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I insist on theatre. I insist on it
because I recognize it as a ritual
without which our survival loses
ground to the pale of death,
always encroaching, death
with its breathless silence
moving down on us.
As Judith Malina writes in her postscript to Theandric, the work shaped and edited from Julian Beck's last notebooks, "In this book, we are watching the wrestling match between Death and the Poet." The vast majority of dated entries are from the last three years of Beck's life, after the onset of his fatal illness. The form of the book follows that of its predecessor, The Life of the Theatre (1972): a series of epigrams, apercus, meditations, brief narrations, quotations, polemics--ranging from a sentence or two to several …