by Emer O'Kelly, 27th July 2015
Beckett wrote Lessness in French, calling it Sans; the title of his English translation is significantly different in meaning. Further, he used the word "lessness" in other contexts to mean "minimal". And yet the 1970 short story performed by Olwen Fouere (in a co-production between her own company The Emergency Room, Cusack Projects, and the Galway Arts Festival) is an extraordinary exposition of emotional breadth. And for that, Fouere's performance must take the credit.
Barely 1500 words long in total, each sentence in Lessness is repeated twice, apparently randomly as though almost flung onto the page to see what might happen. But the hand that throws them is that of a creator, a kind of literary godhead for whom even chaos is part of the plan.