Samuel Beckett, Watt, teatro, 2009, London, Regno Unito. Faber and Faber, p. 136.
Continuing my inspection, like one deprived of his senses, I observed, with a distinctness that left no room for doubt, in the adjoining garden whom do you think but Watt, advancing backwards towards me. His progress was slow and devious, on account no doubt of his having no eyes in the back of his head, and painful too, I fancy, for often he struck against the trunks of trees, or in the tangles of underwood caught his foot, and fell to the ground, flat on his back, or into a great clump of brambles, or of briars, or of nettles, or of thistles. But still without murmur he came on, until he lay against the fence, with his hands at arm’s length gasping the wires. Then he turned, with the intention very likely of going back the way he had come, and I saw his face, and the rest of his front. His face was bloody, his hands also, and thorns were in his scalp. (His resemblance, at that moment, to the Christ believed by Bosch, then hanging in Trafalgar Square, was so striking, that I remarked it). And at the same instant suddenly I felt as though I were standing before a great mirror, in which my garden was reflected, and my fence, and I, and the very birds tossing in the wind, so that I looked at my hands, and felt my face, and glossy skull, with an anxiety as real as unfounded. (For if anyone, at that time, could be truly said not to resemble the Christ supposed by Bosch, then hanging in Trafalgar Square, I flatter myself it was I). Why, Watt, I cried, that is a nice state you have got yourself into, to be sure. Not it is, yes, replied Watt. This short phrase caused me, I believe, more alarm, more pain, than if I had received, unexpectedly, at close quarters, a charge of small shot in the ravine. This impression was reinforced by what followed. Wonder I, said Watt, panky-hanky me lend you could, blood away wipe.
Il protagonista, Watt, che ha sempre in tasca “a little red sudarium”, un piccolo sudario rosso, viene descritto dal punto di vista di un uomo che lo vede trascinarsi a fatica e poi cadere a terra. I riferimenti a Gesù che porta la Croce sono ovvii, non solo perché, come nella profezia (Is 53, 7-9), Watt non si lamenta, e neppure perché rovi e ortiche sono piante citate nella Bibbia, ma perché è lo stesso Beckett a dire esplicitamente che Watt “aveva la faccia sanguinante, le mani pure, il capo pieno di spine” e che assomigliava al Cristo di Bosch nella National Gallery, a Londra. L’osservatore, che non a caso si chiama Sam (come Beckett), guardando Watt vede se stesso come se fosse davanti a un grande specchio, e si sente chiedere da lui: “Domando mi, .. lettofazzo mi prestar potresti, sangue asciugare”: “Mi domando, .. potresti prestarmi un fazzoletto per asciugare il sangue?”
In un’altra occasione, commentando Watt che è perso nei suoi pensieri su un cane, Beckett scrive di “forme che non erano radicate al suolo, come la veronica, ma svanivano, al buio, dopo un po’”: ‘veronica’, qui, può significare il fiore, ma potrebbe anche riferirsi alla Veronica Romana, la cui semi-trasparenza fa sì che la sua immagine compaia e scompaia, a seconda della luce
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