your advantage. VESNA: My Sweet Lord - George Harisson, two s's. SECRETARY: I know. PRODUCTION EDITOR: (to MANAGING EDITOR) What's up? (MANAGING EDITOR shrugs h i s shoulders.) VESNA: "Dry your t e a r s , my l o v e " - Boba S t e f a n o v i c . REPORTER 2: S t a n c i ' s nothing but a whore. Fucking ambitious. VESNA: "She's a l a d y " - Tom Jones. "You don't want to be mine any more" -Kruno s l a v Slab i n a c . MANAGING EDITOR: This i s the f o u r t h day he's been t i e d up... That's i m p o s s i b l e ! When i s he going t o be a v a i l a b l e then...? REPORTER 2: When the wai t e r came over t o give us the b i l l , a l l of a sudden Stanci. was busy drawing some s h i t t y pictogramme on Olga's s e r v i e t t e . VESNA: "Black Magic Woman" - Santana. MANAGING EDITOR: Look, boys, you j u s t keep messing around! Y o u ' l l damn w e l l get i t i n the end. Just remember I t o l d you t h a t . VESNA: "Lonely Days" - Bee Gees. REPORTER 2: I could b a r e l y swallow t h a t b u l l - s h i t over the b i l l , but do you know what he d i d then? REPORTER 1: What? PRODUCTION EDITOR: (to MANAGING EDITOR) I t ' s , t h a t keeper o f the s t a b l e door again. T e l l him to go t o h e l l . VESNA: "Which way you going., B i l l y " - Poppy Family. REPORTER 2: Olga took my car t o d r i v e him t o the loo n e y - b i n , and we had to take a t a x i to Sentvid... MANAGING EDITOR: Y o u ' l l be v e r y s o r r y ! Y o u ' l l be s o r r i e r than t h a t . You j u s t remember t h a t ! (Crashes the r e c e i v e r onto i t s hook.) VESNA: "San Bernardino" - C h r i s t i e . "When I'm dead and gone" - MacGuinness F l i n t . MANAGING EDITOR: That stage-doorkeeper's ;the stubbornest son -6'f-a-bitch I ever heard. He was f u c k i n g me about l i k e some b u l l y - b o y . Phone as much as you l i k e , you won't get past that watch-dog. PRODUCTION EDITOR: I've been saying a l l along, those a r s e - l i c k e r s are bloody crooks. They're doing the whole t h i n g t o s e l l more t i c k e t s to t h e i r f e a t h e r - b r a i n e d c i r c u s a c t s , t h a t ' s a l l . I t ' s nothing but p u b l i c i t y . This whole performance i s a bloody great f a k e , you mark my words. REPORTER 1: (to the SECRETARY) What!s the matter, Draga? Are you . depressed? Has some smart-Alec made you unhappy again? SECRETARY: What's i t to you? Mind you own business, w i l l you? ERRAND GIRL: (ENTERS, b r i n g i n g the d r i n k s . EXITS) Whiskey and hot lemonade. MANAGING EDITOR: The whole town's t a l k i n g about t h a t t h e a t r e , and we're i n the r i d i c u l o u s p o s i t i o n of knowing p r a c t i c a l l y nothing. We've got no f a c t s . . Empty-handed; t o t a l l y ignorant. Those whores are quiet as 27 mice. The only things you can r e a l l y know are what you see with your own eyes, that's the bleeding pain of i t . The goddam problem i s , you can't understand a bloody thing. PRODUCTION EDITOR: I'm t e l l i n g you - i t ' s ' a l l blackmail. Out-and-out blackmail. A lock-out doesn't happen just l i k e that! We'll see what they're r e a l l y up to when the r i g h t moment comes. REPORTER 1: You don't need to have complexes, Draga, just because you're short and not very sexy. Anything does me.. SECRETARY: Will,you shut up for a change? REPORTER 2: (to VESNA) We're o f f f i s h i n g on Saturday. You coming with us? VESNA: Where to? REPORTER 2: The Savinia r i v e r , somewhere between Celje and z"alec, MANAGING EDITOR: ( l i f t s the receiver) Yes. What hashish? How much hashish? Who to? REPORTER 2: The Savinia's f u l l of sturgeon, dace, wall-eyes, and whiting. Not so many grayling, though. REPORTER 1: (to SECRETARY) I ' l l give you some free advice' Keep i n shape, be refined and gentle. Look after your curves and stand up straight. Every l i t t l e b i t helps. MANAGING EDITOR: This i s already the second order. And i t ' s " f o r f i v e k i l o s again? REPORTER 2: We could go up from Podvin too. Salmonidae are prevalent there: brook trout and rainbow trout. We'll go i n my car. VESNA: I ' l l think about i t . . . 28 REPORTER 1: I ' l l l e t you i n t o the secret of beauty. Make use of the l i t t l e God gave you. You've got b i g blue eyes. Good. With c a r e f u l make-up you can remodel them i n t o a unique beauty assetJ C u l t i v a t e your fabulous sm i l e . Make use of th a t sonorous v o i c e . V a r n i s h your n a i l s i n an unobtrusive c o l o u r , and wear an i n t e r e s t i n g r i n g . Be sparing w i t h your gestures. MANAGING EDITOR: They're paying i n gold? You don't say! And what are your names, you and y o u r salesman f r i e n d ? Oh. You can't t e l l me. You've been very h e l p f u l . My undying g r a t i t u d e . (Replaces the r e c e i v e r and c o l l a p s e s w i t h a s i g h , depressed and t i r e d . ) Hashish! What a l o a d o f b u l l ! Some anonymous l i a r i s t r y i n g to make out he and h i s f r i e n d have already sent o f f t h e i r t h i r d f i v e k i l o packet to the S l a v i a Theatre. REPORTER 1: Draga, dear he a r t , l e t ' s not q u a r r e l . What are you doing to n i g h t ? SECRETARY: K n i t t i n g socks. REPORTER 1: Who f o r ? SECRETARY: The poor. REPORTER 1: The ones from Banjaluka? SECRETARY: No, the ones from P a l e s t i n e . REPORTER 1: Golda Meir can look a f t e r them t o n i g h t . SECRETARY: Not t o n i g h t . She's got her p e r i o d . REPORTER 1: W e l l , I f you run out of wool or your needle breaks, j u s t give me a c a l l ! I ' l l be g l a d t o r i s e to your a s s i s t a n c e . SECRETARY: Your needle couldn't cope w i t h my k n i t t i n g . 29 CHIEF: (ENTERS) I've s a i d i t before and I ' l l say i t again! No dramatizing. At t h i s very moment the a f f a i r i s moving beyond the realm of the merely t h e a t r i c a l . I t i s r a p i d l y becoming a c u l t u r a l scandal of undreamt-of p r o p o r t i o n s , w i t h c l e a r p o l i t i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s . This i s what's i n t e r f e r i n g w i t h democratic n e g o t i a t i o n , the fundamental p r i n c i p l e of our s o c i e t y . This j u i c y morsel has f a l l e n r i g h t i n t o the l a p s of the Western press. Those gentlemen have a sudden intense i n t e r e s t i n Slovenian c u l t u r e and Slovenian t h e a t r e . I'm not going t o r e c e i v e them. Not me. Who'll take the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y ? Who? At l e a s t h a l f of these d r i v e l l i n g , i d i o t i c sensation-mongers are c a p i t a l i s t a g i t a t o r s and CIA s p i e s . I t ' s our duty t o view events through a p o l i t i c a l prism, not to be i n f l u e n c e d by shallow impulses t o dramatize r e a l i t y . This t h e a t r e business i s a s i d e i s s u e . I t ' s a s t u p i d , moronic scandal I n v o l v i n g a handful of h i g h l y s u s p i c i o u s maniacal extremists w i t h a d i f f e r e n t i d e o - a e s t h e t i c o r i e n t a t i o n from us - no more and no l e s s ! U n t i l the r e s p o n s i b l e o f f i c i a l s and the appropriate s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l bodies take a p o s i t i o n on the matter, i t i s our duty t o f i n d out the o b j e c t i v e p o l i t i c a l dimensions of t h i s c u l t u r a l i n c i d e n t without any exaggeration. Is that c l e a r ? I hope I have been s u f f i c i e n t l y p r e c i s e . (Sneezes and EXITS.) PRODUCTION EDITOR: (stands) Johannes Gutenberg, 1398 t o lk68. German p r i n t e r , g e n e r a l l y thought to have been the f i r s t man i n western c i v i l i z a t i o n t o use moveable type. His i n v e n t i o n has no connection w i t h the device t h a t had l o n g s i n c e been i n use i n Korea, since i t i s independent of i t . Others, f o r example, Laurens Janszoon Koster, have a l s o claimed the honour of being the inventor of the p r i n t i n g p ress, 30 but without success. We know -very l i t t l e of Gutenberg's youth. He probably organized a p r i n t i n g shop i n Strasbourg i n the year 1^ 1+8 w i t h the f i n a n c i a l support o f the goldsmith Johan Faust, wh.o l a t e r d i s s o l v e d the p a r t n e r s h i p and demanded the r e t u r n of h i s investment. This d i d not b r i n g Gutenberg t o h i s knees, however, f o r w i t h the help of a second p a r t n e r , Conrad Humery, the press continued t o f l o u r i s h . His f i r s t p u b l i c a t i o n . was the famous Gutenberg B i b l e , which he began p r i n t i n g about 1^50 and completed around 1^+55, and which i s . c a l l e d by some Mazarin's B i b l e , s i n c e modern researchers discovered the f i r s t copy i n the l i b r a r y of C a r d i n a l Mazarin. This B i b l e i s a b r i l l i a n t achievement i n p r i n t i n g . With i t s coloured i n i t i a l s and. hand decoration i t i s s t i l l the epitome of p r e c i s i o n and q u a l i t y . The whole world knows i t and I know i t , and no-one can take that away from me - no-one, no-one. I know i t . Thank you. ( S i t s . ) MANAGING EDITOR: Want a smoke? PRODUCTION EDITOR: Kents get on my nerves. I can't stand strong s m e l l s . MANAGING EDITOR: Marlboros are l i k e sawdust. PRODUCTION EDITOR: Maybe, but at l e a s t they're not too strong. They s u i t me O.K. I get through more than s i x t y a day. MANAGING EDITOR: You leave bloody l o n g b u t t s , though. PRODUCTION EDITOR: That's healthy. The s i g n of an elegant smoker i s he always throws at l e a s t h a l f the c i g a r e t t e away. MANAGING EDITOR: You t h i n k that's. necessary? PRODUCTION EDITOR: A l l the t a r c o l l e c t s i n the l a s t o n e - t h i r d . Poison?. MANAGING EDITOR: I know a l l these t h e o r i e s , but they don't worry me. PRODUCTION EDITOR: Do you chew the f i l t e r ? 31 MANAGING EDITOR: No. PRODUCTION EDITOR: I do. I b i t e i t with, my t e e t h , r o i l i t round my mouth, wet i t w i t h my tongue. Fuck, i n the end i t ' s a l l i n b i t s , s l i m y , b i t t e r , s o f t - doesn't eyen drag any more. JOCO: (ENTERS) Wow, they're f i g h t i n g a l l r i g h t ! Boy, are they f i g h t i n g ! Cheers. REPORTER 1: Who's f i g h t i n g ? JOCO: So r r y , I've had one too many. Who's. f i g h t i n g ? REPORTER 1: Yes, who's f i g h t i n g ? JOCO: A c t u a l l y , the ones i n s i d e are f i g h t i n g and the ones outside are f i g h t i n g . REPORTER 2: Joco, p u l l y o u r s e l f together and t e l l us what's going on. JOCO: I've taken two dozen p i c t u r e s . F a n t a s t i c s t u f f ! I'm j u s t o f f to have them developed. I ' l l be r i g h t back. MANAGING EDITOR: Joco! Jesus C h r i s t , man, Where's the f i r e ? T e l l us who's f i g h t i n g . JOCO: This morning a crowd of people s t a r t e d gathering i n f r o n t of the t h e a t r e . Hanging around out of c u r i o s i t y , you see, and the T.V. shooting a l l over the place with, three cameras. Then the r e j e c t s showed up. What a laugh! VESNA: Honey, who showed up? What r e j e c t s ? JOCO: Jesus, the dismissed, the h u m i l i a t e d , the i n s u l t e d . Redundant, thrown out on the s t r e e t , s o c i a l l y o s t r a c i s e d , and so on 4 a c t o r s , of course! They're demonstrating. With t h e i r e x - d i r e c t o r at t h e i r head they're demanding t h e i r trade union r i g h t s . They're marching a l l over the place waving p l a c a r d s . Everyone's having a great time. Fun and games a l l over the p l a c e . (Gives a l i t t l e laugh.) 32 MANAGING EDITOR: What about the people watching? JOCO: To cut a lon g s t o r y short:. I've neyer heard such a r a c k e t . Worse than a f o o t b a l l match. And r i g h t out in'..the open, j u s t imagine! ' The crowd broke i n t o applause. And then Khez s t a r t e d r e c i t i n g . REPORTER 1: What d i d he r e c i t e ? JOCO: A l l kinds of s t u f f . Cheers. I'm o f f to get the f i l m developed. MANAGING EDITOR: Joco, w a i t ! Who had a f i g h t ? JOCO: K r i z n i k ' s coming any moment. H e ' l l t e l l you. (EXITS) (KRIZNIK appears.) MANAGING EDITOR: T e l l us ev e r y t h i n g , step by step. KRIZNIK: I've got enough m a t e r i a l f o r the l e a d e r , a report and a commentary. P i l e s of i t . VESNA: Tomo, we don't know anything. Report, p l e a s e . KRIZNIK: You should have seen i t ! I n d e s c r i b a b l e . At h a l f past nine the locked-out a c t o r s t r i e d to break i n t o the t h e a t r e by f o r c e . They'd dragged along i r o n bars from somewhere. L i k e the middle ages. One, two, and ram the door w i t h the i r o n b a r s . Suddenly, the defenders i n s i d e appear on the balcony and r o o f - t o p .of the .theatre wearing weird coloured rags, smothered i n powder and make-up, and s t a r t p e l t i n g everybody w i t h smoke-bombs and tear-gas. The people o u t s i d e go w i l d . Smoke and fog and a l l h e l l breaks loo s e . People who up to t h i s point have only been h e c k l e r s l i t e r a l l y go f r a n t i c , a b s o l u t e l y w i l d . A l l of a sudden they push the locked-out a c t o r s a s i d e , and before you can l o o k round the whole pavement on the opposite side of the s t r e e t has been dug up, and the crowd i s a t t a c k i n g the th e a t r e w i t h g r a n i t e b l o c k s . Someone shouts: "Let's burn the r a t s out", and 33 a l l of a sudden they're l i g h t i n g t orches. Some of them run through the smoke t o set f i r e t o the t h e a t r e . And then the p o l i c e r u i n e v e r y t h i n g , they come i n w i t h truncheons and "break up the whole works. Then, when the firemen come storming i n w i t h a l l t h e i r p a r a p h e r n a l i a , spraying everything i n s i g h t , the bunch i n s i d e the t h e a t r e s t a r t swearing at the crowd and p l a y i n g rock music over the loud-speakers. F i n a l l y , an ambulance turns up, loads up the wounded, i n c l u d i n g Knez, and d r i v e s them o f f t o h o s p i t a l . SECRETARY: What happened t o Knez? KRIZNIK: He was h i t i n the head by a stone from the crowd. SECRETARY: Did he r e a l l y r e c i t e ? KRIZNIK: R e a l l y . PRODUCTION EDITOR: So now what? KRIZNIK: I f you're asking me, I haven't a c l u e . I only know what I've seen. PRODUCTION EDITOR: What'11 you w r i t e ? KRIZNIK: I ' l l w r i t e what I saw. L i s t e n t o you, you're funny. MANAGING EDITOR: Write a photo re p o r t f o r the f r o n t page. Right across the whole page. I t ' s a l l yours. REPORTER 1: What about Eastern P a k i s t a n , Vietnam, Tepavac's v i s i t , the meeting o f the C i t y Council? MANAGING EDITOR: Dress up the news f o r the s i x t e e n t h , no p i c t u r e s . VESNA: Have you got anything on tape? KRIZNIK: I ' l l give i t to you. I've got an ocean of crap. But the tapes are u s e l e s s , you know. VESNA: Go on, t u r n i t on. 3h (KRIZNIK s t a r t s the tape. The ramming of i r o n bars on wooden doors and the smashing of g l a s s i s heard.) VOICES: One, two, th r e e ! Bloody l o u t s ! Swine! You're gonna get one i n the gob. Hold the bar. H i t i t , you buggers! (The trampling of a hundred d i f f e r e n t f e e t running back from the doors and forwards again.) KNEZ: ( r e c i t i n g e c s t a t i c a l l y ) I t i s white as I t o l d you That which i s dark As a b l a c k raven... (A f i r e - c r a c k e r explodes.) I didn't t r y t o get a company calendar That's why I seem l i k e a poisoned thorn t o you! (Coughing, sneezing, s h r i e k i n g , running s t e p s , swearing.) VOICES: Bloody swine, get the d e v i l s w i t h stones, w i t h stones! KNEZ: The whole of I s r a e l , cudgels i n t h e i r hands, S t i l l now angry w i t h me, g r i n , Champions a l l and t h e i r f o l l o w e r s Behind a bush, i n d i t c h e s , behind fences. (A gust o f r o a r i n g c a r r i e s away h i s words.) A WOMAN'S VOICE: Manca, Manca, Manca! A MAN'S VOICE: Let's burn the r a t s out! Let's burn the r a t s out! KNEZ: But I do not bow my head Nor ever w i l l I ! F e a r l e s s l y I s t i l l p roclaim: You are a b l i n d man, but oh, you deceiver! 3 5 CROWD: Burn 'em out! Burn-'em out! (We hear a f l a r i n g o f t o r c h e s , sneezing, coughing, screaming, the sound of running st e p s , c u r s i n g , the sound o f g r a n i t e b l o c k s s t r i k i n g a w a l l , a woman's h y s t e r i c a l weeping.) KRIZNIK: (switches o f f the tape recorder) I t ' s a l l the same o l d crap. MANAGING EDITOR: Go and w r i t e i t up. Time's g e t t i n g on. KRIZNIK: This i s going t o be a sens a t i o n . Hot s t u f f ! (EXITS.) REPORTER 1: Draga, here's something f o r you. (Reads.) "A man, s t i l l s i n g l e , middle-aged, 5 f o o t e i g h t , o f good c h a r a c t e r , w e l l - s i t u a t e d , own c a r , wishes t o become acquainted w i t h an honest f a r m - g i r l between 2k and 32, good-lboking, who enjoys farm work, i f p o s s i b l e a s i n g e r , marriage not excluded." SECRETARY: Too bad I don't f i t the d e s c r i p t i o n . No ear f o r music. REPORTER 1: You enjoy farm work though, don't you? SECRETARY: Not w i t h someone l i k e you. ERRAND GIRL: (to PRODUCTION EDITOR on entering) D i s p l a y ad texts. (EXITS.) PRODUCTION EDITOR: (reads) "Cascade - cream shampoo. Fresh on the market. Gives a r i c h , t h i c k l a t h e r , easy to r i n s e , softens your h a i r , makes i t manageable and shiny. Cascade i s made from s i x d i f f e r e n t n a t u r a l p l a n t s , p l e a s a n t l y perfumed, soothing and a n t i s e p t i c . In a p l a s t i c tube, f o r 10-12 shampoos. Cheaper and b e t t e r . See f o r y o u r s e l f . " (Put s i t down.) CHIEF: (ENTERS) I am once again compelled t o make my p o s i t i o n c l e a r . Do  not dramatize! What are we p l a y i n g a t , good people? What are we p l a y i n g at? At t h i s v e r y moment the world i s shaken by r e v o l u t i o n a r y a c t i v i t y of h i s t o r i c dimensions i n A f r i c a , A s i a , and L a t i n America, wars r a g i n g i n Indochina and the Near East, the world s t r u g g l i n g w i t h the massive problems o f hunger and under-deyelopment, racism and n e o - c o l o n i a l i s m once again r e a r i n g t h e i r u g l y heads, f a r - r e a c h i n g c o n s t i t u t i o n a l changes being debated on a f e d e r a l s c a l e , everyone confronted w i t h the dilemmas o f economic m i g r a t i o n , s t a b i l i z a t i o n , bankruptcy and so on and so f o r t h . With these massive mountains of burning and i n s o l u b l e questions f a c i n g us at t h i s moment Of h i s t o r y -what do you t h i n k i s a c t u a l l y going on? . T h e a t r i c a l scandal and i n t e r n e c i n e v i o l e n c e . This i s not the way. This i s not the s o l u t i o n . Shouting and v i o l e n c e , d e m o l i t i o n and d e s t r u c t i o n . W e ' l l gain nothing, solve nothing. Let them work, l e t them show by t h e i r labour what they can do, what they know, and what they want. Then w e ' l l discuss and nego t i a t e . Calmly, c o n s i d e r a t e l y , i n the s p i r i t o f co-operative self-management. Don^t you agree? Am I not r i g h t ? ALL: That's how i t i s a l l r i g h t - That's a b s o l u t e l y r i g h t - of course. (And so on.) (EXIT EDITOR-IN-CHIEF.) MANAGING EDITOR: Now I've got t o f i n d out what's r e a l l y going on. ( D i a l s a number.) I want the background. Who's eat i n g who, and why? . Who's man i p u l a t i n g these nuts? Who's behind i t a l l ? Who's the man i n the shadows? What's the r e a l t r u t h ? ( i n t o the r e c e i v e r . ) I s th a t P u b l i c S e c u r i t y ? D a i l y News here. Give me L e v s t i k . Yes, I ' l l . w a i t . , VESNA: Draga, there's only Housewife's Corner l e f t to do. Have you got a minute? SECRETARY: Yes, of course. 37 VESNA: I ' l l d i c t a t e the menus. MANAGING EDITOR: H e l l o . I s that you, Janez? Yes. L i s t e n , what do you t h i n k w i l l come out of a l l these r i o t s ? VESNA: Saturday: r a b b i t i n cream sauce, bread dumplings, s a l a d . MANAGING EDITOR: Nothing? What do you mean, nothing? VESNA: Sunday: beef b r o t h w i t h marrow dumplings, v e a l c u t l e t s parmesan, pureed potatoes, spinach, cherry s l i c e s . MANAGING EDITOR: . Are you w a i t i n g f o r the debate i n parliament? Or a s p e c i a l session? What about the commission they've set up t o solve the t h e a t r e c r i s i s ? VESNA: Monday':" sheep's cheese, s p r i n g onions, bread, stewed f r u i t . MANAGING EDITOR: Have they s t a r t e d n e g o t i a t i o n s w i t h the insurgents? Yes, w e l l f o r C h r i s t ' s sake, who's n e g o t i a t i n g , and how? You're n e g o t i a t i n g ? VESNA: Tuesday: kohlrabe and potato soup, r i c e s o u f f l e w i t h c h e r r i e s , m i l k . MANAGING EDITOR: O.K., t h a t ' s f i n e , Janez, I ' l l give you a man. With p l e a s u r e , n a t u r a l l y ! The parliamentary commission Is behind us, of course! VESNA: Wednesday: f r i e d f r a n k f u r t e r s , potato s a l a d , f r u i t j u i c e . MANAGING EDITOR: Oh, they're making c o n d i t i o n s ? Go on. R e a l l y . . . who'd have thought... fancy t h a t . VESNA: Thursday: mushroom soup w i t h semolina dumplings Czech s t y l e , new potatoes w i t h cheese, beef. MANAGING EDITOR: N a t u r a l l y , of course there's nothing c e r t a i n . . . of course I'm not going t o spread i t around... VESNA: F r i d a y : green bean goulash, gnocchi, beef steaks. MANAGING EDITOR: Good, i t ' s a l l arranged, then'. Y o u ' l l get i n touch, ., Rig h t . . . I ' l l have a man ready. That's r i g h t ! No question of bloodshed y e t . The t h i n g has t o be done thoroughly, I agree! Danke schon.! Danke! "Auf Wiedersehn, Sweetheart!" "Shake, R a t t l e and R o l l ! " (Hangs up.) PRODUCTION EDITOR: What's new? (ENTER KNEZ, h i s head bandaged; accompanied by h i s w i f e LYDIA.) SECRETARY: Mr. Knez! Take a seat, Mr. Knez. Take a s e a t , Madam. KNEZ: No, thank you. I do not care to s i t . My w i f e and I haye j u s t dropped by i n passing. She came t o f e t c h me from h o s p i t a l . MANAGING EDITOR: What can we do f o r you? . KNEZ: I wish t o inform you that what you are w r i t i n g i n your c r e t i n o u s , corrupt newspaper no longer bears any resemblance t o r e a l i t y . I t has passed the l i m i t s o f c r e d i b i l i t y . REPORTER 1: How do you mean, Mr. Knez? KNEZ: I have been working i n the S l a v i a Theatre f o r tw e n t y - f i y e years now -twe n t y - f i v e y e a r s , gentlemen, t h a t ' s a f a i r p o r t i o n of a man's l i f e . A f t e r t w e n t y - f i v e years o f a r t i s t i c experience, I and my colleagues are being cast out of our p r o f e s s i o n - out of the t h e a t r e - by a handful of conceited maniacs. Out of my second home, my r i g h t , the greatest l o v e o f my l i f e , my dream and my r e a l i t y , my refuge and my song. My soul was burned out on those boards, my youth was l e f t t h e r e , my t e a r s and p e r s p i r a t i o n poured out t h e r e , my foam and blood spat out t h e r e ! PRODUCTION EDITOR: A l i t t l e more c l a r i t y wouldn't, harm your s t o r y . 39 (ENTER JOCO.) LYDIA: I f o r b i d i t , do you hear? I f o r b i d you! My husband i s an a r t i s t , a Slovenian a c t o r who has slaved f o r your sakes! KNEZ: L y d i a ! (The woman f a l l s s i l e n t , as though cut o f f . ) Your j o u r -n a l i s t i c c h i t - c h a t about "dilemmas" and "misunderstandings" i s nothing but transparent ignorance and b u l l - s h i t . What do you hope to gain by such p r a t t l e ? I t ' s nothing but sand i n the eyes of the c u l t u r e d p u b l i c and our l o y a l audience! SECRETARY: Mr. Knez, please don't get e x c i t e d . . . MANAGING EDITOR: Do t r y t o r e s t r a i n your f e e l i n g s , Mr. Knez. KNEZ: I didn't come here f o r a co f f e e morning - I came t o p r o t e s t , do you hear me? I came t o look you f r a n k l y and ho n e s t l y i n the eyes, so I can see who you are, what you are, what k i n d of people i t i s who t r e a t men's souls as pigs do t h e i r guts! SECRETARY: Mr. Knez... KNEZ: And I wasn't f a r wrong! A p r i z e c o l l e c t i o n ! REPORTER 2: Just s p i t i t a l l out, go on. Y o u ' l l f e e l b e t t e r . I t helps . REPORTER 1: What do you t h i n k of the d i r e c t o r , Mr. Dular, and h i s philosophy of drama as r i t u a l ? LYDIA: Ha! R i t u a l my ar s e ! KNEZ: L y d i a ! (LYDIA f a l l s s i l e n t . ) I'm not t e l l i n g you what I t h i n k of h i s philosophy o f drama, young man, there's not the s l i g h t e s t p o i n t . Anyway, you can see f o r y o u r s e l f what he_ t h i n k s o f my philosophy of drama! ( P o i n t i n g t o h i s bandaged head.) He t h i n k s i t should be smashed out of me w i t h stones! Take a p i c t u r e of t h i s head, photograph t h i s dramatic philosophy of D u l a r ' s , photograph ho t h i s b a t t e r e d Slovenian a c t o r cast out onto the s t r e e t by those h o o l i g a n s , h i s face s o i l e d , h i s s k u l l broken. Go on, take a p i c t u r e of t h i s ! JOCO: But'f I've already photographed you, Mr. Knez. ( O f f e r i n g him a photograph.) Look, t h i s i s f o r you, a souvenir. And t h i s one, t h a t ' s when you were r e c i t i n g . KNEZ: (puts the photos i n h i s pocket) P u b l i s h t h i s evidence, p u b l i s h i t on the f r o n t page. What's going on i s a scandal. I t ' s against the s t a t u t e s , against the c o n s t i t u t i o n , against a l l laws. What on ea r t h are you w a i t i n g f o r , you and the government? Just you l e t the p o l i c e remember who i t was they attacked! (KNEZ and LYDIA EXIT: JOCO throws the photographs onto the t a b l e and goes out a f t e r them.) REPORTER 1: (telephones) Toncka? Another double whiskey. (To the others) Anyone e l s e want anything? VESNA: Coffee. Any more? One, two, three c o f f e e s . REPORTER 1: Double whiskey and three c o f f e e s . (Hangs up.) VESNA: (to SECRETARY) Do you l i k e him? SECRETARY: Who? VESNA: Knez. SECRETARY: I don't know... I do... I do. VESNA: Those eyes... they're so a l i v e , so warm, so magi c a l , they won't l e t go of you. SECRETARY: That's why she's... VESNA: A h y s t e r i c a l monster. REPORTER 2: She's a great woman! What are you b u l l - s h i t t i n g about? kl REPORTER 1: Fuck d r i p s from her eyes. REPORTER 2: D r i b b l e s i s the l a t e s t expression. REPORTER 1: I d i o t . I bet she digs your eyes out with.her b r i s t o l s when she comes. ERRAND GIRL: Post f o r you. (Gives MANAGING EDITOR a l e t t e r and EXITS.) MANAGING EDITOR: (opens the l e t t e r ) Look - and now t h i s ! L i s t e n . (Reads.) " R e l a t i v e s , f r i e n d s and acquaintances o f the t h e a t r e a r t i s t s who have v o l u n t a r i l y imprisoned themselves i n the S l a v i a Theatre; we appeal t o you. We ask you t o f i n d the e a r l i e s t and most e f f e c t i v e p o s s i b l e s o l u t i o n t o t h i s c r i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n , which has u n i t e d a l l devoted servants of the a r t o f t h e a t r e . We wish t o express our deep concern f o r the h e a l t h and w e l l - b e i n g o f these i s o l a t e d people, and i n p a r t i c u l a r of t h e i r young c h i l d r e n , who are sharing w i t h them the hardships of t h i s t r a g i c s i t u a t i o n . We j o i n the l e g i t i m a t e p r o t e s t of these our f r i e n d s against the h i t h e r t o i n t o l e r a b l e c o n d i t i o n s i n the S l a v i a Theatre, which have provoked such a r a d i c a l and extreme r e p l y from our f r i e n d s , who, once again, deserve our warm devotion, support, and admiration. We thank you." (MANAGING EDITOR r a i s e s h i s eyes.) REPORTER 2: Do these types t h i n k we're a s o c i a l w e l f a r e i n s t i t u t i o n , or what? Fuck them, l e t them w r i t e t o " T e l l Me Your Troubles." REPORTER 1: " T e l l Me Your Troubles" w i l l send them her cure f o r diarrhoea: Gunner J a r i n g . VESNA: J a r i n g ' s too busy w i t h E l Sadat and Golda, poor sod. SECRETARY: But Golda's " i n d i s p o s e d " today... k2 VESNA: Let's send her a remedy by tel e x ; mix half vinegar, half water, add an oak-leaf, a plantain, a beech-twig and b o i l . . . then set aside. Drink while s t i l l warm. MANAGING EDITOR: (answering the telephone) Yes, Janez,., Fantastic... So eyerything's arranged.., Bravo, bravo? I ' l l send yon Kri z n i k . , , Kriznik! He's wri t i n g a front page spread. I ' l l hold him back, don't worry. So you two arrange things then... You're coming i n about half an hour... I t doesn't matter at a l l , h e ' l l wait for you here... "Bye Bye B i r d i e ! " ERRAND GIRL: (ENTERS) Double whiskey for the gentleman and three coffees. MANAGING EDITOR: (to ERRAND GIRL) Whiskey for everyone, I'm paying. ALL: Hooray! Hooray! MANAGING EDITOR: A bottle of whiskey and soda, with i c e . You have • something too, Ancka. On me. ERRAND GIRL: Thank you, s i r . (EXITS.) MANAGING EDITOR: I should probably l e t you know what we're celebrating. We are celebrating a modest professional v i c t o r y . The Slavia a f f a i r has started to go oua? way. What I'm about to t e l l you must remain s t r i c t l y confidential i n t e r n a l information. On behalf of the parliamentary commission set up to solve the theatre c r i s i s , Inspector Levstik has been conducting secret negotiations with the break-away group i n the Slay i a . One of the re s u l t s of the negotiations i s that the people inside the theatre have agreed to receive an investigative delegation, but with the s t i p u l a t i o n that there won't be more than two investigators and that they must not be k3 experts on t h e a t r e . And l a s t l y , they'ye arranged f o r Inspector L e y s t i k and our r e p o r t e r , Zoran K r i z n i k , to be allowed i n t o the th e a t r e t o n i g h t . VESNA: No! REPORTER 1: C h r i s t ! SECRETARY: That's i n c r e d i b l e . . . MANAGING EDITOR: Yes. I don't haye t o s p e l l out what th a t means t o us. K r i z n i k w i l l be the on l y r e p o r t e r on the i n s i d e , on the spot, f i n d i n g out eyerything there i s to be found out. REPORTER 2: But why K r i z n i k ? PRODUCTION EDITOR: Because he doesn't hang around eyerything i n s k i r t s l i k e you. REPORTER 2: Shut i t , f r u s t r a t e d sod! VESNA: B i g mouth! MANAGING EDITOR; I t ' s been decided that way, so t h a t ' s a l l there i s to i t . D i s c u s s i o n over. ERRAND GIRL: (ENTERS) Whiskey, i c e , soda. (EXITS.) MANAGING EDITOR: Now, c h i n up. Your h e a l t h ! Cheers! ALL: Cheers! BELIC: (ENTERS) H e l l o . Celebrating? MANAGING EDITOR: Oh, Pe t e r , h e l l o ! Take a seat. W i l l you have a gl a s s ? BELIC: No thanks, dear, not j u s t now. I'd l i k e t o haye a word w i t h you. MANAGING EDITOR: Yes? . BELIC:. Nothing much, dear, I heard K r i z n i k i s going t o the S l a v i a and I . . . MANAGING EDITOR: What? Who t o l d you that? Where d i d you f i n d t h a t out? kk BELIC:. Easy, My brother's on the commission, MANAGING EDITOR: Good Lord, you'ye no Idea what a shock you j u s t gaye me! I t was o n l y confirmed l e s s than 15 minutes ago, and here you are already.., VESNA: I know what he's here f o r - K r i z n i k ' 1 1 haye t o take along r o s e s ! BELIC:. Not r o s e s , a l e t t e r . MANAGING EDITOR: What l e t t e r ? Who f o r ? BELIC: Ida's l o c k e d up i n there w i t h them, you know. I'm wo r r i e d s i c k , I r e a l l y am. I want to persuade her t o come out. She's pregnant. I've a l r e a d y t o l d you. MANAGING EDITOR: Are you going t o get married then? BELIC:. She won't. She only wants the baby. PRODUCTION EDITOR: And you t h i n k you're going to sor t a l l t h a t out w i t h j u s t a l e t t e r , brother? . SECRETARY: Roses, Vesna's r i g h t , roses would do the t r i c k ! VESNA: L i l y of the y a l l e y b r i n g s good l u c k - t h a t ' s why they give them to people going on a journey, BELIC:. I've w r i t t e n a l e t t e r , here i t i s . Here, REPORTER 1: Everybody knows that l i l y of the y a l l e y means innocence. You can't send, those to her, unless i t ' s her b i r t h d a y . Then your bouquet would be saying: my l o y e i s pure and s i n c e r e , BELIC: . I'm already l o s i n g my mind. I'ye at l e a s t got to get her out, at l e a s t t h a t . I t h i n k everything would be e a s i e r then, somehow. I don't r e a l l y know what they're up to i n t h e r e , but I'm sure i t ' s not f o r her. She's j u s t got t o come out as soon as p o s s i b l e ! MANAGER; K r i z n i k ' l l take your l e t t e r f o r you, i f you t h i n k i t ' l l h e l p . REPORTER 2: Carnations haye got the most meanings: r e d - burning, pure l o v e , pink - stay w i t h me always,, y e l l o w - you don't even deserye my contempt. BELIC:. Go on, give me a small glass then, hut not too much. I t goes s t r a i g h t t o my head. (REPORTER 1 pours him one.) SECRETARY: I t h i n k you ought t o be tougher w i t h her. I t seems t o me you're too s o f t , P e t e r . She needs a f i r m e r hand. BELIC: . Firm, s o f t , i t ' s a l l the same. She's as stubborn as a mule. But she's r e a l l y s e n s i t i v e t o o , I'm scared s h e ' l l suddenly commit s u i c i d e . REPORTER 1: Oh no, not t h a t , mate. Actresses are mares. You can't make them f e e l a t h i n g . BELIC: No, l i s t e n , you don't know her. This d i r e c t o r ' s screwed her up completely. S t u f f e d her f u l l o f f i x a t i o n s . PRODUCTION EDITOR: (making a v u l g a r gesture) He's s t u f f e d her, eh? (They a l l l augh, except BELIC'.) BELIC:. You don't understand what I'm saying, I mean, she t a l k s a l o t . She t a l k s about happiness, freedom, l i f e and death. She c r i e s buckets, d r i n k s l i k e a f i s h , does yoga. In sh o r t , she's somehow gone to p i e c e s . I mean, i n pieces i n s i d e . That's why I s a i d I wouldn't be s u r p r i s e d i f she didn't.suddenly s l a s h her w r i s t s or gulp down h a l f a l i t r e o f v i t r i o l . That's no l i f e f o r a pregnant woman, i s i t ? . , . REPORTER 2: Of course not, mate, t h a t ' s a dog's l i f e ' , ( Grins.) MANAGING EDITOR: You're exaggerating, P e t e r , Don't worry so much. T h e y ' l l come c r a w l i n g out of t h e i r h o l e , you can bet your boots. Then a l l of he a sudden everything - w i l l be O.K. BELIC:.'(anxiously) Ida's a c h i l d ! She b e l ieves i n the t r a n s m i g r a t i o n of s o u l s , i f t h a t t e l l s you anything. SECRETARY: What? BELIC: I t goes l i k e t h i s : the so u l i s immortal, and i t moves through time t o the sound of d i v i n e music, i n the forms of a man, a s q u i r r e l , a r o b i n , a l i z a r d , a b u t t e r f l y , an elephant, a worm, a boar, and an ape. VESNA: No! REPORTER 1: Oh, go on - she doesn't r e a l l y t h i n k t h a t ! BELIC: Yes! MANAGING EDITOR: That's i n t e r e s t i n g . I t means she's sure of a ready-made a f t e r - l i f e . PRODUCTION EDITOR: That's another s t o r y then! BELIC:: Of course. The most that c o u l d happen to her i s t h a t she'd t u r n i n t o a flower or a s p i d e r . That's the problem. I t r e a l l y bothers me tha t I can't e x p l a i n i t to you p r o p e r l y . REPORTED 2: I understand, I understand. PRODUCTION EDITOR: Of course, you do have a p o i n t . What would you do w i t h a spider? BELIC: I've had such a hard time w i t h her l a t e l y , I've been p r e t t y scared sometimes, I can t e l l you. When she looks at me w i t h those mad eyes and her v o i c e s t a r t s t h i s weird t r e m b l i n g , and she begins t o s i n g ever so s o f t l y about the sweetest s e c r e t s i n the wor l d , my i n s i d e s f r e e z e . I t ' s a p r e t t y uncomfortable f e e l i n g I can t e l l you. REPORTER 1: I can b e l i e v e i t . VESNA: Why don't you leave her i n peace? Let her go her own way? hi BELIC:. I c a n ' t . l i v e without her, I t ' s t e r r i b l e . I r e a l l y go through i t . Sometimes I have t h i s dream t h a t I Jm .locked up i n an Olympic swimming pool w i t h a s y p h i l i t i c ape, surrounded by a two-hundred-metre-h i g h w a l l made of l i y i n g rock. With a pregnant s y p h i l i t i c ape i n heat! PRODUCTION EDITOR: Ida? BELIC:. No. A r e a l , h a i r y ape. PRODUCTION EDITOR: Oh dear, t h a t ' s awful. Do you want me t o ask Freud what t h a t means? . BELIC: I t ' s h o r r i b l e , h o r r i b l e . REPORTER 1: What e l s e do you dream? . BELIC:. That I'm Fra n k e n s t e i n , and I'.m s k i i n g the gia n t slalom on Black Mountain. (They a l l laugh u n c o n t r o l l a b l y . ) REPORTER 1: You - and the gian t slalom'. BELIC: . Me - and the gian t slalom, yes... MANAGING EDITOR: ( s t i l l laughing -:;they are a l l i n an exceedingly good mood) Come on, l e t ' s you and me go down t o the bar f o r another, round, Pet e r . Then w e ' l l run oyer t o see K r i z n i k and give him your l e t t e r . (.They e x i t amid l a u g h t e r . For some time the place remains empty, then KRIZNIK ent e r s , a l e t t e r i n h i s hand. He i s t i r e d . Perhaps somewhat neryous. Suddenly, he makes::a d e c i s i o n . With a premeditated gesture, he t e a r s the envelope and opens the l e t t e r - . ) KRIZNIK: (reads) "Dear Ida. Cockroaches are dangerous, they c a r r y a l l kinds of disease and o f t e n contaminate food w i t h b a c t e r i a , The best way of g e t t i n g r i d . o f them i s t o take a small brush, and smear a piretrum -based i n s e c t i c i d e around t h e i r hiding-places>- I f you've got a l o t of cockroaches i n your f l a t , or eyen i f you've only come across t h e i r eggs, stop up a l l the cracks and holes i n the f l o o r and w a l l s immediately. Then the method i s the same as f o r wood-worm.. Yours, P e t e r . " (KRIZNIK remains seated f o r a w h i l e i n s i l e n c e . ) LEVSTIK: (ENTERS) Cheers. KRIZNIK: Cheers. (Pause.) When are we pushing o f f ? LEVSTIK: We'll meet on the other s i d e of the s t r e e t at f i v e past midnight, by the side entrance of the S l a v i a Theatre. KRIZNIK: R i g h t . Don't f o r g e t your p o l i c e r e v o l v e r , Inspector. (For a w h i l e the men remain s i l e n t , l o o k i n g each other i n the eyes.) h9 ACT TWO The s e t t i n g i s the stage of the S l a v i a t h e a t r e . Apart from the props used by'the members of the company i n t h e i r e x e r c i s e s , the stage i s completely bare. There are no f l a t s , no c u r t a i n s , no f u r n i t u r e . The t r a v e l l e r s are lowered and v i s i b l e from the s t a l l s . H o r i z o n t a l and v e r t i c a l l i g h t i n g pipes and instruments are a l s o v i s i b l e . Subsequent movement of them during the performance should be done f r e e l y , whether by stage-hands or l i g h t i n g a s s i s t a n t s . In t h i s a c t , l i k e the f i r s t , I have c o n s c i o u s l y avoided s p e c i f y i n g how the mise-en-scene or the ground-plan should be arranged. The p l a c i n g of the a c t i o n , i n terms of "downstage", "upstage", " l e f t " , " r i g h t " , " o f f " , "on" and so on, I leave almost e n t i r e l y t o the d i r e c t o r . The p r e s c r i b e d entrances and e x i t s are s i g n i f i c a n t p o i n t s i n the stage-manager's p l o t , and these should be taken i n t o account, although I s t i l l a l l o w f o r the p o s s i b i l i t y o f changes. The use of simultaneous a c t i o n should be understood as intended to convey both l i t e r a l r e a l i t y and a r t i s t i c method. In t h i s r e s p e c t , my requirements f o l l o w , f o r understandable reasons, a systematic l i n e . How t o . h i g h l i g h t i n t u r n p a r t i c u l a r moments of i n t e n s i t y , i n the p a r a l l e l a c t i o n s , how to u n f o l d the b a s i c ideas, how t o coordinate s i m u l t a n e i t y and interdependence of a c t i o n , how to organize tempo, rhythm and atmosphere - these, of course, are up to the ensemble. S i t t i n g at a desk i t i s impossible 50 to p r e s c r i b e e x a c t l y when a c e r t a i n word should be spoken or a c e r t a i n a c t i o n performed. The answers t o questions of optimal content and formal t i m e - s t r u c t u r e w i l l doubtless u n f o l d during the production work i t s e l f . The patterns of moyements and utterances of the groups o f actors rehearsing under DULAR and PALCIC have not been s e l e c t e d haphazardly. However, i t i s a l s o q u i t e l i k e l y t h a t during i n t e n s i v e r e h e a r s a l more e f f e c t i v e s o l u t i o n s may w e l l come t o l i g h t . Permit me to ask, :thon, that a l l eventual i m p r o v i s a t i o n s on a given theme, or even r a d i c a l v a r i a t i o n s or s u b s t i t u t e s from which other consequences might f o l l o w , take i n t o account the b a s i c content and formal s t r u c t u r e from which the suggestions i n the s c r i p t a r i s e . The d i r e c t o r , DULAR, i s r e h e a r s i n g w i t h a group of A c t o r s . KRIZNIK i s i n t e r v i e w i n g PALCIC.. Somewhere i n the stage space i s a bucket f i l l e d w i t h a blood-red l i q u i d . DULAR i s standing near the bucket h o l d i n g a huge white towel. One by one, the bare-armed Actors break away from the group. Each steps forward i n h i s own way and dips h i s f i n g e r , hand, or both hands i n t o the bucket. Some wash themselves long and c a r e f u l l y , others only touch the c o l o u r . The ceremony continues with.the A c t o r s w i p i n g t h e i r hands on DULAR's to w e l , and then forming a c i r c l e . Having done so, they f i r s t t r e a d l i g h t l y on the spot. Then, s t a r t i n g s l o w l y but w i t h i n c r e a s i n g speed, they begin to r o t a t e on t h e i r axes. This r o t a t i o n i s accompanied by a r o t a t i o n of the whole c i r c l e . The r e s u l t i s a s p i r a l l i n g movement at a f i x e d d i s t a n c e from the centre of the 51 c i r c l e . "At the same time, the Actors s t r i c t l y maintain the distances between each other. DULAR c o n t r o l s the tempo and rhythm of the sp i n n i n g by s i n g i n g the vowel "o" i n various ways. His s i n g i n g becomes i n c r e a s i n g l y h y p n o t i c , more and more e c s t a t i c . He moves t o the i n s i d e o f the c i r c l e , runs from a c t o r t o a c t o r , shouts at them, i n s t r u c t s or c o r r e c t s them, touches them, spins around them, whispers i n d i s t i n c t words. Sometimes he places h i m s e l f i n the centre and assumes g o d - l i k e poses, i n which the blood-red towel i s prominent. At these moments h i s c a l c u l a t e d s i n g i n g becomes an almost i n a r -t i c u l a t e y e l l i n g . Slowly but s u r e l y , h i s trance a f f e c t s the Ac t o r s : c r i e s o f "o" break out here and t h e r e , some prolonged, s u f f e r i n g , o r g i a s t i c , others short and p a i n f u l as though s t r i v i n g t o a t t a i n a c e r t a i n s t a t e , as when approaching the ecstasy and s a t i s f a c t i o n o f se p a r a t i o n and o b l i v i o n . S t i l l others of the Ac t o r s ' c r i e s suggest f u r y , c u r s i n g , r e b e l l i o n . The s p i n n i n g reaches i t s climax. One by one, the a c t o r s can no longer maintain i t . They t o t t e r and f a l l i n s i d e the c i r c l e , r a i s e themselves c o n v u l s i v e l y then drop onto t h e i r elbows and knees, t h e i r bodies shaken, t r e m b l i n g and moaning. DULAR throws hims e l f i n t o the arms of the l a s t Actor t o remain standing. They embrace v i g o r o u s l y , triumphantly. Winding themselves i n the blood-red t o w e l , they sway t o a simple rhythm, e l a t e d l y s i n g i n g t h e i r h i g h "o". At l a s t , even t h i s Actor s l i p s t o the f l o o r , the group quietens, the murmuring converges i n t o a s i n g l e note. Then DULAR says: "The f i r s t path, the R e s t i n g - p l a c e , Darkness." 52 Then he adds: " S s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s s " . The group p i c k s t h i s up. DULAR kneels down, and po i n t s at i n d i v i d u a l s and smaller groups with d i f f e r e n t rhythmic patterns of h i s " s s s " . At the same time, he crawls towards a l a r g e r e d l e a t h e r or p l a s t i c bag l y i n g on the f l o o r . I t i s long and wide enough f o r a l l t e n Actors t o crawl i n s i d e , which they do. This g i g a n t i c sausage then proceeds t o c r y out, r o l l , t w i s t , undulate, and so on. F i n a l l y , i t comes to r e s t and i s q u i e t . KRIZNIK: How long have you c l o s e d the t h e a t r e f o r ? PALCIC: An i n d e f i n i t e p e r i o d . KRIZNIK: Why have you done t h i s ? PALCIC:" I t ' s a r e o r g a n i s a t i o n a l c r i s i s . KRIZNIK: What about? What has caused the c r i s i s ? PALCIC: C r i s i s . - The point i n t h e progress of a disease when a change takes place which i s d e c i s i v e of recovery or death. The word i s o f Greek o r i g i n . The t h e a t r e i s becoming exhausted, d u l l . S p i r i t u a l and b o d i l y d i s i n t e g r a t i o n i s s e t t i n g i n . The t h e a t r e i s p l a y i n g w i t h people, w i t h time, energy, and m a t e r i a l . A s h o r t - c i r c u i t , you understand? KRIZNIK: For example? PALCIC: For example: i n underwater d r i l l i n g , o i l erupts. Thousands of cubic metres o f o i l escape. The vaporous c o n s t i t u e n t s evaporate, o i l e m u l s i f i e s i n the water and water i n the o i l . The f i r s t e r u p t i o n disperses i n t o the sea, the f o l l o w i n g one doesn't mix w i t h the water. I t won't burn. I t ' s t h i c k and b l a c k as p i t c h , and f l o a t s on the water i n a t h i c k l a y e r . C e r t a i n aerobic b a c t e r i a s l o w l y o x i d i z e t h i s sediment i n t o CO^ and water. Problem, c r i s i s , emergency— c a l l i t what you l i k e — i t i s necessary t o take a c t i o n , t o f i n d a remedyI KRIZNIK: Remedy? How? PALCIC: F i r s t and foremost we are c u r i n g the a c t o r , who i s the r o o t , the stem, the c h l o r o p h y l o f the t h e a t r e . We are adapting him t o the new co n d i t i o n s of h i s environment, i n the a i r , i n the water, on the l a n d . We are t r y i n g t o e f f e c t a c e r t a i n change i n h i s way of comprehending, i n the s t r u c t u r e of h i s p e r c e p t i o n , i n the system of h i s r e a c t i o n s . KRIZNIK: And what are your methods f o r doing t h i s ? PALCIC: Oh, a l l s o r t s ! T r i c k s . The word i s of E n g l i s h o r i g i n : A c r a f t y or fraudulent device; an a r t i f i c e t o deceive, a stratagem, a ruse, a w i l e J g i p s y c r a f t s , s o r c e r y , the d e v i l ' s work—hee-hee-hee. KRIZNIK: The th e a t r e i s c l o s e d , the p u b l i c i s becoming alarmed. There are no performances. A l o t o f people are outraged. The p u b l i c i s as k i n g , what i n f a c t are you doing i n t h i s c l o s e d t h e a t r e ? PALCIC: There are no performances and there w i l l be none, do you understand? There w i l l be none. Even i f the p u b l i c explodes, there won't be. DULAR: (he has seemed so t r a n s p o r t e d by h i s business w i t h the towel t h a t we are not a l i t t l e s u r p r i s e d when he s t a r t s t o speak, which he does without l o o k i n g round, q u i e t l y , devoutly.) Performance i s a l i e , a nauseating l i e . I want t o get r i d of t h i s overwhelming shudder t h a t f i l l s me w i t h the f e e l i n g o f the already-known, the deja-vu. I need 5^  a dark, resounding, empty auditorium w i t h actors completely to myself. Once again. Once again y o u ' l l be on the i n s i d e , q u i t e c l o s e . When you're c l o s e , you t e a r at the r o o t s . You begin t o f l o a t . You might whisper something, you might look someone i n the eyes, you might ask someone f o r something. Together we l i c k , b i t e , h o l d out pieces of s i l e n c e , shouts, words, movements. I f you are i n s i d e , everything i s so tr a n s p a r e n t , w i l l i n g , s o f t , e l a s t i c . Close. C l o s e r . C l o s e s t . Magic. Is what you are dreaming the t r a i l to the unknown, the new i n s i d e you, as yet unexpressed outside y o u r s e l f ? Rinse pain and d e l i g h t from your mouth and thoughts. While murmuring MANTRAS, t u r n t o the unburdened l a y e r of the p e r p e t u a l l y mobile. Performance i s a l i e . A d i s g u s t i n g l i e . (KRIZNIK would have perhaps l i k e t o ask him something, but he i s a f r a i d . Everything continues as though nothing had happened.) KRIZNIK: (to PALCIC) The c l o s i n g of t h i s t h e a t r e has become a burning c u l t u r a l and p o l i t i c a l i s s u e . Everybody i s w r i t i n g , t a l k i n g , debating about i t . I t ' s even been on the d a i l y agenda of parliament. PALCIC: A l l too o f t e n , parliament neglects f a c t o r G. '.Dr. Spearman discovered t h i s , i t ' s used i n psychotechnique. Factor G i s measured i n the treatment o f symbols: of numbers, s p a t i a l performances, language. I recommend f a c t o r G. KRIZNIK: Is i t t r u e t h a t you keep the a c t o r s locked up day and night? PALCIC: Locked up? W e l l , t h a t ' s an i n a p p r o p r i a t e way of p u t t i n g i t . We have already gained p o s i t i v e r e s u l t s by changing over t o a boarding-school system. L a t i n o r i g i n : an i n s t i t u t i o n p r o v i d i n g p u p i l s w i t h school and board. KRIZNIK: What r i g h t have you t o k i c k the m a j o r i t y of the company out onto the s t r e e t ? By whose a u t h o r i t y d i d you do t h i s ? PALCIC: We don't need them. They are well-known specimens of a l l too f a m i l i a r models. Experiments f a i l on them. The brakes go on. Signs of the forbidden are i n evidence. The l o c a t i o n of a n x i e t y , pressure and i s o l a t i o n i s at l a s t defined. When hot and c o l d water are poured on them, when they are given massage and group breathing e x e r c i s e s , "brainstorming", touching and other methods of s t i m u l a t i o n , they f a i l completely t o be i n s p i r e d . Let them act on TV. Let them squeeze t h e i r pimples t o make themselves b e a u t i f u l . I've got my own boys, my own g i r l s , I've got my own s e l e c t i o n . You know what I mean? I t comes from the L a t i n word, i t means: choice, a l t e r n a t i v e , o p t i o n . KRIZNIK: What are you doing w i t h these boys and g i r l s ? PALCIC: I'm preparing them f o r the ascension. I'm t r y i n g to p u l l them away from the f a t a l i n f l u e n c e of the earth's g r a v i t a t i o n . KRIZNIK: What does t h a t mean? S p e c i f i c a l l y . PALCIC: I t means we l a c k a i r . We're s u f f o c a t i n g i n carbon monoxide and d i o x i d e , i n sulphur d i o x i d e , i n dangerous a e r o s o l s . I n a- very short time the p o l l u t i o n o f the atmosphere by dangerous gases, o z o d i a t i o n , and s o l i d p a r t i c l e s , w i l l reach a c r i t i c a l degree of con c e n t r a t i o n . I'm o p t i n g out. KRIZNIK: What connection do these ideas o f yours have w i t h the theatre? I mean, wouldn't i t be b e t t e r t o take a walk over t o the Science I n s t i t u t e and di s c u s s i t a l l w i t h them? PALCIC: A i r p o l l u t i o n i s the th e a t r e ' s problem too. (DULAR laughs d e r i s i v e l y . KRIZNIK n o t i c e s t h i s . ) KRIZNIK: When you dismissed the conservative elements i n the t h e a t r e , you, Mr. Dular and Dr. Cernigoj were a u n i t e d f r o n t . Is that s o l i d a r i t y s t i l l strong? PALCIC: A b s o l u t e l y , on the surface. But a c t u a l l y our views on e s s e n t i a l p o i n t s are moving apart. I am a s c i e n t i s t and a t h e o r i s t , Dular i s a mystic and a p r a c t i t i o n e r . KRIZNIC: Mr. P a l c i c , I have the f e e l i n g you haven't q u i t e got both f e e t on the ground. PALCIC: That's t r u e , sometimes I do take o f f . (He s t a r t s w h i s t l i n g . ) (The STAGE-DOORKEEPER rushes on to the stage, pushing LEVSTIK roughly and triumphantly ahead of him. He holds the Inspector i n a j i u - j i t s u g r i p , t w i s t i n g h i s r i g h t arm behind h i s back and h o l d i n g h i s head back w i t h a f i r m g r i p on the Inspector's l u x u r i a n t h a i r . LEVSTIK o b l i g i n g l y submits, though you couldn't r e a l l y say he l i k e s t h i s degrading p o s i t i o n , f o r w i t h a wide v a r i e t y o f c r i e s , groans and the l i k e he allows us e a s i l y to imagine h i s d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h the course of events. The DOCTOR runs over. DULAR and PALCIC are confused and embarrassed; the DOCTOR i s al s o somewhat s t a r t l e d . In s h o r t , they a l l behave w i t h a strange i n d e c i s i o n . ) DOORKEEPER: I caught him t r y i n g t o break i n t o the Doctor's o f f i c e . That's not n i c e . I t ' s very unbecoming, a i n ' t i t ? He was sneaking about w i t h a t o r c h and a p i c k l o c k i n h i s hand. LEVSTIK: Let go of me. Let me... ( A c r y of pain.) PALCIC: My God, Roman, you're u s i n g f o r c e again. 57 DOCTOR: There's no need, Roman... (To LEVSTIK.) Excuse t h i s . . . I'm r e a l l y s o r r y , r e a l l y . . . very s o r r y . KRIZNIK: (to PALCIC) Please t e l l t h i s gentleman once more t o l e t go of Inspector L e v s t i k ' s arm. (LEVSTIK groans.) DOORKEEPER: ( f u r i o u s l y , stubbornly) He wanted t o break i n ! Gospel t r u t h ! That I don't a l l o w ! I've never l i k e d b u r g l a r s , never, a l l my l i f e I've hated them. DULAR: Roman, the Inspector i s our guest, we i n v i t e d him... (LEVSTIK s h r i e k s . ) DOORKEEPER: The p o l i c e didn't ought t o be breaking i n t o strange examining-rooms - e s p e c i a l l y not them! DOCTOR: Roman, please. KRIZNIK: Why do you have t o beg t h i s thick-headed orang-utang? Order him, f o r C h r i s t ' s sake! Order him, do you hear? DOORKEEPER: (to KRIZNIK) You watch what you're saying, mate, r i g h t ? I'm the stage-doorkeeper here. Does that mean anything t o you? A nobody waster l i k e you a i n ' t going t o c a l l me "orang-utang". Just so we're c l e a r . Cops or no cops, we've got to have order! I've got my d u t i e s , I'm not denying t h a t . But I've got my r i g h t s too, and I know e x a c t l y what I'm doing and why I'm doing i t . I'm the one who maintains law and order i n t h i s b u i l d i n g , not the p o l i c e ! That's what we agreed, a i n ' t i t , Doctor? KRIZNIK: I can't imagine a b e t t e r guardian. R e a l l y m a g n i f i c e n t ! (LEVSTIK y e l l s . ) DOORKEEPER: Shut your gob. PALCIC: (ashamedly) Roman gives us a l o t of h e l p , b e l i e v e me. He's a capable f e l l o w . Inspector, you were too hasty. Perhaps you r e a l l y shouldn't have done t h a t . I t wasn't f a i r . . . t o . . . j u s t l i k e t h a t , unescorted... DULAR: ( t r y i n g to smooth over the unpleasantness) A mistake, a misunder-standing, t h a t ' s a l l . I t ' s a l l q u i t e h a r m l e s s — r i d i c u l o u s , you could s a y — b u t more than anything, simply absurd. Roman i s f e e l i n g a l i t t l e i r r i t a t e d and r e s t l e s s from h i s unceasing v i g i l a n c e . He's been over-e x e r t i n g h i m s e l f . Please don't misunderstand him. He j u s t w o r r i e s too much and works too hard, t h a t ' s a l l . . . DOCTOR: He's nervous, nervous. That's q u i t e c l e a r . I ' l l g i v e him some t a b l e t s , p r e s c r i b e a l i t t l e r e s t , and then y o u ' l l see how pleasant he can be. You won't b e l i e v e i t : h e ' l l be q u i t e another man. Inspector, you must t r y to understand him. He's a s p l e n d i d young man... (LEVSTIK l e t s out a groan.) DOORKEEPER: (not understanding the suggestions, h i g h l y e x c i t e d ) He wanted to break i n t o your examining-room, Doctor! I'm not supposed to a l l o w t h a t , am I ! I don't l i k e snoops, Doctor! This cop's working f o r the d e v i l ! Mr. P a l c i c ! Mr. Dular! He's a dangerous man! There's s t i l l time to do something - otherwise i t ' l l be too l a t e ! PALCIC: (nervously) Have you gone out of your mind, Roman? Ple a s e , p u l l y o u r s e l f together. DULAR: (also nervous) Doctor, do something, f o r God's sake do something! (LEVSTIK y e l l s . ) 1 59 DOCTOR: ( i n an i n t i m i d a t i n g whisper, l i k e hypnosis) Roman, your arms are heavy, your arms are t i r e d . . . Roman... KRIZNIK: What's the matter w i t h you? Have you a l l gone o f f your heads? Are you scared of him? Are you r e a l l y not going t o t e l l him t o l e t go of t h i s man? DOORKEEPER: ( L i s t e n i n g t o no-one, becoming i n c r e a s i n g l y e x c i t e d ) E v i l s p i r i t s have a s i x t h sense, Doctor! They have! That's why he was:'.there! PALCIC: Let go of the Inspector at once. DULAR: Roman, p u l l y o u r s e l f together. Roman, l e t go of him! DOCTOR: (hypn o t i s i n g again) Your f i n g e r s are s o f t and wool3y. Your f i n g e r s are greasy, Roman. Hot. Hot. Your f i n g e r s are m e l t i n g , Roman... DOORKEEPER: ' (defends: h i m s e l f h y s t e r i c a l l y ) He'd f i n d everything. This f i e n d would d i g everything out, chuck i t about! He'd f i n d e v e r y t h i n g ! Leave him t o me, before i t ' s too l a t e ! I ' l l do him i n ! Me! You won't have t o get your hands d i r t y ! I ' l l do i t a l l . . . (LEVSTIK screams. DULAR and PALCIC rush at the STAGE-DOORKEEPER, stop.- h i s mouth, b r i n g him to the ground, and drag him out. KRIZNIK rushes to LEVSTIK and helps him to h i s f e e t . The DOCTOR runs o f f t o the c o n t r o l box and seems to t a l k i n t o a microphone, f o r we hear h i s strong, calm v o i c e over the loudspeakers: " A t t e n t i o n , a t t e n t i o n ! L i q u i d a t e immediately..." Perhaps the DOCTOR becomes aware th a t the onstage loudspeakers are switched on, f o r there i s a sudden c r a c k l e , f o l l o w e d by s i l e n c e . The group of A c t o r s , who have long s i n c e crawled out o f the bag and .60 have been f o l l o w i n g the s i t u a t i o n w i t h growing i n t e r e s t , are at t h i s moment s e i z e d w i t h panic. They r i s e . T h e i r s t a r t l e d murmuring suddenly becomes a l o u d , f r i g h t e n e d p r o t e s t , threatened and d i s l o c a t e d . ) ACTORS: No! Not the stock! Don't l e t i t be l i q u i d a t e d ! No! No! We must save i t I Let's h e l p ! Everyone h e l p ! We're a l l coming. Oooooooooh. Not t h a t ! My God. My God! I t ' s ours. Ours! We won't al l o w i t ! We won't al l o w i t ! ( S h r i e k i n g h y s t e r i c a l l y , the group runs o f f t o PALCIC and DULAR; on l y IDA remains crouching to one s i d e . She approaches KRIZNIK and LEVSTIK, who i s j u s t coming to h i s senses. Then she stops. She i s t r e m b l i n g a l l over, g r e a t l y a g i t a t e d . She r e a l l y i s pregnant.) LEVSTIK: (excusing h i m s e l f ) He jumped me from behind! He crept up on me, I didn't even hear him. Son of a b i t c h ! I ' l l expose t h i s whole gang. I ' l l teach them a l e s s o n t h e y ' l l never f o r g e t ! I ' l l punch them i n the kidneys. I ' l l put a rocket up them, I swear. I ' l l make mincemeat of them! - Swine! (He seems about t o cry.) He r e a l l y offended me, you know, K r i z n i k . I f e e l r e a l l y h u m i l i a t e d ! I ache a l l over. KRIZNIK: What d i d you want to go and break i n t o the examining-room f o r ? LEVSTIK: That's j u s t i t ! I didn't want anything at a l l . I was wandering about l o o k i n g the place over. J u s t t a k i n g a l i t t l e s t r o l l . IDA: '. :(sings) I'm a l i t t l e bee. My home's a l i t t l e h i v e . I buzz through the a i r and I s i n g my l i t t l e song 61 I f l o a t i n the breeze, f a l l asleep on a f l o w e r , And my dear l i t t l e son w i l l be so brave and strong. (Sobs.) He won't! He won't be brave and s t r o n g ! He won't... (Weeps and sings at the same time.) Instead of m i l k , I ' l l give him honey, w h i l e I suck the p o l l e n . . . . (Bursts out c r y i n g . ) LEVSTIK: Calm yourself,. miss. T e l l me what's t r o u b l i n g you. You can t r u s t me. Go on, don't be a f r a i d . There's nothing to be a f r a i d o f . IDA: ( f r i g h t e n e d , whispering f e v e r i s h l y ) The Doctor's mad, Inspector. I can't bear i t any longer. He's possessed! He does dangerous experiments on us. I t ' s not because of me... i f there wasn't t h i s c h i l d i n here I wouldn't worry at a l l . . . I'm a f r a i d f o r the c h i l d . . . I f I t h i n k . . . (Bursts out c r y i n g . ) KRIZNIK: Ida! Ida! LEVSTIK: ( c o l d l y , unmoved) What i s the Doctor doing? IDA: He's t r e a t i n g me w i t h c o b a l t r a y s . I'm a f r a i d i t w i l l harm the baby... The baby's s e n s i t i v e . . . I t makes me go c o l d . I don't f e e l w e l l , you see. I o f t e n f e e l s i c k , something's p r e s s i n g me... Some of them have to smoke... Not me! I won't! I t makes me throw up! He gives us t a b l e t s t o o , but they're not the r i g h t ones, you 'see, the baby needs calcium and v i t a m i n s . . . I f e e l l i k e something's s i n k i n g , p e e l i n g o f f i n s i d e me, i t ' s b u r s t i n g , I n s p e c t o r , r e a l l y — c r a c k i n g , I can hear i t r i p p i n g , and my i n s i d e s i t c h . . . I want t o go back, get out, t o my mother, 'cos I can't be here, I r e a l l y can't. I haven't even got any nappies, I haven't even got c l e a n nappies! The baby needs sunshine and care. I want t o get out! But they won't l e t me, I know they won't! I know i t ! LEVSTIK: That's strange. Who won't l e t you? (At t h a t moment the DOCTOR comes onto the stage. He has been l i s t e n i n g the whole time to IDA's outburst.) DOCTOR: (completely calm, severe) Don't b e l i e v e a word she says. I t ' s d i s g r a c e f u l ! The g i r l ' s q u i t e simply i n v e n t i n g i t . Your mind's wandering, Ida. LEVSTIK: I'm not sure I b e l i e v e you, Doctor. I don't q u i t e know what t o t h i n k . What about t h a t guardian of law and order o f yours? Was h i s mind j u s t wandering when he attacked and damn near massacred me? Why d i d he do th a t ? Was t h a t pack of a r t i s t e s j u s t i n v e n t i n g t h i n g s when they were screaming about some k i n d of stock? Are you saying i t ' s t h e i r s and they won't a l l o w i t ? Was that person over the loudspeaker j u s t r a n t i n g when he ordered some k i n d of l i q u i d a t i o n ? L i q u i d a t i o n o f what? Was that your v o i c e , perhaps? What got these people so excited? What have you got hidden i n your examining-room? Nothing? Or i s i t perhaps something very important indeed? Was my mind j u s t wandering yesterday, Doctor, when I was l i s t e n i n g , q u i t e s k e p t i c a l l y , t o p e c u l i a r anonymous phone c a l l s t r y i n g t o convince me there were c e r t a i n very unsavoury aspects t o your a c t i v i t i e s here? So... Is Miss Ida simply r a v i n g too? Very n i c e . You're going t o have q u i t e a b i t t o answer f o r , Doctor. DOCTOR: Anonymous c a l l s ! That's p a t h e t i c . You can go i n t o my examining-room r i g h t now i f you want. You won't f i n d a t h i n g . LEVSTIK: Yes, I can w e l l imagine! DOCTOR: What i s i t you a c t u a l l y want, Inspector? What are you accusing me of? What do you expect t o d i s c o v e r i n my examining-room? A s t o c k p i l e of drugs? You're mistaken. Everything I do, I do by hypnosis. Please take the key t o my examining-room. Inspect everything! LEVSTIK: And what are you doing, then? What are you r e a l l y engaged i n here? Why hypnosis? What k i n d of hypnosis? DOCTOR: By means o f hypnosis, I can put people i n t o c e r t a i n psycho-p h y s i o l o g i c a l s t a t e s — s t a t e s o f i l l n e s s , you might s a y — t h a t serve the a r t i s t i c requirements of the d i r e c t o r and the dramaturge. I'm not working f o r myself, Inspector. I'm working e n t i r e l y under s u p e r v i s i o n . These are not independent experiments! LEVSTIK: And what, might I ask, are the "requirements" of Messrs. Dular and P a l c i c ? DOCTOR: They are v a r i o u s . G e n e r a l l y , they f a l l i n t o the category inducing s t a t e s of d i s i n t e g r a t i o n . Sensations o f co n f u s i o n , decomposition, possession. LEVSTIK: What? Why th a t k i n d of th i n g ? Can't you work without that ? That's dangerous—harmful! I t ' s c r i m i n a l ! You're a doctor! Your work i s t o maintain h e a l t h . A sound mind i n a sound body. Doctors are supposed to cure, not make people i l l ! DOCTOR: They're only imaginary p a t i e n t s , Inspector. I l l n e s s under hypnosis i s j u s t an i l l u s i o n . (Snaps h i s f i n g e r s . ) You do t h a t , i t vanishes. Evaporates. Completely s a f e , no harmful e f f e c t s . LEVSTIK: But Ida i s pregnant! Your treatment of her i s c r u e l and i r r e s p o n -s i b l e . Y o u ' l l answer f o r i t , remember t h a t ! DOCTOR: Don't be s t u p i d , nothing w i l l come of i t . I've t o l d you, i t ' s a l l nothing but f i c t i o n . Ida's baby's a f i c t i o n too. She's a r t i f i c i a l l y swollen. H y s t e r i c pregnancy. Dular i s experimenting according t o the Polanski-Albee method. Conception under hypnosis. I t ' s my baby. Dular's and mine. I can f l u s h i t out whenever I f e e l l i k e i t . IDA: You son of a b i t c h ! You f i l t h y s h i t ! L i a r ! L i a r ! Aaagh! Aaagh! Bastard. Quack. B i g nobody! No, I won't abort! This i s my baby, my f l e s h and blood! I can f e e l i t t i c k l i n g me, sucking, k i c k i n g ! I f e e l i l l , I'm going t o throw up. I won't l e t you... Oh... oh... (Runs o f f . ) Oh! Oh! DOCTOR: That's a l l part of her r o l e . She's a c t i n g , simply a c t i n g . Rehearsing, p r a c t i s i n g , c a l l i t what you l i k e . She has these labour pains every day. I t ' s her p r o f e s s i o n . Her d a i l y bread. You under-sand me? KRIZNIK: I know Ida's r e a l l y pregnant! She l a y i n bed w i t h a man and got pregnant! What Albee! What P o l a n s k i ! What method! You can f o o l the o t h e r s , but you can't f o o l me! Fraud! DOCTOR: When d i d you l a s t see Ida? I mean - before you came t o the t h e a t r e . KRIZNIK: About a month ago. DOCTOR: Now t e l l me. Did you n o t i c e any v i s i b l e e x t e r n a l s i g n of pregnancy? Any whatsoever? KRIZNIK: ( u n c e r t a i n l y ) I don't remember. DOCTOR: You d i d n ' t . You d i d n ' t , I assure you! And you know why? No, you don't. Because the stomach t h a t looks l i k e the stomach of a pregnant woman i n her n i n t h month swe l l e d up i n l e s s than a week! A r t i f i c i a l l y i n f l a t e d . And tomorrow i t w i l l a l ready have disappeared! (Snaps h i s f i n g e r s . ) L i k e t h a t . LEVSTIK: We'll see, w e ' l l see. KRIZNIK: You're l y i n g . 65 LEVSTIK: (to KRIZNIK) I don't understand a damned t h i n g . (DULAR and PALCIC r e t u r n w i t h the A c t o r s . The Actors are s i n g i n g : we have already heard them somewhat before t h i s . They are s i n g i n g a c h i l d r e n ' s song.) ACTORS: ( e c s t a t i c a l l y ) I t ' s good t o f o r g i v e , i f you don't, badness stays i n your h e a r t , i s n ' t i t so? i s n ' t i t so? i s n ' t i t so? i s n ' t i t so? I t ' s good t o r e l a x , i f you don't, anger r i s e s t o your t h r o a t , i s n ' t i t so? i s n ' t i t so? PALCIC: Prepare them, Doctor. We've got to get on w i t h the r e h e a r s a l . We've already wasted enough bloody time. We can't a f f o r d t o l o s e a minute more. DOCTOR: (beckons the A c t o r s , once again a l l h y p n o t i s t ) Come on, boys. Slowly. Step s o f t l y . L i g h t l e g s . L i g h t , I s a i d . (The Actors c l o s e i n t i g h t l y around him l i k e rugby or hockey pl a y e r s before a match, embracing, heads bowed low, r o c k i n g and murmuring i n d i s t i n c t words.) DULAR: (to PALCIC; p r o t e s t i n g s harply) I haven't f i n i s h e d my exe r c i s e s y e t . Y o u ' l l have t o w a i t . PALCIC: Not l i k e l y . Don't you s t a r t again. DULAR: I'm going t o rehearse t o the end now. Now. PALCIC: Dular, don't make problems. DULAR: But I w i l l ! PALCIC: You won't. (Moves towards DULAR.) 66 DULAR: Back with your cloven hooves I DOORKEEPER: (ENTERS. Aut h o r i t a t i v e l y , i n a loud voice forbidding contra-diction) Palcic i s going to work now. It's his turn. He's i n more of a hurry. It's urgent. Silence. Not another word. (They a l l s t i f f e n . The STAGE-DOORKEEPER exits ceremoniously. LEVSTIK suddenly dashes after him with a w i l d y e l l . PALClS claps his hands. The Actors arrange themselves i n two groups, a smaller group of two, the rest i n a larger one.) PALCIC: Project 0 M Z A, key one, keyhole a l f a . Let's repeat the one and the same s i t u a t i o n , please... (PALCIC starts chirping l i k e a b i r d . His speech i s mixed with bird-song, whistling and similar sounds. These voices range from eagles to sparrows, titmice to parrots - he can use anything. PALCIC gives the keywords very obviously to the smaller and larger groups of Actors, between whom a dialogue of sounds slowly develops. PALCIC breaks t h i s o f f by chirping, then gives directions and suggestions, corrects them, questions them, agrees or disagrees with them, and so on. In short, apart from isola t e d words from PALCIC i n English, such as: "No, not l i k e that - Once more - Repeat that, please - Yes, yes, excellent, remember that - Well, you see, you can do i t - T h a t ' l l be a solution - That, keep that" and so on, the whole conversation i s made up of the previously described b i r d language. B a s i c a l l y , the flow of dialogue i s shaped by the smaller groups of Actors t r y i n g to establish " r a t i o n a l " communication with the larger. The problem i s that the smaller group i s not i n control of the language i t i s u s i n g , i t i s almost a " f o r e i g n language" to them. Consequently, both Actors make enormous e f f o r t s to di s c o v e r an a r t i c u l a t o r y p a t t e r n t h a t w i l l correspond t o the meaning s t r u c t u r e of t h e i r "communication". The l a r g e r group o f Actors does not, of course, "understand" the performance of the s m a l l e r . This can have the most v a r i e d p s y c h o l o g i c a l e f f e c t s , such as f e a r , m i s t r u s t , hatred, d i s g u s t , contempt, and so on. However, i t i s evident t o us t h a t the i n t e n t i o n s o f the sm a l l e r group are completely f r i e n d l y . The smaller group i s i n d i f f i c u l t y . Their message sounds something l i k e t h i s i n t r a n s l a t i o n : " H i , gang. We're your f r i e n d s . We're experiencing some d i f f i c u l t y . We'd l i k e to have a t a l k w i t h you".) DULAR: ( p u l l s KRIZNIK a s i d e , offended) Let's s i t over here. KRIZNIK: ( s t r u c k ) What on earth's t h a t ? What's th a t a l l about? DULAR: ' . ( i r o n i c a l l y ) Mr. P a l c i c has w r i t t e n a p l a y t h a t deals w i t h the e f f o r t s of two cosmonauts to decode the secret language of the i n h a b i t a n t s of some a l i e n p l a n e t , and to e s t a b l i s h a dialogue w i t h t h e i r c i v i l i z a t i o n . KRIZNIK: I see. What's the play about? What are they dis c u s s i n g ? DULAR: ( s t i l l s t r o n g l y i r o n i c ) You're asking too much. I'm j u s t as much an o u t s i d e r as you are. The play's not f i n i s h e d y e t . P a l c i c w r i t e s i t during r e h e a r s a l . In L i n c o s . KRIZNIK: Pardon me? What d i d you say? DULAR: Lin c o s : l i n g u a cosmica. KRIZNIK: I see. 68 PALCIC: We're going t o have to research the code. You need t o help more. You're not d a r i n g enough. You don't take enough r i s k s . Your concen-t r a t i o n i s s l a c k i n g , i t ' s d r y i n g up, s h r i n k i n g i n s t e a d of opening. That's why the patterns are r e p e a t i n g themselves. I n s p i r a t i o n i s not technique. A conscious e f f o r t o f the mind i s needed to reach beyond the already a t t a i n e d , the already known. More development, more a c t i v e p a r t i c i p a t i o n . Let's s t a r t again. Group A, the key-word. (The dialogue flows i n L i n c o s ; PALCIC i n t e r r u p t s them vehemently. He i s not s a t i s f i e d . He shouts at the Actors as i f they were dogs.) PALCIC: The mechanical problem of d i s c o v e r i n g a mutually acceptable commu-n i c a t i o n channel cannot be separated from the problem of the sentence. What you're doing i s g o s s i p , b l a h b l a h , s h i t . C a t t l e could be t r a i n e d f a s t e r than you. Apes would show more i n t e l l i g e n c e . . Each code has i t s own meaning, you have to n e g o t i a t e the meaning, keep that i n mind. Let's s t a r t again. Let's t r y key 7-group A, keyhole gama-group B. (PALCIC begins h i s energetic c h i r p i n g , Groups A and B resume and, f o l l o w i n g h i s technique, a l i v e l y c onversation begins. PALCIC i s e x c i t e d i n the extreme. "HELP US. HELP US'" C h i r p i n g . "YES, LIKE THAT!" C h i r p i n g . "OUR AIR IS BAD, BAD!" C h i r p i n g . "WE'RE SUFFOCATING, THERE ISN'T ENOUGH OF IT!" E x c i t e d c h i r p i n g . "WE'RE SUFFOCATING, SUFFOCATING!" A concert o f e x c i t e d c h i r p i n g . "Let's go, group B i s reaching a c o n c l u s i o n ! LET'S HELP! Through a l l channels. Let's go, l e t ' s go, everyone." Ghastly, europhic, general c h i r p i n g . ) .69 KRIZNIK: (to DULAR) I don't understand. What does t h i s P a l c i c want? What's t h i s a i r he's t a l k i n g about? DULAR: P a l c i c i s a well-known s p e c i a l i s t on UFO's. He has connections w i t h i n t e l l i g e n t beings i n the un i v e r s e . His theory i s th a t because, of the s t e a d i l y i n c r e a s i n g a i r ' p o l l u t i o n we're a l l going t o have to move t o another world. KRIZNIK: Where to? DULAR: He maintains he has s c i e n t i f i c a l l y gathered data on a c i v i l i z a t i o n t h a t i s already prepared to take us. KRIZNIK: Impossible! What are you t a l k i n g about! Why i s he w r i t i n g a pl a y , then? Why doesn't he j u s t move? Why doesn't he j u s t f l y away? DULAR: Apparently there's s t i l l something m i s s i n g , something he hasn't worked out y e t . The exe r c i s e s he's doing w i t h the ac t o r s are supposed t o d i s c o v e r the mis s i n g l i n k i n h i s L i n c o s . Poor bloody l u n a t i c . PALCIC: (on the edge o f h y s t e r i a ) A l l our languages are c l o s e d systems, j u s t l i k e those c o n s t r u c t i o n s we p r a c t i s e d at the beginning: s i g n a l -l i n g s m e l l s " and r a d i a t i o n , the B r a i l l e abc, Morse code. W i t h i n the framework of these s i g n systems we c r u c i a l l y l a c k the fundamental stereotype of a p r i m i t i v e logos of microcosmic dimension. Log 2 and p i are j u s t our l i t t l e p r o v i n c i a l devices - we can h a r d l y expect t o reach a r e a l understanding through them. (PALCIC c h i r p s long and p a s s i o n a t e l y , demonstrating h i s t h e s i s . A proper debate develops. The Actors become e x c i t e d , i n s p i r e d , angry.) DULAR: (extremely a g i t a t e d . He jumps t o h i s f e e t and, l i k e a c h i l d excluded from the game, dances j e a l o u s l y and b i t t e r l y around PALCIC's 70 group, barking at them m a l i c i o u s l y ) Ha-ha. Do f a r t again. Go on. F a r t . Ha-ha. Nothing but l i e s . You're l i v i n g a d e l u s i o n . Nothing but mistakes. P i t y . What a p i t y . Ha-ha. (PALCIC and h i s Actors n e i t h e r see nor hear him. They are c h i r p i n g . ) DULAR: This i d i o t t h i n k s he's going t o succeed. But I'm going t o blow my top sooner or l a t e r . He's eat i n g away at my a c t o r s . He's r u i n i n g them. (He mimics t h e i r c h i r p i n g . ) He's knocking down everything I'm so c a r e f u l l y b u i l d i n g up. A l l my e f f o r t f o r nothing. I keep having t o s t a r t again and work against the damage he's done. I'm always back where I s t a r t e d . I never get anywhere! You f a r t ! Y o u ' l l never succeed, P a l c i c ! You l e a s t o f a l l ! (The DOCTOR appears.) DOCTOR: Dular. Quiet. We agreed you wouldn't i n t e r f e r e w i t h each other. Am I r i g h t ? DULAR: Do you hear him, Doctor? Do you hear him? H e ' l l r u i n e v erything. He c r i b s , he s t e a l s , he destroys. I f the mantra i s n ' t intoned c o r r e c t l y i t ' s no good. H e ' l l have everything i n b i t s w i t h t h i s bloody mathe-matics of h i s . I t ' s impossible t o b r i n g a s l e e p i n g power t o l i f e without worship and p u r i f i c a t i o n . DOCTOR: Dular! (There i s a sharp, w h i s t l i n g , p i e r c i n g tone. I t r i s e s and f a l l s , a venomous l i t t l e e l e c t r o n i c t h i n g resembling the squealing o f an i n c o r r e c t l y tuned loudspeaker system. The sound can b a r e l y be heard. You can't be sure i f anyone present can hear i t . The sound keeps disappearing and reappearing u n t i l the a r r i v a l of the CARETAKER,) PALCIC: Codes Help, D i s c u s s i o n and Change are s t i l l unconnected. The number of converging hypotheses i s too s m a l l . Far too s m a l l . Release a l l the brakes! To the l i m i t . To the l i m i t ! Let's go! They can hear us. More! More! They understand us! (A h i g h - s p i r i t e d clamour i s set o f f , w i t h every p o s s i b l e v a r i a t i o n on the theme.) KRIZNIK: What's a mantra, Doctor? DOCTOR: A mantra i s a p a r t i c u l a r k i n d of yoga based on the e f f e c t of a word or sound. The word yoga comes from the S a n s k r i t root yuy: connect, u n i t e , enslave. The key t o the mantra and i t s magic power i s s i m i l a r t o the ancient Greek conception of the theory of music. I f i t i s a known b a s i c tone of concrete substance, shape or body, we can d i s i n -t e g r a t e that body or substance by i t s a p p l i c a t i o n . DULAR: (more and more e x i l e d ) I t ' s dangerous, Doctor! Stop him. This d i l e t t a n t e i s p l a y i n g w i t h f i r e . (He suddenly dashes i n t o the centre of the group and, e v i d e n t l y i n a t r a n c e , e c s t a t i c a l l y sings a secret song.) Palas aron ozinomas Baske bano tudan donas Geheamel c l a o r l a y Berec he pantaras t a y . (The e f f e c t o f the t e x t and melody i s f a n t a s t i c . Some of the Actors f r e e z e t o the spot and immediately j o i n i n w i t h DULAR's s i n g i n g . Quick as a f l a s h two groups form. One under DULAR's l e a d e r s h i p , the other under PALCIC's. One l o t s i n g , the others c h i r p . The competition f o r v i c t o r y i s f a n a t i c a l , passionate, but b r i e f . More and more Actors j o i n DULAR. F i n a l l y they are a l l s i n g i n g the s e c r e t , t h r i l l i n g , magical melody. A l l but PALCIC, who i s s t i l l c h i r p i n g . At l a s t , even he gives up and succumbs. The p i e r c i n g e l e c t r o n i c sound reaches f o r t e , then cuts out.) PALCIC: (defeated, he h i s s e s through h i s t e e t h i n exhausted rage) Swine. Fucking swine. ( A l l i s momentarily s i l e n t , then we hear c r i e s of despair and pain. The CARETAKER enters w i l d l y , shoving the powerless LEVSTIK i n f r o n t o f him. He has r e s t r a i n e d him e x a c t l y as the STAGE-DOORKEEPER did.) CARETAKER: (a dangerous i m b e c i l e : h i s retarded laugh i s q u i t e something) Look what I found. I brought him along t o show you, before I beat him up. (LEVSTIK y e l l s , the CARETAKER grimaces.) KRIZNIK: I p r o t e s t . I a b s o l u t e l y p r o t e s t . DULAR: ( t a c t f u l l y ) Hector, please e x p l a i n t o me what you've got against the Inspector. What's he done to you t o make you t r e a t him so roughly? CARETAKER: (with h i s s p e c i a l laugh) He was f e r r e t i n g around i n the furnace room. He's s n i f f e d through the whole basement. He was f u c k i n g about around the i n s t a l l a t i o n s - p i p e s , machines, everything. So I gave him such a k i c k up the arse my foot went numb. (LEVSTIK s h r i e k s . ) I've been s l a v i n g t o death here, working out my system f o r f i v e years now, without a word of a l i e , and t h i s dummy comes along and s t a r t s screwing i t a l l up. (He grimaces, LEVSTIK groans.) I ' l l murder him. DULAR: You won't be doing anything l i k e t hat r i g h t now. KRIZNIK: Do something, Mr. Dular. You can see Inspector L e v s t i k ' s s u f f e r i n g . 7 3 DULAR: Easy, K r i z n i k , easy. A l l ' s w e l l that ends w e l l . Patience i s a d i v i n e halm. Hector i s an e x c e p t i o n a l l y i n t e l l i g e n t man. His i n t e l l i g e n c e borders on genius. PALCIC: He's a dangerous l u n a t i c . An incompetent second-class c a r e t a k e r . DULAR: He's a s e l f - t a u g h t genius. An i n v e n t o r . I n f i v e years he's improved the central.', heating system so much i t can be used simultaneously as a furnace and a r e f r i g e r a t o r . You j u s t press a button and i t ' s h o t t e r than h e l l . Then i t goes down to a temperature of minus seven C e l s i u s . Doesn't i t , Hector? Just r i g h t f o r h i b e r n a t i n g . CARETAKER: (touched, he grimaces) That's how i t i s , Mr. Dular, I can't deny i t . (LEVSTIK moans.) KRIZNIK: Perhaps, then, I might j u s t ask t h i s genius t o pardon Inspector L e v s t i k . H e ' l l c e r t a i n l y understand t h a t the Inspector w i l l reform. He's a good man at hea r t . (The CARETAKER i s s e i z e d by a f i t o f la u g h t e r . ) DULAR: Of course h e ' l l understand. Hector, i f you l e t the Inspector go, you may t e s t the f u n c t i o n i n g of the f r e e z i n g system. CARETAKER: (rele a s e s LEVSTIK; h i s face l i g h t s up) Oh, can I r e a l l y ? Can I put i t on maximum? DULAR: Yes. On maximum. But only f o r f i v e minutes, j u s t enough f o r the gentlemen t o see what you can do. A l l r i g h t ? Then you must t u r n the heat back on. CARETAKER: (with a bound he i s on h i s knees i n f r o n t of DULAR, g r a t e f u l l y k i s s i n g and s l o b b e r i n g over h i s hand) Thank you, S i r ! Thank you very much! DULAR: You're welcome, Hector. 7^  CAEETAKER: Thank you very much, thank you very much! (EXITS, happy as a l a r k . ) LEVSTIK: (roars i n such an a u t h o r i t a t i v e v o i c e t h a t the Actors ohey at once) Line up! Everyone! S t r a i g h t e n up! S i l e n c e ! Eyes r i g h t . Keep s t i l l ! (Without exception, KRIZNIK i n c l u d e d , they a l l stand immobile as candles, b e a u t i f u l l y even i n p e r f e c t m i l i t a r y formation.) LEVSTIK: STILL! That's r i g h t . Just don't move an e y e l i d ! I ' l l be back i n f i v e minutes. Maybe sooner, maybe l a t e r . (EXITS.) (For some time the l i n e stands as i f turned to stone, then they s l o w l y begin to show signs of e x c e p t i o n a l discomfort. An almost i m p e r c e p t i b l e t r e m b l i n g begins. They are t r e m b l i n g w i t h c o l d . We must remember th a t the Caretaker has turned on h i s famous - 7°c. h i b e r n a t i o n system. The c h a t t e r i n g of t e e t h , t w i t c h i n g of heads and l i m b s , s h i v e r i n g , and l i g h t stepping i n c r e a s e . F i n a l l y , they even begin to l e t out the t y p i c a l sounds that accompany s u f f e r i n g from the c o l d . Then they s t a r t t a l k i n g , whispering.) ACTORS: Ooo... b r r . . . aaaah... I t ' s c o l d . . . F r e e z i n g . . . Ooh, t h a t Hector,... We'll f r e e z e t h i s time,, t h a t ' s f o r sure... I can't f e e l my toes any more... Move... Move... (And so on.) DULAR: (somewhat unexpectedly) Let's go w i t h STAGE two, REST home. Slowly. Two steps forward. (The A c t o r s , a l l but one, f o l l o w h i s d i r e c t i o n s . ) DULAR: Turn to the r i g h t . (The Actors t u r n n i n e t y degrees, so that they are p a r a l l e l i n p r o f i l e t o the f o o t l i g h t s . ) 75 DULAR: M o v e away from the c e n t r e , forwards or backwards. (The Actors space themselves a good step apart.) DULAR: Rest home. Rest home. Mmmmmmmmmmm. MmmmmmmmnmnrHiimm. (The Actors take up the humming Mmmmmmmmmmm s o f t l y . At the same time they begin to l e a n forwards, t h e i r bodies completely s t r a i g h t . Very s l o w l y , l i k e jumpers doing ski-jumps. The l a s t i n l i n e reaches such an angle of i n c l i n a t i o n t h a t he f a l l s forwards against the person i n fr o n t o f him. A chain r e a c t i o n i s set o f f and the whole row c o l l a p s e s l i k e a row of dominoes. They are a l l on the f l o o r . Immobile as a p i l e o f b u i l d i n g m a t e r i a l , they hum t h e i r Mcnmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.) (At " t h i s moment th r e e p a r a l l e l a c t i o n s begin, ( l . PALCIC t e a r s h i m s e l f away from h i s c h i l l e d s h i v e r i n g . With t h i s a c t i o n , something resembling i n s p i r a t i o n i s t r i g g e r e d . An unseen power forces him around the space i n every d i r e c t i o n , h i s eyes l o o k i n g upwards. We f e e l e x a c t l y as though he were communicating w i t h someone or something. He makes e f f o r t s to comprehend; he g l a r e s ; now and then h i s e f f o r t s are rewarded -i t i s c l e a r to us th a t he "understands". N a t u r a l l y , he i s t w i t t e r i n g , w h i s t l i n g , and c h i r p i n g the whole time. This i s Lincos i n a c t i o n . (2. DULAR s e l e c t s one of the a c t o r s from the group humming on t h e f l o o r , and the two of them immediately begin t o b u i l d a "house" from the " f r o z e n " bodies o f t h e i r f r i e n d s , c a r r y i n g them.as i f they were beams. They set up four corners, then r a i s e up four more "beams" on p a r a l l e l s i d e s , and the "house" i s ready. They 76 do a l l t h i s w i t h s t r i c t , r a t i o n a l , economically measured movements, but at the same time there i s a s o r t o f r i t u a l i n t h e i r behaviour. They admire the "house" they have b u i l t . Then, i n d i c a t i n g t h a t they are c o l d , they decide t o go i n t o the house t o get warm. As they s i t i n s i d e , they hear the wind o u t s i d e . The wind, growing stronger, becomes a g a l e , a storm w i t h thunder and l i g h t n i n g . A l l t h i s i s produced v o c a l l y by the Actors b u i l t i n t o the "house", as w e l l as by DULAR and h i s f r i e n d . The "house" trembles, t o t t e r s and f i n a l l y c o l l a p s e s on top of the two b u i l d e r s , who remain l y i n g under the " r u i n s " . ( 3 . KRIZNIK and the Actor who remained i n l i n e next t o him can no longer bear the severe c o l d and s t a r t jumping about t o warm themselves up. While they are jumping, KRIZNIK q u i t e c a s u a l l y , without any preamble, s t a r t s i n t e r v i e w i n g t h i s .Actor. Their conversation runs as f o l l o w s . ) KRIZNIK: Would you accept an Oscar? ACTOR: I s h i t on a l l the Oscar j u r y members, and on Oscar's grave. KRIZNIK: So you wouldn't. ACTOR: That's r i g h t . KRIZNIK: You've already been awarded the Preseren p r i z e , haven't you -and accepted that too? ACTOR: I wasn't conscious of what I was doing. I might have been drunk, I might have had a c o l d arse - or I could have been hypnotised. KRIZNIK: Do you re g r e t i t , then? ACTOR: My face i s s t i l l s t a i n e d w i t h t e a r s . I t makes me f e e l i l l . KRIZNIK: How are your r e l a t i o n s w i t h your colleagues? 77 ACTOR: Fucking awful. Non-existent. They're a hunch o f stooges. Know what I mean? KRIZNIK: What are your views on the problem of being a s m a l l nation? ACTOR: I t h i n k i t should be even sm a l l e r . Each v i l l a g e a n a t i o n unto i t s e l f . The smaller the n a t i o n , the fewer the problems. KRIZNIK: Have you got any problems? ACTOR: Oh yes. None. KRIZNIK: Does th a t bother you? ACTOR: E t e r n a l l y . You've no id e a how I s u f f e r . KRIZNIK: R e a l l y ? ACTOR: What, you don't b e l i e v e me? Do you want me to b i t e myself i n the cock t o prove i t ? KRIZNIK: You couldn't do t h a t . ACTOR: Oh yes I could. Yoga makes you a c o n t o r t i o n i s t . KRIZNIK: Who do you spend your time with? ACTOR: The dead. KRIZNIK: Dead people? ACTOR: And w i t h b i r d s , and machines, and people too. And w i t h gods. KRIZNIK: What do the gods say? ACTOR: Gods don't say anything, they're gods. Gods have complexes. KRIZNIK: And you haven't? ACTOR: That's e x a c t l y the d i f f e r e n c e between them and me. KRIZNIK: You're i n lov e w i t h death, aren't you? ACTOR: What's th a t supposed t o mean? Have you ever fucked death? KRIZNIK: Not me. What's i t l i k e ? ACTOR: T e r r i b l e . She comes but I don't. '78 KRIZNIK: Anything e l s e i n that connection? ACTOR: Yes. I n that connection, everything's p o i n t l e s s . KRIZNIK: Did you sle e p w i t h her? ACTOR: No, I fucked her, I didn't f a l l asleep. KRIZNIK: Do you consider y o u r s e l f immortal? ACTOR: I know i f I am, but I'm not t e l l i n g you. KRIZNIK: Please t e l l me. ACTOR: How are you asking? KRI2NIK: N i c e l y . ACTOR: A l l r i g h t then. I'm not immortal. Because I'm s t i l l dead. I'm a s p i r i t . Don't you b e l i e v e me? KRIZNIK: How d i d you manage that? ACTOR: By r e c o g n i s i n g i t , o f course. KRIZNIK: When d i d you notice? ACTOR: A few days ago. KRIZNIK: Has anything changed at a l l s ince then? ACTOR: Oh, sure! KRIZNIK: What? ACTOR: I wouldn't know how t o e x p l a i n . I'm not allowed to say. Not another word. KRIZNIK: How do you e x p l a i n t o y o u r s e l f the f a c t t h a t you look as though you're a l i v e ? ACTOR: E x p l a i n i t y o u r s e l f . That's your problem, not mine. KRIZNIK: Fuck your mother. ACTOR: Fuck your two mothers. And your two stepmothers, too. (They stop jumping, and s t a r e h o s t i l e l y at each other.) 79 KRIZNIK: A man o n l y has one mother! ACTOR: Wrong. A man has any number of mothers. Any number. LEVSTIK: ( r o a r i n g l i k e an angry l i o n , h i g h l y i r r i t a t e d ) What's t h i s ? Didn't I t e l l you t o remain where.you were? Is t h i s a whore-house, or what? (They a l l s t i f f e n . ) LEVSTIK: I t ' s impossible to conduct a proper i n v e s t i g a t i o n under such c o n d i t i o n s . Why are a l l the doors locked? Why have the windows been barricaded? Why doesn't the telephone work? I ' l l soon teach you. Scum! I'm going t o l o c k up the whole l o t of you, then y o u ' l l each be s i n g i n g your own l i t t l e song. Not i n a c h o i r . Each one by h i m s e l f ! I've got a system t o o , don't worry. A.bit of beating-up, a touch of hunger and t h i r s t , a l i t t l e l i g h t i n the eyes, a b i t of insomnia and e x t o r t i o n - and then a s e l e c t i o n . C r i m i n a l s - to p r i s o n , l u n a t i c s -to the madhouse. Someone had b e t t e r run and r e p a i r the telephone r i g h t now. I need reinforcements. I want a r r e s t warrants. (At t hat moment the STAGE-DOORKEEPER and the CARETAKER.wheel a gia n t perambulator onto the stage. I n i t are some eight almost i d e n t i c a l C h i l d r e n between one and four years of age. When LEVSTIK catches s i g h t o f h i s mortal enemies, h i s anger evaporates. He smiles w i t h embarrassment, and moves t i m i d l y out of t h e i r way!) CARETAKER: The rounds. DOORKEEPER: The rounds. Parents, p l a y w i t h your c h i l d r e n . (The Actors come to l i f e d e l i g h t e d l y . Shouting h a p p i l y , they dash over t o the C h i l d r e n and p i c k them up out of the pram. A l l kinds of d i f f e r e n t games begin: on the f l o o r , i n the pram, 80 u s i n g every p o s s i b l e corner. The C h i l d r e n c h a t t e r , c r y , laugh. The small groups o f parents and i n d i v i d u a l s are happy w i t h the l i t t l e ones. They c a r r y them i n t h e i r arms, pla y w i t h them, s t a r e at them i n s i l e n c e , nurse them, take them f o r walks, caress them, and so on. Here, l e t the Actors improvise the wording th a t goes w i t h or r e f e r s to what the c h i l d r e n say. Let the c h i l d r e n ' s t e x t be spoken by the parents, i n other words by the Actors o n l y , or have i t recorded on tape. (LEVSTIK walks around i n a confused s t a t e . He examines t h i n g s , plays w i t h .the<-children and t h e i r parents. Obviously s o f t - h e a r t e d he i s moved and f a s c i n a t e d by the c h i l d r e n . DULAR c a l l s IDA over to one s i d e . She has crept i n who knows when and has been watchin the parents' games w i t h envy. Now she b u r s t s i n t o a h y s t e r i c a l , p a i n f u l weeping. DULAR whispers to her, t r y i n g w i t h gestures t o get her to understand something. PALCIC t e a r s h i m s e l f away i n disgust from these base t r i b a l r i t u a l s and E X I T S . From time to time we hear him over the loudspeaker, l e t t i n g out some f o r t i s s i m o e f f e c t i n L i n c o s . The STAGE-DOORKEEPER and the C A R E T A K E R look l i k e happy, understanding park wardens. They s t r o l l about among the groups, s m i l i n g and s u p e r v i s i n g the games. The a c t o r KOSCAK i s unhappy and alone. KRIZNIK goes over t o him and draws him a s i d e . During the f i r s t h a l f of the v i s i t the f o l l o w i n g run p a r a l l e l : the tape of the C h i l d r e n , KRIZNIK's dialogue w i t h K0SC?AK, I D A ' S weeping and D U L A R ' s s i l e n t comforting. During the second h a l f , the Children's games continue, together w i t h DULAR's and IDA's e x e r c i s e , and PALCIC's loudspeaker e f f e c t s . 81 PARALLEL ACTIONS, DIALOGUES: CHILD 1: L i k e d i s , we swing, don't we? CHILD 2: You haven't got Leggo and t h i n g s l i k e t h a t CHILD 3: Pah, poof, i t ' s going t o f a l l down. CHILD k: Quick, a shark. I t ' s by your leggy, i t ' l l CHILD 5: I'm on a c h a i r , so i t won't. CHILD 6: We've got a l o v e l y house, haven't we? CHILD 7: Breda, want have car? CHILD 8: I t can't eat me, see, i t can't. CHILD 1: I ' l l put d i s oher, I ' l l be r i g h t back. CHILD 2: Where are the sweets, I s a i d . CHILD 3: You've got another two, and the paper, too CHILD k: Here they are, sweets, see. CHILD 5: Open, t h i s , on the end, yes, t h i s way. CHILD 6: Yes, see what I'm opening i t w i t h . CHILD 7: Turn i t round, then i t w i l l . CHILD 8: I t won't. CHILD 1: T e l l her give us a k n i f e . CHILD 2: No, a n a i l - f i l e . CHILD 3: Yeah, w i t h t h i s . CHILD k: Auntie Lada, open i t . CHILD 5: I don't t h i n k Auntie V i d a w i l l l e t you. CHILD 6: What about t h i s k n i f e , t r y t h i s . CHILD 7: I t ' s doing i t . CHILD 8: I t won't, i t won't. CHILD 1: Now l e t me do i t . 82 CHILD 2: Me t o o . CHILD 3: Hey, don't rock me, l o o k , Breda. CHILD k: I ' l l show you I can move my f i n g e r . CHILD 5: Do hum b r i b e . CHILD 6: Bare. CHILD 7: Bare b i s c u i t . CHILD 8: Quick, l e t ' s get on the boat, hurry up. CHILD 1: Got a l u b b l y b l a n k e t , and t o y s , habn't we? CHILD 2: I remembered something, Breda. CHILD 3: Are you i n the house? CHILD k: I remember something, Breda. CHILD 5: Peep-bo, peep-bo. CHILD 6: Wait. CHILD 7: This way, and l i k e t h i s . CHILD 8: L a l a l a l a l a l a . CHILD 1: Merman - oh - oooh. CHILD 2: Mummy. CHILD 3: I'm a l i o n . Oo-oooh. A-aaah. Oo-ooooh. Now eat you up. CHILD h: A-aaaah. Uggy o l d woman. CHILD 5: I ' l l be even b e t t e r . CHILD 6: That's what hedgehogs are l i k e . Wo-oo-- I f . CHILD 7: That was j u s t a j o k e , w o l f . CHILD 8: Y o u ' l l see now. CHILD 1: Sasha's i n the bafwoom, he's coming r i j ght back CHILD 2: 0-ooooh. 83 CHILD 3: Look, he's y e l l i n g . CHILD h: 0-ooooh. CHILD 5: I'm f r i g h t e n e d . CHILD 6: Gimme the house. CHILD 7 : No, I thought of i t f i r s t . CHILD 8: E-eeee. E-eeee. CHILD 1: Now, see l CHILD 2: We're both wolves, aren't we, Sasha? CHILD 3: No, t i g e r s . CHILD k: 0-oooooh. CHILD 5: 0-oooooh. CHILD 6: Go away, I'm going t o eat you up. CHILD 7 : A-aaaah, I don't l i k e you, you... A-aaaaah. CHILD 8: No, I'm not g e t t i n g down. CHILD 1: No, you know what, we do d i s , we l i b togedder. CHILD 2: Yes. CHILD 3: 0-oooooh. CHILD h: No, we're f r i e n d s now. CHILD 5 : Oh, t h i s one's c a r r y i n g the house. CHILD 6: This one too. CHILD 7 : I'm not doing i t r i g h t t h i s way. CHILD 8: You don't see me. CHILD 1: You don't eat me up, I go i n your, my house. CHILD 2: Over there. I'm not eat i n g you up. We're f r i e n d s , CHILD 3: We're f r i e n d s , aren't we? CHILD h: We'll a t t a c k other people. 8k CHILD 5: Come on, you be an elephant. CHILD 6: Yes, I have my house and you have yours. CHILD 7: I'm t a k i n g these p l a t e s down, I ' l l put them on the piano, l i k e t h a t , I'm going t o b u i l d a house f o r me. CHILD 8: You have t o get c h a i r s , then. CHILD 1: Yes. I got some. CHILD 2: Sasha. CHILD 3: The house has t o be a l l c l o s e d i f v y o u want t o be an elephant, l i k e t h a t , so I can't see anyone. I show you, l i k e t h a t , no, come out, I show you. CHILD k: No, I'm going t o s i t down, you cover me. CHILD 5: But you have t o be h a l f i n the house, o n l y your l e g s or your bottom. Otherwise you won't be an elephant. CHILD 6: Yes I w i l l . Yes I w i l l . CHILD 7: L i k e t h i s , yes, see, I have t o cover your head so they won't see you, and your cardigan. There you a r e , see. CHILD 8: You can't see me, you can't see me. CHILD 1: You peep out a b i t . CHILD 2: Put your bottom down. CHILD 3: Go on, you be an elephant, we p l a y n i c e l y . CHILD k: More Leggo pieces t h e r e . CHILD 5: No, I don't want t o . CHILD 6: Ring-a-ring-'a-roses. CHILD 7: What a l o v e l y kingdom I've got. CHILD 8: Which one do you want? CHILD 1: Yours. 85 CHILD 2: N o , , i t ' s too low f o r you. CHILD 3: That's too low f o r me, see, I'm going t o look at hooks, see, I have t o lo o k at books. CHILD k: Are we hedgehogs, yes? CHILD 5: You won't go home, then, a l l r i g h t , w e ' l l p l a y then. CHILD 6: I f Auntie Lada moves the cushion, w e ' l l hide under the piano. CHILD 7: Or we can hang on the l i g h t . CHILD 8: Eeeeeeeee. I t ' s going f a s t l i k e a burning j e t - p l a n e , and i t f a l l s on the r o c k s , and everyone's dead. CHILD 1: Hunts and hunts and hunts and hunts and hunts and hunts. CHILD 2: I'm a l i t t l e b a l l , a l i t t l e s t r i p e y b a l l , a b a l l , a b a l l . CHILD 3: That's good, have i t on a s t r i n g , s h a l l I? (KRIZNIK goes over to the ac t o r - w e ' l l c a l l him KOSCAK -who f e e l s out of place i n the midst of the c h i l d r e n ' s c h a t t e r . He i s more u n i n t e r e s t e d than embarrassed, more l i m p , empty and d u l l than strange. KRIZNIK addresses him.) KRIZNIK: You haven't any c h i l d r e n , have you? KOSCAK: No, I, w e l l . . . no... KRIZNIK: Are you married? KOSCAK: That.... no, no... what... KRIZNIK: Don't you l i k e c h i l d r e n ? KOSCAK: I don't know... I couldn't... I . . . KRIZNIK: Have you ever been i n love? KOSCAK: What? Why? I don't work. l i k e t h a t . . . KRIZNIK: DO you l i k e your parents, s i s t e r s , b rothers? Your f r i e n d s ? KOSCAK: L i s t e n , man... I don't know... I haven't got anyone... I can't, I . . . t h a t . , . l i k e . . . 86 KRIZNIK: What i n t e r e s t s you i n l i f e , then? (KOSCAK i s s i l e n t ; he stammers a l i t t l e . ) Acting? The theatre? Why are you an actor? KOSCAK: I t ' s hard to say... l i s t e n . . . probably... l i t t l e things.... not worth mentioning... I'm not t e l l i n g you! What's i t to you? KRIZNIK: How do you r e c o n c i l e the p r o f e s s i o n of a c t i n g w i t h such i n d i f -f erence, c a r i n g so l i t t l e ? KOSCAK: I r e a l l y don't know... I don't know, I'm t e l l i n g you, I . . . I'm, w e l l , I . . . KRIZNIK: An a c t o r has t o be at the centre o f l i f e . An act o r should l o v e , have i d e a l s . KOSCAK: I don't know th a t e i t h e r . . . maybe... I , I . . . a man never, I haven't... e r . . . e r . . . KRIZNIK: What k i n d of parts do you l i k e best? KOSCAK: That's d i f f i c u l t . . . I . . . sometimes... i f I were... so d i f f i c u l t , I don't know... KRIZNIK: Do you f o l l o w the p r o f e s s i o n a l l i t e r a t u r e , watch T.V., watch your colleagues on f i l m or i n other theatres? KOSCAK: Of course... I . . . w e l l , ... e r . . . I don't know... sometimes, man, I can't, o f course t h a t . . . e r . . . e r . . . KRIZNIK: What made you decide to become an actor? KOSCAK: I . . . w e l l , I d i d . . . I wouldn't... a long time ago... w e l l . . . e r . . . er , s i n c e I was l i t t l e . . . e r . . . e r . . . w e l l , I . . . KRIZNIK: What meaning does the t h e a t r e have f o r you i n your l i f e ? KOSCAK: Er... e r . . . e v e r y t h i n g . . . i t ' s . . . i t ' s . . . so... so... I don't know, you know. I know I wouldn't... e r . . . be a b l e . . . without i t , I don't know why... i t ' s . . . (Bursts out c r y i n g weeping buckets f u l l . ) -87 KRIZNIK: I t ' s a l l r i g h t . Thanks. Thanks very much. I t ' l l get b e t t e r , won'.t i t ? (Pats him on the shoulder.) Of course. I t ' l l get b e t t e r . You j u s t press on, hang i n t h e r e . KOSCAK: (between sobs) W i l l you... e r . . . p u b l i s h . . . a p i c t u r e too? KRIZNIK: Yes, a p i c t u r e too.- And a p i c t u r e . Don't worry. (DULAR has f i n a l l y managed t o comfort IDA. We don't know what they've been t a l k i n g about, i t ' s j u s t obvious t h a t she f e e l s somewhat b e t t e r . Now that she i s i n a b e t t e r mood she i s ready f o r the r e h e a r s a l . DULAR begins p l a y i n g the scene to her, e a r n e s t l y and u n r e l e n t i n g l y . ) DULAR: I'm f a l l i n g . I'M FALLING. I'm f a a - l l i i i i i i n g . The f i r s t "ah" i s a deep i n h a l a t i o n , almost an i n a r t i c u l a t e d c r y . Let's gol IDA: Ah... DULAR: I s a i d i n h a l a t i o n , i n s p i r a t i o n , get i t ? Not e x h a l a t i o n ! You draw brea t h i n t o y o u r s e l f . Let's go... IDA: A-a-ah... DULAR: Once, you a r t i c u l a t e j u s t once w i t h one spasm. C a r e f u l . You're i n f r o n t o f a p r e c i p i c e and you suddenly r e a l i s e you've stepped out i n t o nothingness. A c r y f o l l o w s : Ah... IDA: Ah, -ah, -ah. DULAR: I want the impulse. I want the r e a c t i o n to a step i n t o nothingness. What comes a f t e r t h a t step i n t o nothingness? A f e a r o f f a l l i n g , a f e a r o f being i n j u r e d , of a t e r r i b l e blow? How do you p h y s i c a l l y f e e l the v o i d , the f i r s t r e a c t i o n ? Surprise? Horror? Is th a t i n the very f i r s t r e a c t i o n ? Have you had time f o r any k i n d o f discovery at a l l ? Is the f i r s t "ah" conscious or i n s t i n c t i v e ? 88 IDA: Ah-ah-ah. DULAR: Good. More. Into y o u r s e l f . I n ! Good. Draw i t i n ! IDA: Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah- ... DULAR: More, more. Don't g a r g l e ! Clean! More! IDA: Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-DULAR: Good, good, good... IDA: Ah-ah-ah. DULAR: And now put together: F-a... IDA: F-a, f a - a , f - a . DULAR: Add the second part o f the f a l l i n g - i i i i i i i . . . IDA: F - a - l l i i i i i n g . DULAR: A long vowel, a long " i " , l o n g , get me? E x h a l a t i o n , out... a c r y , without hope, unrepeatable, the l a s t c r y of your e x i s t e n c e , a f a l l from the f i f t h f l o o r i n t o an abyss, i n t o nothingness, t o your death, you know t h a t , you know, now you already know, now you f i n a l l y r e a l i s e , now i t ' s q u i t e apparent... - i i i i i i i i . . . IDA: I i i i i d i i i i i i i i i i i i . I i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i i . - • DULAR: More, more, longer. Now combine the f i r s t , second and l a s t . Let's go, more, more, good... " I t grows slowly - No, an i n c o n c l u s i v e i n t o n a t i o n t o the vowel... yes, yes, yes! IDA: F-a . . . l l i i i i i i i i i i n g . F-a . . . l l i i i i i i i i i n g . DULAR: Watch one t h i n g : that 'ng' i s the end, the end, a b r i e f , modest effacement. There i s n ' t time, nothing remains, 'ng' i s the c u t - o f f , darkness, a b r i e f sound, as b r i e f as p o s s i b l e , you switch o f f , expand: 'ng'! IDA: F-a . . . l l i i i i i i i i n g . F-a . . . l l i i i i i i i i n g . 89 DULAR: O.K.. F i n e . Great. Now f a l l ! IDA: F-a . . . l l i i i i i i i i i i i i n g ! (IDA f a l l s . At the same moment a gun goes o f f . Very l o u d l y . One o f the Actors c o l l a p s e s to the f l o o r , dead. Everyone i s astounded, stops what he i s doing. PALCIC runs forward and says: "Someone's up t h e r e ! " They a l l look up, not daring t o breathe.) KNEZ: (somewhere i n the f l i e s , o f f ) This i s Knez. Can you hear me? The hour o f vengeance i s at hand. I t ' s time t o s e t t l e accounts! I'm going t o k i l l every l a s t one of you! Everyone! But not a l l together. One by one. Slowly. So y o u ' l l s u f f e r . I want you to s u f f e r . (He laughs l i k e a phantom.) Who's next? Who wants t o f o l l o w him? Eh? (At t h a t moment a general panic breaks out. C r i e s of: "Save the c h i l d r e n ! Get the c h i l d r e n out o f the way! Take the c h i l d r e n somewhere s a f e ! and so on. The Actors and others help put the C h i l d r e n i n t o the pram. The STAGE-DOORKEEPER and the CARETAKER q u i c k l y wheel the C h i l d r e n out.) KNEZ: I've got you i n my s i g h t s . A l l of you! I can choose whoever I want, Anyone want to volunteer? Come on. Let's have someone! Courage. (The gun goes o f f again, an A c t r e s s c o l l a p s e s t o the f l o o r . KOSCAK rushes over to the dead body and b u r s t s i n t o t e a r s . They a l l huddle against the w a l l s , t r i p over, f a l l down, t r y to f i n d p r o t e c t i o n , cover themselves w i t h t h i n g s , crawl under platforms and so on. I n the midst of the worst panic, DULAR's song i s suddenly heard. To the p a n i c - s t r i c k e n people on the 90 stage, the mysterious s y l l a b l e s represent the o n l y p o s s i b i l i t y of g e t t i n g r i d of t h e i r d i s t r e s s , f e a r , and danger. They a l l j o i n i n , s i n g i n g e n t h u s i a s t i c a l l y , w i t h f a i t h and hope, l i k e a s p e l l , a p r o t e c t i o n , an attempt t o enchant the c r i m i n a l i n the f l i e s . ) ALL: B a g a t i l a c e bachabe Lama cah i achababe Ka r r e l y o s Lamac lamec Bachalyas Cabahagy Sabayos Baryolas Lagoz atha Cabayolas Samahac et Famiolas Harrahya (KNEZ laughs. S a t a n i c a l l y j S c o r n f u l l y . The gun goes o f f once more. Another Actor f a l l s t o the ground, dead.) 91 ACT.^THREE Night. A strange s i l e n c e . E v e r y thing i s asleep. The stage i s empty. Only KRIZNIK i s to be seen s i t t i n g , occupied, w i t h h i s tape-recorder. He presses buttons, knocks i t , gives i t a shake. He l i s t e n s to i t . Nothing. The apparatus i s mute. The DOCTOR ENTERS. He i s t i r e d and sleepy. He yawns, without p u t t i n g h i s hand t o h i s mouth. DOCTOR: Aren't you sleeping? KRIZNIK: No-. (A short pause.) DOCTOR: I t ' l l soon be morning, won't: i t ? KRIZNIK: '(•looking at h i s watch) I don't know. My watch has stopped. DOCTOR: No-one ever knows what time i t i s here. (Smiles t o h i m s e l f . ) W e l l , you get used t o i t . Anyway, i t makes no d i f f e r e n c e . Does i t ? (A short pause.) KRIZNIK: I don't know. DOCTOR: S t i l l , I sometimes wish I might l i v e t o see morning. (A short pause.) We need the morning t o be morning. Don't we? Morning i s meant f o r waking, waking i s meant t o be wakeful, wakefulness i s meant f o r a c t i v i t y , and being a c t i v e i n t h i s world i s everything we do, every k i n d o f a c t i o n . L i k e a b a l l unwinding, the thread runs, winds, c o l l e c t s i n knots. We k n i t , k n i t , k n i t some more, weave, but what w i l l come o f i t a l l we have no idea. Each morning i s a morning, i t ' s j u s t a waking. That's why i t shouldn't be unusual. I t mustn't be a s u r p r i s e or a shock,, a d e r a i l i n g . I t ' s r e a l l y a time of t r a n s i t i o n from the blessedness of dreaming, from the gentle t o r p o r of the l i m b s , muscles, thoughts, from t h a t d e l i g h t f u l s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y , , i n a c t i v i t y , s a f e t y w i t h i n one's own body, to a time of l y i n g i n w a i t , a time of foreignness. The time of wakefulness i s the time of i l l n e s s . The time o f s e r v i t u d e . When we leave behind the safe warm s h e l t e r of our n o c t u r n a l convalescent-homes, our excursions i n t o freedom, arid r e t u r n to our day-time working consciousness, at f i r s t we only remember what we are w i t h d i f f i c u l t y . We grope t o discover our s t o r y , t o remember our t r i a l s . In our s t a t e of wakefulness we recognise something t h a t has without doubt been deposited here, has accumulated, been put away, something which nothing i n t h i s wakeful s t a t e can e f f a c e , wipe out, or deny, something which w i l l have t o be resumed t h i s morning -continued, d r i v e n onward t o the point of exhaustion. Where to? How? Why? (A short pause.) Yes. Mornings are t e r r i b l e t h i n g s . We can be g l a d we won't have t o wake up t h i s morning. Can't we? KRIZNIK: (presses the buttons on h i s tape-recorder) I was r e c o r d i n g you w h i l e you were t a l k i n g . DOCTOR: And? KRIZNIK: Nothing. Empty. There's no r e c o r d i n g . DOCTOR: (smiles t o h i m s e l f ) Perhaps the b a t t e r i e s have run out. (Yawns.) Or maybe i t ' s something e l s e . (EXITS.) KRIZNIK: (to h i m s e l f ) The b a t t e r i e s couldn't have run out y e t . I t ' s not p o s s i b l e . They were new only the other day... W e l l , I'm i n a n i c e mess now. A l l those t h i n g s I taped, down the d r a i n . . . every l a s t one of them. (Turns o f f the microphone, puts i t away, then presses the button again.) 93 KRIZNIK'S VOICE: The b a t t e r i e s couldn't have run out y e t . I t ' s not p o s s i b l e . They were new only the other day... W e l l , I'm i n a n i c e mess now. A l l those thing's I taped, down the d r a i n . . . every l a s t one of them. (KRIZNIK turns o f f the tape-recorder; he seems deep i n thought. For some time everything i s q u i e t . Then ENTER DULAR, i n pyjamas. He i s h o l d i n g a f a n . He i s hot, so he i s c o o l i n g h i m s e l f . ) DULAR: Hot, eh? KRIZNIK: F a i r l y . DULAR: Close, too. KRIZNIK: Yes, c l o s e . DULAR: I t o l d Hector t o get the h e a t i n g going so at l e a s t we wouldn't be c o l d . L i k e an oven:,., i s n ' t i t ? I t ' s running o f f me. My birth-mark i s smarting. There's a s t i f l i n g d i z z i n e s s i n my s t i c k y s k u l l , i t ' s p a l p i t a t i n g i n s t r a i g h t l i n e s - j u s t about a centimetre above my forehead - i t ' s t i c k i n g d i a b o l i c a l l y , so t h a t my s c a l p , s t i c k y w i t h s a l t , r i s e s and f a l l s , j e r k i n g and q u i v e r i n g . My breath f o l l o w s the heartbeat. From time t o time my n o s t r i l s take i n such a damned strong scent of v i n e branches t h a t f o r a moment the inner w a l l s as w e l l as the h a i r s moisten w i t h d e l i g h t , then immediately droop and w r i n k l e s a d l y . The heat burns i n t o my f l e s h l i k e steam. I t stews i t , r e l a x e s i t , i t spins a web, then s t i r s i t up i n d e l i c a t e , i m p e r c e p t i b l e , sweetly r e l e a s i n g spasms. I narrow one eye, widen the other p u p i l , f o r c e i t t o s t r a i n p a i n f u l l y so the c a p i l l i a r i e s burst and t i n y sparks shoot out i n s w i f t l i n e s , golden b l u e , hot s t a r s • 9h v a n i s h i n g i n smoky vapours, r i p p i n g the sky above my eyes i n t o a z i g - z a g . I f you've got your eyes so t e r r i b l y wide open, i t suddenly seems l i k e you've got no head, no cover, no ro o f . Your f l e s h becomes u n r e a l , your bones evaporate, you are breathed by l i g h t , your body dismembers, you disperse i n t o space, i n f i n i t y r e c e i v e s you, your blood suddenly becomes a i r , your b r a i n s are steam, you're swimming i n r a y s , merely seeing without knowing, a l i g h t o u t s i d e a home, a beam without a sun. (Pausing f o r a moment, he looks at KRIZNIK.) • We're f r i e n d s , aren't we? KRIZNIK: We are, yes. DULAR: There, you see. (A short pause.) And w e ' l l become even b e t t e r f r i e n d s , won't we? (KRIZNIK says nothing.) We w i l l , we w i l l . Think a b o u t : i t . We're a b i t hot. Apart from t h a t everything's a l l r i g h t , i s n ' t i t ? We're doing q u i t e O.K... (KRIZNIK says nothing.) You know, I l i k e you. Do you b e l i e v e t h a t ? More than the Inspector, though he's not a bad f e l l o w . But once a policeman, always a policeman. I s n ' t t h a t r i g h t ? (KRIZNIK remains s i l e n t . ENTER PALCIC, w h i s t l i n g Gershwin's "Rhapsody i n Blue". PALCIC w h i s t l e s , DULAR fans h i m s e l f , KRIZNIK presses the buttons on h i s tape-recorder.) PALCIC: (not i n the l e a s t a g i t a t e d , h i s reproaches s t r a n g e l y mild) You used your p u t r e f a c t i o n t o get the upper hand over me, didn't you, Dular. You'd l i k e t o destroy me w i t h r o t and stench, because you know I'm a l l e r g i c t o the p o l l u t i o n of-the a i r , e a r t h , and water. I admit i t , I'm s u f f o c a t i n g . But I ' l l s u r v i v e . I haven't got much f a r t h e r t o go. You j u s t c a r r y on. Umbrellas, sweets, detergents, 95 nappies, money, "buttons, l e t t e r s , documents, medicines, a l l kinds of rags, h e l t e r - s k e l t e r , everything a l l over the place, books i n boxes along with d i r t y towels and sanitary towels, snotty handkerchiefs, bloody, d i r t y sheets stained with food remains, handbags, cigarette ]••';. butts, syringes, greasy pieces of paper, w i l t e d vegetables, unwashed dishes, gobs of s p i t t l e , broken objects, mouldy cheese, torn bags of s a l t , p i s s , soured wine, everything remains l y i n g wherever i t f a l l s . I t a l l p i l e s up, one thing on top of another, going mouldy, d i s i n t e -grating, stinking - anything s t i l l healthy or edible i s poisoned by the disgusting stench. Everything peels o f f , sloughs away, decomposes. Your people, too. And you. But you won't get me. You know you won't get me, don't you? (DULAR cools himself with the fan, s i l e n t ; PALCIC starts ' whistling Gershwin's melody. ENTER LEVSTIK. He i s naked to the waist. Under his l e f t armpit i s slung a leather holster with a revolver. In his hands he carries his jacket, s h i r t , and t i e . He looks t i r e d out. He stares h o s t i l e l y at DULAR and PALCIC. They move slowly away, each i n his own direction.) KRIZNIK: They're softening me up for something. Marinading me, the bastards. LEVSTIK: I just can't catch t h i s Knez. He's already shot more than half of them. Have you noticed the way they a l l die? Like insects. Not a sound, not a murmur... S i l e n t l y . Just go out. Pouf. KRIZNIK: We've got to get out. Out of t h i s building. (LEVSTIK i s s i l e n t . ) KRIZNIK: Isn't there any way of escaping? • 96 (LEVSTIK shakes h i s head.) KRIZNIK: How lon g have we been here? How many hours? They could have come f o r us, they could come and see.what's happening, take an i n t e r e s t . . . How can they be so i n d i f f e r e n t ? They can't abandon us both... They're the ones who sent us. LEVSTIK: (whispering) One of these people here brought Knez i n t o the b u i l d i n g . I t was a l l set up. Someone opened the door f o r him and l e t him i n . This shooting was pre-arranged. Ordered, get me? Knez didn't break i n , they i n v i t e d him. You and I didn't break i n e i t h e r , they i n v i t e d us too. You and I were pre-arranged i n j u s t the same way. Everything here i s arranged, get i t ? KRIZNIK: What do you mean, arranged? Arranged w i t h who? LEVSTIK: With your s u p e r i o r s and w i t h mine. With our co l l e a g u e s , our f r i e n d s , our co-workers. With the top p o l i c e , the top press people. The ones who sent us. KRIZNIK: What p o s s i b l e connection can .'there be between them and these maniacs here? LEVSTIK: There must be some connection. Something - I don't know. KRIZNIK: ( s t a r e s at LEVSTIK i n alarm) But why you and me i n p a r t i c u l a r ? What do they want from us? What are they planning t o do w i t h us? > LEVSTIK: I don't know. (Shrugs h i s shoulders.) Maybe they're already doing i t . .. You s a i d before t h a t they're working on you. "Marinading me, the ba s t a r d s , " you s a i d . What d i d you mean by t h a t ? KRIZNIK: Nothing p a r t i c u l a r . . . I t ' s a k i n d o f f e e l i n g , you know, something, almost... hanging i n the a i r . Nothing t a n g i b l e . - 97 LEVSTIK: A k i n d of f e e l i n g , yes. They've got us i n a marinade. Even before we a r r i v e d they had us i n a marinade, but e s p e c i a l l y afterwards. I t ' s so obvious: a l l these f a r c e s w i t h Ida, w i t h the Doctor, the c h i l d r e n , Hector, Knez - one and the same marinade. KRIZNIK: (takes some c i g a r e t t e s out of h i s pocket and rummages i n h i s c l o t h e s , l o o k i n g f o r a l i g h t ) Got any matches? (LEVSTIK throws him a box; KRIZNIK uses about f i v e matches, none of which l i g h t . ) They're damp. P r a c t i c a l l y soaking. LEVSTIK: I told you, we're i n a marinade. .We're being p i c k l e d . In hot p i s s . (Stands up, s t r e t c h e s , and s t a r t s t o laugh.) Don't you worry. I'm going t o take a shower. (Gathers h i s t h i n g s and EXITS.) (KNEZ enters immediately afterwards. He moves q u i e t l y w i t h c a t - l i k e steps. In h i s hands he holds a carbine w i t h a t e l e s c o p i c s i g h t . For a w h i l e he q u i e t l y watches KRIZNIK, who i s f u s s i n g over the tape-recorder. Then KNEZ coughs. KRIZNIK turns round.) KNEZ: H e l l o . KRIZNIK: ' ( h e s i t a t e s a l i t t l e ) H e l l o . KNEZ: How are you? KRIZNIK: Thanks, So-so... KNEZ: So-so? KRIZNIK: Yes, so-so. . KNEZ: How are you managing the smell o f the corpses? KRIZNIK: ( f e e l i n g somewhat cornered) I can't smell anything much... (Smells, s n i f f s . ) Perhaps I've got a b i t of a c o l d . . . KNEZ: (suddenly sharp) Stop "babbling! (Pause.) The smell gets on my nerves, I ' l l have you know. But you l i k e i t . C a r r i o n ! (A l i t t l e more f r i e n d l y . ) They t o l d me t o come here. No i n s t r u c t i o n s . I do what I l i k e . I do what I must. I work as long as there i s work t o do. They want i t that way, you understand? (KRIZNIK i s . s i l e n t . ) I s t h a t c l e a r ? KRIZNIK: C l e a r , c l e a r . KNEZ: Fucking bastards! They're experimenting, you know? They're p l a y i n g w i t h me, and w i t h themselves. I know they're watching me. They've got me under s u r v e i l l a n c e , f o l l o w i n g my every move, imp a t i e n t , w a i t i n g f o r the moment when I reach a d e c i s i o n , step over the l i n e . When w i l l i t happen? Where i s the l i n e ? That makes me uneasy. W i l l I step across i t or not? KRIZNIK: ( t i m i d l y ) What's your o b j e c t i v e , then? (KNEZ shrugs h i s shoulders; KRIZNIK takes heart and continues.) KRIZNIK: I mean: what do you r e a l l y want, then? KNEZ: My o b j e c t i v e i s n ' t my own i n the everyday sense of the word. .What's a c t u a l l y mine i s only a m i s e r a b l y small part of t h a t purpose of mine. The aim i n that miserably small amount i s s c a r c e l y to be guessed a t . The unpeeling of that guess occurs a l l by i t s e l f , the husks shed by the events i n t e r t w i n i n g w i t h the r e v e l a t i o n of t h e i r purpose. Sooner or l a t e r , these purposes of mine concoct themselves i n t o a bloody s t o r y . That's how I f i n d myself here, f o r i n s t a n c e , i n t h i s place -i n some i d i o t i c , c o m i c a l , v i o l e n t symmetry, under duress from some ki n d of guards, d o c t o r s , s o r c e r e r s , murderers, bouncers, bought s o u l s , w e l l - t r a i n e d and pampered l a c k e y s , sons of b i t c h e s and mutes i n s l i p p e r s and rags, whose dying i s something sadly quiet and completely a matter of course. A l l of a sudden I know that what I want t o do i s e x a c t l y what these men must not permit: I want t o cross the l i n e . They've guessed at what I want. Maybe they even know, hope, t h a t I won't succeed, and are a f r a i d o f me. Fear mixed w i t h hope, and then t h i s wonderful, c a u t i o u s , c o l o u r l e s s h o s t i l i t y . They don't l i k e me, j u s t as they don't l i k e h a i l s t o n e s - the ones as b i g as eggs t h a t b a t t e r the young crops t o the ground and destroy the harvest. They're w a i t i n g f o r me, the bastards. I t does me good when I f e e l them spying on.me, l i t t l e ants c r a w l i n g through t h e i r s p i n a l marrow and t r a v e l l i n g t h e i r armpits, s e c r e t l y and oh so l i g h t l y t i c k l i n g them i n t h e i r s u i t a b l y f a t white backsides - and they g r i n d t h e i r c o r r e c t l y f i t t e d f a l s e t e e t h and f e e l t h e i r bones knotted a l l over, and t h e i r charred, empty, cavernous eye-sockets-;- with,,something q u i e t l y , too q u i e t l y , f l o w i n g out of them. I t makes me f e e l good t h a t they are i n t h a t spellbound s t a t e , w i t h a l l that s a l i v a i n t h e i r mouths. (Speaking d i f f e r e n t l y . ) I t ' s only e x e r c i s e s , a l l of t h i s , you know, K r i z n i k . Nothing but a c t i n g e x e r c i s e s . (KRIZNIK i s s i l e n t . ) KNEZ: The performance i s yet t o come. Then I ' l l be watching and y o u ' l l be t a k i n g p a r t . KRIZNIK: ( c a r e f u l l y ) What w i l l I be p l a y i n g , i f I might ask...? KNEZ: Oh, i t ' l l be something... Nothing s t y l i s e d , don't worry. • Some k i n d of tumour: i n the head... Some k i n d o f dead body... Something w i l l t u r n up. I f not, w e ' l l w r i t e i t down on your s k i n to make i t easy f o r you. You won't f i n d i t d i f f i c u l t . - 100 KRIZNIK: When do you expect the performance to s t a r t , approximately? KNEZ: Practise, man, practise. Practise makes a master. Everything else "will take care of i t s e l f . . . (Cocks the carbine, makes a sign with his hand, EXITS.) (At that moment something happens to KRIZNIK. Something stings him. Something gently shakes him. He changes i n some way. He i s no longer the same as he was just a moment before: he presses on his tape-recorder. A mad, coarse, expansive, v i t a l , animal-like, subterranean voice i s heard. KRIZNIK r i s e s to his feet and starts singing and dancing.) KRIZNIK: Everything's spinning i n w i l d dizziness i n the infe r n a l midday heat of the sun trees scents birds singing smoke corpses sirens I open wide the .Litt l e door I turn off -the.'safety switch I bend I start up into the a i r I hear thunder I see lightn i n g I drop the crank handle I knot the s t r i n g I press the button I turn round I c o l l i d e I bend I leap to one side I jump off I rush past the crest of the mountain I kick the cover I move the plate I climb over the fence and I l e t goooooooooo and I l e t goooooooooooooooooo and I l e t goooooooooooooooooo into the depths •': yes into the depths yes into the deeeeeeeeeeeeeeepths yes. .101 (KRIZNIK s i t s down exhausted. He turns o f f h i s tape-recorder. ENTER IDA. Without her stomach. She i s O p h e l i a - l i k e , except her v e r s i o n i s without flowers and sing i n g . ) IDA: (strokes KRIZNIK's h a i r ) My m i l k ' s p r e s s i n g . (KRIZNIK i s s i l e n t . ) Do you want t o t r y i t ? I ' l l nurse you i f you're t h i r s t y . KRIZNIK: Have you had the' baby? What was i t , a boy or a g i r l ? IDA: I t ' s r e a l l y p r e s s i n g me. I t h u r t s , you know. KRIZNIK: Boy or g i r l ? IDA: M i l k coagulates i n t h i s heat i f no-one d r i n k s i t . . . I've got as much as you want... KRIZNIK: Is the baby... healthy? IDA: M i l k , as much as you want. I t ' s streaming out, I'm a l l wet... look. Go on, touch. Oooo, I'm l i k e a cow where t h a t ' s concerned. (She pronounces her r's i n c o r r e c t l y , d i v i d e s the words i n t o s y l l a b l e s , s t r e s s e s them i n c o r r e c t l y , plays w i t h them.) M i l k cow. M i l - k e r . A r e a l - l y heal-thy d a i - r y cow. Look how f u l l t h a t i s , how hard i t i s , t a u t , w e l l - s t u f f e d , i s n ' t i t ? Not everyone has them l i k e t h i s , do they? (Laughs.) Touch i f you want, go on, go ahead. A walking d a i r y . (Giggles.) When I was l i t t l e , Mummy once s a i d to me: You're d r i b b l i n g l i k e a cow. (She plays . ) Ida not a cow, i s she? Ida not a cow, i s she? KRIZNIK: (perhaps somewhat s e n t i m e n t a l l y ) Ida not a cow. She's not. IDA: Want a k i s s y ? J u s t one k i s s y . (They look at each other f o r a w h i l e , then KRIZNIK cal m l y , s l o w l y , and g e n t l y k i s s e s IDA, without touching her w i t h h i s hands. I t al s o happens that IDA s i t s i n KRIZNIK's arms, p u l l s 102 out her breast from her dress and o f f e r s i t t o him. KRIZNIK touches i t w i t h h i s l i p s . I t a l l takes place as i f i n church. As i f i t were the host. IDA s t a r t s s i n g i n g "gospel" blues.) IDA: Mother.pure, l o v e me, mother innocent, l o v e me, mother wonderful, l o v e me, I give you my v o i c e , I give you my v o i c e . . . Fount of happiness, d i s p e r s e , seat o f knowledge, descend, heal e r o f the : s i c k , empty y o u r s e l f , I give you my v o i c e , I give you my v o i c e . . . (The sucking i s at an end. IDA now speaks more composedly, c o o l l y , c o n t a i n e d l y . ) IDA: I know a place we could run t o . Y o u ' l l l i k e i t . A r o o f shaped l i k e a f a n , w h i t e , g l i t t e r i n g . I t looks l i k e the v e l v e t y corpses o f e x o t i c b i r d s , whose warm stomachs b r i n g l i f e out of f r a g i l e e g g - s h e l l s . Under the s k i n of t h i s r o o f r i p p l e s a p e r f e c t p a t t e r n of n o i s e s , movements, meanings. There are places w i t h s h i n i n g surfaces and rounded edges, w i t h s p a r k l i n g , f r e s h , new o b j e c t s ; furrowed, shorn, gleaming people, b a r e l y a u d i b l e v e l v e t words, sharp loquacious looks.. In that f a m i l i a r homeliness swim the debaucheries of c o l d p a s s i o n , the d e l i g h t s of comfort, p i t i l e s s l y p r otected by the t h i n blade and greasy t h r o a t of blow-pipes. There are flowers i n c r y s t a l vases, t o o , c a r e f u l l y tended f i n g e r - n a i l s , i c e i n g l a s s e s , huge p i c t u r e s on the w a l l s . That's where proper c h i l d r e n are made. A b s o l u t e l y proper. That's the p r i c e . W i l l you pay i t ? .103 KRIZNIK: (gets up. We have the f e e l i n g he's considering) No. IDA: (she hadn't expected t h i s . She t r i e s t o c o n t a i n h e r s e l f ) Is that your l a s t word? KRIZNIK: Yes. IDA: You won't have time to regret i t , my dear. KRIZNIK: I know the formula f o r k i l l i n g cockroaches. I won't he bored. IDA: I wish I could b e l i e v e t h a t . (EXITS.) (ENTER the STAGE-DOORKEEPER and the CARETAKER loaded up w i t h p a i l s of water, rags and brooms. They z e a l o u s l y set t o work c l e a n i n g , c h a t t i n g at the same time. T h e i r words are mainly intended f o r KRIZNIK. We can sense t h a t c l e a r l y enough, although the two men don't bother t o look at him.) DOORKEEPER: Yes, yes, t h a t ' s how i t i s , j u s t l i k e t h a t . . . A hedge round the house i s n ' t enough. I've been t e l l i n g them th a t a l l along... "There's no money. There's no money!". CARETAKER: (once a l u n a t i c always a l u n a t i c ) I t was e x a c t l y the same w i t h the b o i l e r s . We've l i v e d t o see i t . Now you won't have t o l o c k up any more. DOORKEEPER: A door and t h i s greenery, t h a t ' s r u b b i s h . I t ' s j u s t not enough, t h a t ' s a l l there i s t o i t . CARETAKER: I t would be i f there was a concrete p i l l a r w i t h e l l i p s o i d wings standing i n the middle. DOORKEEPER: Or an i r o n pole w i t h a sharp p o i n t on top. CARETAKER: That's dangerous. DOORKEEPER: I t would make a man f l i n c h , of course. 104 CARETAKER: What s o r t o f man would ask h i m s e l f what those strange c o n s t r u c -t i o n s are doing i n the middle o f the park... DOORKEEPER: A man i n the hedge l o o k i n g at the shar p l y pointed i r o n pole doesn't t h i n k about h i s mum... CARETAKER: Of course not... DOORKEEPER: He doesn't t h i n k about Coca-Cola, he doesn't t h i n k about sausages... CARETAKER: That so r t of man only t h i n k s about the pointed i r o n p o l e . . . DOORKEEPER: But i f t h i s pointed i r o n pole has a diameter o f . . . CARETAKER: About a centimetre and a h a l f . . . DOORKEEPER: A s i l v e r y c o l o u r . . . CARETAKER: S i m i l a r i n s e c t i o n to a proper octagon... DOORKEEPER: With b l a d e - l i k e edges, sharp enough to shave w i t h . . . CARETAKER: With a c o n i c a l t i p , a needle, as lon g as tw e n t y - f i v e centimetres... DOORKEEPER: And i t r o t a t e s on i t s mobile r o t a r y head l i k e some k i n d of i n j e c t i o n . . . CARETAKER: Or some new type o f radar antenna... DOORKEEPER: I f t h a t k i n d o f i r o n bar i s on top of a l l t h a t , and moves l i k e an e e l as w e l l . . . CARETAKER: I f i t winds up... DOORKEEPER: ... jumps here and t h e r e . . . CARETAKER: ... bends... DOORKEEPER: ... leans forwards... CARETAKER: I f i t t w i s t s l i k e a l a s s o . . . DOORKEEPER: I f i t hasn't even got as much spine as a t h i n weeping w i l l o w . . . 105 CARETAKER : I f a p o l e l i k e t h a t t r e m b l e s , v i b r a t e s i n a f r e q u e n c y t h a t d e p e n d s o n how f a r a w a y f r o m i t y o u m o v e . . . DOORKEEPER: A n d how f a s t y o u m o v e . . . C A R E T A K E R : A n d i n w h a t d i r e c t i o n y o u m o v e . . . DOORKEEPER: A n d l a s t o f a l l , i f a p o l e l i k e t h a t a l s o g i v e s o u t some k i n d o f s o u n d s i g n a l s . . . CARETAKER : .... w h i c h a r e v e r y s i m p l e a t f i r s t . . . DOORKEEPER: . . . b u t t h e n m o r e a n d m o r e c o m p l i c a t e d , a n d t h e moment y o u w a n t t o t o u c h i t t h e y g e t r e a l l y a l a r m i n g . . . C A R E T A K E R : T h e n y o u h a v e a p e r f e c t r i g h t t o a s k , i s_ a p o l e l i k e t h a t a n o r m a l p o l e . . . DOORKEEPER: . . . o r i s a p o l e l i k e t h a t a n u n u s u a l , an uncommon p o l e a f t e r a l l . • CARETAKER : Y o u s t a n d t h e r e s t a r i n g , a n d t h e t h i n g h i s s e s a t y o u . . . DOORKEEPER: . . . a n d o c c u p i e s i t s e l f w i t h . . . . y o u r p r e s e n c e . CARETAKER : A n d i f a p o l e l i k e t h a t i s n ' t o n i t s o w n , i f i t ' s i n t h e c o m p a n y o f s i m i l a r o b j e c t s , t h e n y o u r s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e d i s a p p e a r s e v e n m o r e . . . DOORKEEPER: Y o u r e y e s f l i c k f r o m o n e t o t h e o t h e r . . . CARETAKER : Y o u c o u n t t h e m a n d y o u ' r e a m a z e d . . . DOORKEEPER: G o d b e w i t h u s , y o u t h i n k , t h a t ' s n o t a h e d g e a n y m o r e . T h a t ' s ; s o m e t h i n g q u i t e d i f f e r e n t . C A R E T A K E R : T h a t m u s t b e some s y s t e m o f i n s t a l l a t i o n s p e r f o r m i n g t h e f u n c t i o n ; . , o f a h e d g e . DOORKEEPER: A h , y e s . C A R E T A K E R : A h , y e s . DOORKEEPER: I t c l u t c h e s y o u r h e a r t . . . . 106 CARETAKER: I t s t a r t s worming around i n your stomach, makes you want t o go to the t o i l e t . . . DOORKEEPER: Oh,.yes. I'd r a t h e r have a mad dog than a hedge l i k e t h a t . What about you? CARETAKER: Need you ask? (KRIZNIK i s at f i r s t v i s i b l y eaten up w i t h c u r i o s i t y . Then he s i t s down and somehow, God knows how, l i v e s through to the end of t h e i r conversation.) DOORKEEPER: We've j u s t about f i n i s h e d c l e a n i n g up, don't you t h i n k ? CARETAKER: Course we have. We'll have t o do i t again a f t e r the performance anyway... DOORKEEPER: What a fu c k i n g l i f e . Forever c l e a n i n g , there's no end t o i t . . . (As the STAGE-DOORKEEPER and CARETAKER EXIT, the ED.ITOR-in-.CHIEF SECRETARY,'DULAR and the DOCTOR'come--onto the .stage. .".They .are a l l pleased and i n a buoyant mood, l i k e employees before the u n v e i l i n g of an important o b j e c t . C h e e r f u l , ceremonious tones mingle w i t h a n x i e t y , p r e c i s i o n , r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and a hard deci s i v e n e s s to c a r r y out a p l a n to p e r f e c t i o n . The EDITOR-IN-CHIEF i s the boss here too. The SECRETARY immediately goes over to KRIZNIK.) DULAR: I must say, i t looks promising. I've no complaints. (P o i n t s at KRIZNIK.) He j o i n s i n . He's i n t e r e s t e d . He t r i e s hard. He doesn't cause problems. SECRETARY: (to KRIZNIK) My l i t t l e heart of g o l d , how sweet he i s . I've brought you some chewing-gum. (KRIZNIK d e c l i n e s w i t h a f a i n t shake o f the head.) 107 CHIEF: Has he dramatized anything? SECRETARY: I've got some whiskey, t o o . Draga knows. She knows what you need. (She p u l l s out a "bottle and a gl a s s from her handbag, and pours i t f o r him, 'KRIZNIK d r i n k s w i t h long gulps.) DOCTOR: At t h i s stage o f development a tumour n e a r l y always a f f e c t s the s t a t e o f the organism, causing a'general weakening, d e c l i n e i n a p p e t i t e , secondary anaemia, l o s s o f weight and so on - you get a complete p i c t u r e o f organic degeneration. The carcinoma azofagusa reduces the organism t o a s t a t e of i n s u f f i c i e n c y . A c e r t a i n depression i s i n e v i t a b l e , indeed completely normal i n t h i s s i t u a t i o n . CHIEF: Good. That means we are f a r enough along f o r preparations to begin. DOCTOR: A b s o l u t e l y , s i r . A b s o l u t e l y . CHIEF: Good, good. We've got the r i g h t chap. I wasn't mistaken. I'm proud o f you, '-Kriznik. Just c a r r y on. Only without dramatizing. That's harmful and q u i t e unnecessary. I f you've any requests... You've got a tongue. Speak up. (KRIZNIK considers.) CHIEF: Well? SECRETARY: W e l l , pussycat... Would you l i k e anything else? DULAR: We're f r i e n d s , aren't we? Just say so. (KRIZNIK h e s i t a t e s . ) DOCTOR: Now, now, K r i z n i k , don't l e t ' s be p r e j u d i c e d . KRIZNIK: (drains h i s g l a s s ) I s t h i s my l a s t wish? (Everyone seems a l i t t l e embarrassed.) DULAR: The l a s t s h a l l be f i r s t and the f i r s t l a s t . . . (A p a i n f u l s i l e n c e . ) 108 KRIZNIK: (unb e l i e v a b l y s e r i o u s , whispering) K i s s my arse a l l o f you. (This statement e l i c i t s a l i b e r a l measure of good humour from those present. They a l l laugh, q u i t e f o r g e t t i n g about KRIZNIK ) CHIEF: (when the m i r t h has abated somewhat) Has the Inspector f i n i s h e d w i t h Knez? DULAR: No, s i r . CHIEF: What's the i d i o t w a i t i n g f o r ? H e ' l l r u i n everything f o r us! Incompetent, second-rate policeman! (He i s f u r i o u s . ) I demand one hundred per cent c o n c e n t r a t i o n , e f f i c i e n c y and p e r f e c t i o n from the people I work w i t h . My orders are law, remember t h a t ! KRIZNIK: Don't dramatize, Chief. Never dramatize. CHIEF: Smash th a t c r i p p l e ' s gob. And be quick about i t , otherwise I won't answer f o r my a c t i o n s . (The DOCTOR goes over t o KRIZNIK and touches him; KRIZNIK quietens down.) CHIEF: Where's L e v s t i k now? What's he doing? DULAR: I don't know, s i r . He's probably t a k i n g a shower. He's always i n the bathroom. LEVSTIK: ( o f f , somewhere above i n the f l i e s ) Here I am. Up here. To the l e f t above the b r i d g e . I've got him i n my s i g h t s , s i r . I'm doing what I can. Be p a t i e n t j u s t a b i t longer. (They a l l l o o k up. From the opposite side o f the bridge comes KNEZ's s c o r n f u l laughter.) KNEZ: ( o f f ) I ' l l send him down t o you r i g h t away, don't worry. (Laugh.) I t makes him d i z z y up here. H e ' l l f a l l a l l by h i m s e l f . . . Hang on, L e v s t i k , take h o l d o f the r a i l i n g . (Laugh.) I t ' s worse than sea-sickness . 109 ( F i r s t the casing o f an o l d r e f l e c t o r comes cras h i n g down onto the stage. They a l l jump away as though scalded. Then we hear e x a c t l y s i x shots from LEVSTIK's p o l i c e r e v o l v e r . A l l i s s i l e n t f o r a few moments. Then, KNEZ's carbine barks out two s h o r t , e f f i c i e n t shots. A few more moments o f s i l e n c e and u n c e r t a i n t y . Necks are s t r e t c h e d r i g i d l y upwards. At l a s t , Inspector LEVSTIK a r r i v e s on the stage, calm, p a l e , covered i n "blood".) LEVSTIK: There won't be any performance. I've got two b u l l e t s i n my body. One i n the head. The other one under my h e a r t . CHIEF: (roars as l o u d l y as p o s s i b l e ) There w i l l be a performance! Dular! Get everything ready. Give your d i r e c t i o n s . Let's go. (They a l l e x i t i n a hurry, only KRIZNIK and LEVSTIK remain.) LEVSTIK: ( h e s i t a t e s ) W i l l you give me a s i p ? KRIZNIK: ( d r i n k s ) No, I won't. LEVSTIK: (offended) I t ' s a l l r i g h t , I . . . KRIZNIK: I know i t ' s a l l r i g h t , I know i t i s . I'm not g i v i n g whiskey away... t"o a swine l i k e you. (He b e l c h e s , i t has probably already gone t o h i s head.) Excuse me. LEVSTIK: I'm t h i r s t y . . . KRIZNIK: So what? I t ' s my whiskey. I'm not the c o u n c i l water supply. This b o t t l e ' s not a policeman's p a c i f i e r , mon ami, t h i s i s completely p r i v a t e property. LEVSTIK: (weakly) You're angry because I didn't t e l l you e v e r y t h i n g . . . But I . . . KRIZNIK: Be q u i e t , i f you don't mind. What's i t t o me? 2 1 0 LEVSTIK: But I shouldn't have... You see, I r e a l l y shouldn't have... I . . . ' KRIZNIK: I don't give a damn about ' I ' , get i t ? Just be q u i e t , q u i e t ! LEVSTIK: They've forbidden me. I s t i l l mustn't... I . . . KRIZNIK: Shut up, man, shut up! LEVSTIK: ( g e t t i n g more and more e x c i t e d , as KRIZNIK keeps jumping on h i s words) I t r i e d t o warn you...! I gave you c l u e s . . . Admit i t . . . ! KRIZNIK: Shut i t once and f o r a l l , shut i t ! LEVSTIK: Admit i t , admit I warned you! I'm going to dis a p p o i n t you, I know I am... KRIZNIK: Shut your gob. Shut your gob! LEVSTIK: I'm r e a l l y going to dis a p p o i n t you, but I have t o keep q u i e t . KRIZNIK: Then keep q u i e t , w i l l you! (They both f a l l s i l e n t . IDA enters w i t h two other A c t r e s s e s . They are c a r r y i n g a small bath w i t h water, sponges, soap, to w e l s , deodorants, i n s h o r t , everything needed to bathe someone. They put these t h i n g s down near KRIZNIK.) IDA: (to the Ac t r e s s e s ) Is everything ready? (The Actresses nod assent.) IDA: O.K. ( P u l l s out a small b e l l from somewhere and r i n g s i t three times.) (KRIZNIK and LEVSTIK don't take any n o t i c e of the women. At that moment the CARETAKER and STAGE-DOORKEEPER b r i n g a k i n d o f bed onto the stage. More s p e c i f i c a l l y , i t i s a b i e r , festooned w i t h f l o w e r s , s t u f f e d b i r d s , swords, candles and s i m i l a r f r i p p e r y . When they have arranged i t a l l they disappear again. IDA again r i n g s the b e l l three times. Now our f r i e n d s a r r i v e , s o f t l y , on t i p - t o e , one "behind the other: the EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, DULAR, DOCTOR, SECRETARY, VESNA, BELIC, F i r s t A c t o r , Second A c t o r , PRODUCTION EDITOR, CARETAKER, and STAGE-DOORKEEPER. Each c a r r i e s an i d e n t i c a l l i t t l e c h i l d and a c h a i r . They arrange themselves s i l e n t l y r i g h t and l e f t . A l l t h i s i s c a r r i e d out r a t h e r r i t u a l i s t i c a l l y . ) CHIEF: You may s i t . (They a l l s i t down, the C h i l d r e n i n t h e i r arms.) CHIEF: (turns t o IDA) Can we begin? IDA: Yes, s i r . CHIEF: S t a r t the music. (They a l l t i l t t h e i r heads upwards. From hig h above a huge bird-cage i s lowered s l o w l y l i k e a f l a g . I n i t s i t s PALCIC i n a d i g n i f i e d l o t u s p o s i t i o n , w h i l e from the loudspeakers r i p p l e s the gentle morning-song of b i r d s . The two Actresses next to IDA spray f r e s h a i r from c a n i s t e r s . When the batten w i t h the cage h a l t s , the music on the loudspeakers dies away. Now PALCIC w i l l have a chance t o show what he knows too. He c h i r p s . B r i e f l y , but b e a u t i f u l l y . The EDITOR-IN-CHIEF makes a hand-signal f o r IDA t o b e g i n , then he too s i t s down.) IDA: Stand up. (KRIZNIK and LEVSTIK stand up.) IDA: Undress. (KRIZNIK and LEVSTIK exchange glances.) KRIZNIK: (not very r e b e l l i o u s l y ) Why? I'd r a t h e r not. IDA: ( b a s i c a l l y she i s very pleasant and p a t i e n t , but she knows how t o - 112 p e r s i s t ) You must, dear... l o o k , -we've prepared a bath f o r both of you... Don't you l i k e having a bath? KRIZNIK: I do, but on my own... There are too many people here... (LEVSTIK i s as s i l e n t as a f i s h . The audience on the stage f o l l o w s the events enraptured. ) IDA: That's e x a c t l y why you must be n i c e and good. You mustn't be naughty... Now undress y o u r s e l f n i c e l y . . . before the water gets c o l d . KRIZNIK: It'.s a l r e a d y f r e e z i n g . . . ' . ; i ' l l catch a c o l d . IDA: I t ' s not c o l d , t e s t i t . KRIZNIK: ( t e s t s the water w i t h h i s elbow) I t ' s warm. IDA: I t ' s j u s t r i g h t . Not too hot and not too c o l d . (PALCIC s t a r t s warbling.) KRIZNIK: But I'm embarrassed... IDA: Oh, there's no need t o be, we're a l l a d u l t s a f t e r a l l . Every one of us has seen these t h i n g s before. KRIZNIK: But why does i t have t o be me? I r e a l l y don't l i k e having baths too o f t e n . IDA: Undress. (KRIZNIK r e a l i z e s she i s s e r i o u s , and t h a t he can no longer put i t o f f . He looks at LEVSTIK, who i s al r e a d y g e t t i n g undressed. The undressing takes place at a comfortable pace, no-one i s pushing them. F i n a l l y they are i n nothing but t h e i r underwear. They stand.) KRIZNIK: ( l o o k i n g as though he i s going t o cry) I'm not going any f u r t h e r , I can't. LEVSTIK: I can't e i t h e r . 113 (IDA looks at the EDITOR-IN-CHIEF g u e s t i o n i n g l y . He s i g n a l s t o her not t o i n s i s t . ) IDA: O.K., so l e t ' s begin. (Now IDA and the two Actresses set to work bathing both men very g e n t l y and c a r e f u l l y . This l a s t s u n t i l the whole t h i n g has been c a r r i e d out q u i t e thoroughly. PALCIC warbles. The audience onstage watches w i t h great a n t i c i p a t i o n . When the bathing i s at an end, IDA's a s s i s t a n t s b r i n g two shawls from the afore-mentioned b i e r , then a l l three accompany t h e i r c l i e n t s to the b i e r . With the help o f a l l three women, KRIZNIK and LEVSTIK manage t o get onto the b i e r or whatever i t i s . The i r heads are supported by t h i c k p i l l o w s , and we have the f e e l i n g that a f t e r a very long time they have found happiness once more. IDA and the two Actresses EXIT. At t h a t moment the audience onstage begins very s l o w l y t o move w i t h t h e i r s t o o l s towards KRIZNIK's and LEVSTIK's b i e r . At l a s t they are a l l crowded together around the b i e r s t a r i n g i n t e n s e l y at the two unfortunates. KRIZNIK i s bothered by t h i s . He l i f t s h i m s e l f onto h i s elbows, as does LEVSTIK. They l o o k at the people surrounding the b i e r . KRIZNIK: ( s t r a i n i n g to concentrate, as though he wants t o d i s c o v e r some-t h i n g , get i t c l e a r , but without much success) I've come to a d e c i s i o n . . . No. I have the f e e l i n g . . . You, L e v s t i k . Does i t seem t o you that everything i s as i t should be... LEVSTIK: How do you mean, as i t should be? KRIZNIK: Don't you f e e l . . . ? Don't you f e e l - something's not q u i t e r i g h t . LEVSTIK: Oh? What? . KRIZNIK: I'm t r y i n g to c o l l e c t my thoughts... I'm t r y i n g to remember the words swimming i n my memory l i k e a school of f i s h i n the water. Everything's dim, b l u r r e d , watery... My tape-recorder. My tape-recorder t h a t wasn't broken. I t wasn't broken, but i t s t i l l d idn't r e c o r d . I t didn't r e c o r d anyone but me. In the end i t didn't even record me any more... LEVSTIK: Machines are cranky. You can't t r u s t machines. T e c h n i c a l t h i n g s always l e t you down. Man i s the most e f f i c i e n t machine. KRIZNIK: But... but:,;that's not the p o i n t . I gave... ".I mean... I gave up too. This bathing and t h i s . . . l y i n g here... on t h i s stage... LEVSTIK: What's wrong w i t h i t ? Why does i t bother- you? KRIZNIK: I t doesn't now... i t doesn't r e a l l y bother me. But... When Ida... before t h a t , you know, I wasn't... I was... I didn't have the r i g h t f e e l i n g . . . as i f I wasn't... a l r e a d y , already wasn't t h e r e . . . but present i n some other way... When she touched me w i t h the c o l d sponge, something... as i f I'd jumped i n t o the sea. Dived i n t o the sea. And I was swimming and swimming down past a huge jagged green rock. And I thought i t was strange t h a t I didn't need a i r . I d i d i t without a i r . . . As i f I were... W e l l . . . and... and I swam towards the bottom. I only f e l t the pressure... As I was swimming I counted... I counted seven -j u s t t h i n k - seven l a y e r s . . . seven l a y e r s of water. I was h e l p l e s s : I was j u s t swimming towards the bottom. With no purpose, no w i l l , w i t h strong strokes towards the bottom. At the t r a n s i t i o n s you f e e l the pressure i n c r e a s e . The t r a n s i t i o n s between the l a y e r s . Suddenly everything turned around. I was s t i l l swimming i n the same d i r e c t i o n , 115 but a c t u a l l y everything had turned around. Where the bottom had been I saw the surface, and the sky above i t . But what had been the e a r t h , the shore, when I l e f t , was now the bottom of the sea. As i f I were swimming i n s i d e a hollow globe and someone outside i t was t u r n i n g i t round a hundred and e i g h t y degrees. (He f a l l s s i l e n t . ) LEVSTIK: And then? KRIZNIK: Then I swam to the surface and breathed a i r . LEVSTIK: And now? KRIZNIK: Now, I'm here, I can see, s m e l l , I'm b r e a t h i n g , and t a l k i n g . I'm t a l k i n g w i t h you, aren't I? LEVSTIK: Yes. KRIZNIK: Of course. You've got two b u l l e t s i n you. One i n your head, the other under your heart. You're dead, aren't you? (LEVSTIK i s s i l e n t , the spectators are a b s o l u t e l y r i g i d w i t h a t t e n t i o n . ) Admit you're dead. LEVSTIK: No more than you are. KRIZNIK: And I can speak p e r f e c t l y f l u e n t l y w i t h you. With no t r o u b l e . Normally. L i k e the dead t o the dead. (PALCIC warbles.) KRIZNIK: I f t h a t ' s a l l t r u e , then i t ' s probably a l s o t r u e t h a t a l l the people watching us are our brothers i n death. (There f o l l o w outbreaks of death-love. Love among the dead i s something s p e c i a l . We can only conjecture how t h i s i s shown e x t e r n a l l y . And nonetheless i t must be shown. IT IS AFTER ALL A PERFORMANCE. The spectators onstage r e c e i v e KRIZNIK and LEVSTIK i n t o t h e i r brotherhood w i t h passionate 116 expressions of a f f e c t i o n . BELONGING TO THE SAME THING i s no small matter. Then IDA and her a s s i s t a n t s r e t u r n . The women are c a r r y i n g buckets o f glue. The r i t e c o n s i s t s o f t h e i r a l l t a k i n g turns at pouring and smearing glue on themselves u n t i l there remains no c l o t h i n g t h a t i s not thoroughly glued. They help each ot h e r , laugh among themselves, e x u l t , j o k e , smear t h e i r cheeks, pat each other's behinds, chase each o t h e r , p u l l apart. This a c t i v i t y i s an i n e x h a u s t i b l e fount of the DELIGHT, the j o y , i n PLAY. F i n a l l y someone s t a r t s s i n g i n g a c h e e r f u l melody w i t h enthusiasm. Everyone j o i n s i n . ) ALL: ( s i n g i n g ) We're g l u i n g o u r s e l v e s , g l u i n g , g l u i n g , g l u i n g . We're g l u i n g o u r s e l v e s , g l u i n g , g l u i n g , g l u i n g . (During the s i n g i n g and buffoonery the Act o r s a c t u a l l y s t i c k themselves to each ot h e r , u n t i l they, are a l l stuck f a s t together t o become one mass of f l e s h . This lump begins s l o w l y but s u r e l y t o move towards the apron o f the stage, s t a r e s at the auditorium and o r g i a s t i c a l l y sings i t s WE'RE GLUING OURSELVES. As the group steps over the c u r t a i n l i n e and reaches the extreme edge of the for e s t a g e , a l l the l i g h t s suddenly go out simultaneously. Darkness. The c u r t a i n f a l l s i n the dark. The song stops, a b r u p t l y cut o f f . Over the loudspeaker we recognize the v o i c e of KNEZ.) 117 KNEZ: (shouting) K r i z n i k . K r i z n i k . K r i z n i k . (Whispers.) Can you guess how I'm going t o cross the l i n e ? ( L i g h t comes i n s l o w l y , the c u r t a i n r i s e s , the Ac t o r s move s i l e n t l y hack onto the stage.) E N D 118; NOTES ^Personal i n t e r v i e w w i t h Dusan Jovanovic, 25 J u l y 1983. A l l subsequent quotations o f the author are from t h i s i n t e r v i e w . 2 George S t e i n e r , A f t e r Babel: Aspects of Language and T r a n s l a t i o n (London: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1976), p. 8 l . 3 i b i d . , p. 81. L i b i d . , p. 58. 5 i b i d . , p. 62. ^Dusan Jovanovic, P l a y a Tumour i n the Head and A i r P o l l u t i o n , t r a n s . L e s l e y Wade, (M.A. t h e s i s , U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 198k), P. 70. " s t e i n e r , i b i d . , p. 60. 8 i b i d . 9 i b i d . , p. 67. 1 0 i b i d . , p. 6k. "'""'"Dusan Jovanovic, i b i d . , p. 68. 12 S t e i n e r , i b i d . , p. 6 l . 1 3 V l a d i m i r Nabokov et a l . , t r a n s . , A Hero of Our Time, by M i h a i l Lermontov (New York: Anchor-Doubleday, 1958), p. x i i . l i + S t e i n e r , i b i d . , p. 6 l . 119 BIBLIOGRAPHY Jovanovic, Dusan. " I g r a j t e Tumor v G l a v i i n Onesnazenje Zraka." In Osvoboditev Skopja i n Druge G l e d a l i s k e I g r e . L j u b l j a n a : Mladinska k n j i g a , 1981, pp. 157 - 250. Jovanovic, Dusan. Personal i n t e r v i e w . 25 J u l y 1983. Nabokov, V l a d i m i r , t r a n s . A Hero of our Time. By M i h a i l Lermontov. New York: Anchor-Doubleday, 1958. S t e i n e r , George. A f t e r Babel: Aspects o f Language and T r a n s l a t i o n . London: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y . P r e s s , . 1 9 7 6 . 

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