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Sarah Kane 4.48 Psychosis Sarah Kan
more: acontrolleddetonation

 

A Controlled Detonation:
The Protean Voice of 4:48 Psychosis (first seven fragments)
by Mustafa Sakarya

 

Fragment One – Impossible Love

Fragment one begins the play like a prologue, with a vague question that appears directed to the audience:

But you have friends
You have a lot of friends
What do you offer your friends to make them so supportive?

(A long silence.)

What do you offer your friends to make them so Supportive?

(A long silence.)

What do you offer?

(Silence.)                                                           [14]

The entire fragment appears again, verbatim, near the end of the play in fragment 23, during a bitter exchange between the speaker and a “professional” therapist or doctor. By following the pattern of dashes, we can discern that it is most likely the professional that is speaking these lines in fragment 23. However, it is unclear who may be speaking them in fragment one. The repetition of the question suggests its larger, thematic significance which could be expressed as what is the nature of the ties that bind human relations? Throughout the play, we learn how the central voice yearns for an unconditional and healing love, a supportive love that can subsume politics, money and fame; a love which transcends misunderstanding and death – in short, an impossible love.

Sarah Kane 4.48 Psychosis

Kane’s text is highly self-reflexive, as we will see in detail in fragment seven, and the question posed here at the start of the play may also be referring to the process of interpretation itself, to the relations between readers and texts and between spectators and actors. The question may be asking us to consider why we have gathered to witness the tragedy about to unfold. What do we, as an audience, have to offer in return for her sacrifice? Urban points out that this interactive relay is a vital and distinct part of the Kane experience: “Her work lacks any pretense to authorial closure, for the directors, actors and event the readers of her plays become integral part of their meanings.” (Urban 4) As with all the questions posed by the play, there are no clear answers.

Copyright © 2007 Mustafa Sakarya

reproduced on the site with the kind permission of the author

 

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