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Dead Girls Don’t Grow Up

Author: Beth Escudé i Gallès
Translated by: John Ginman
Language: English
ISBN: 978-84-95683-67-0
Price: 2,00 €
File size: (LesNenesMortesEN.pdf) 204 Kb.
Available in: Spanish

(1 woman, 1 young girl and 1 man.)
Illustrated in colour and black and white.
A father with a desire to tell stories and his young dead daughter who wants to learn about life have frequent meetings to he accompaniment of Kindertotenlieder by Gustav Mahler.


GIRL (looking at the sky in search of a cloud)  Ah. I believe the sea is calling me.


MAN (rapidly)  All right. The goldfish. You used to like them. Do you remember? We ‘used to feel’ admiration for creatures that look from one side to another, from right to left. They work out what’s in front of them. Then, you and I ‘used to feel’ love for the same things.


GIRL (looking at the sky again)  Ah.


MAN  At night you ‘used to feel’ frightened. You said we had to put light in the goldfish bowl, because the fish were colliding in the darkness and they ‘used to feel’ fear.


GIRL (more pedantically, if appropriate, than until now, and moving towards him)  Admiration? Love? Fear? Let’s leave these other terms I don’t understand until another day. Let us concentrate on ‘to feel’. I know what’s meant by ‘idiosyncrasy’, ‘jurisprudence, ‘mannerism’, ‘ontology’, and, of course, the most complex terms in musical theory. But I don’t know what it is ‘to feel’ and nine out of every ten words you use are related to that one.


MAN  It isn’t easy to explain . . .


GIRL  For example, can you have a feeling that doesn’t have a name?


MAN  It is more a feeling the less it has a name. That is where this world has always been wrong and where music has almost always got it right.


GIRL  Or, for example: (Showing a finger) first you feel the feeling and (Showing a second finger) then you give it a name or (Hides the two fingers and shows one again) you first invent a word and (Showing a second finger) then ‘you feel’ that?


(The Man takes out the notebook and hastily notes down the questions.)


Let’s make it simple:  (a)  do you like things because they are pretty, or  (b)  are they pretty because you like them? Easier still:  (a)  are you happy because you sing, or  (b)  do you sing because you are happy?


MAN  You’re going too fast. You’re going too fast.


(The Girl tries out a conventional whimper. The Man stops writing.)


But, honestly, child, I don’t know why you want to have feelings. For every good one you have, you have ten bad ones, believe me. In this world we have all gone mad because of emotions. They’re the root of all of Man’s worst actions.


(The Girl exerts herself more in her acting out of sentimental dejection. She cries irritatingly. Abruptly, she stops crying.)


GIRL  How’s that?


MAN  Terrible.




MAN  What’s more, you probably cry already, in your way, without realising. The fact is: you already live in a tear. You cry, but you cannot perceive it. Look. If my tears were made of air I would not be able to perceive it either. I wouldn’t know if I cried or not. I wouldn’t notice the difference because my cheeks are in contact with air like yours with water. You should cry tears of air for it to work.


GIRL  Or ping pong balls.


MAN  For example. (He breathes with relief.)


GIRL  Do you know? Will you teach me?


MAN  Of course. I will teach you to imitate feelings. I see nothing wrong in that. I’ll teach you to cry tears of ping pong, that’s a promise. They have a magnificent sound and you will change sadness for joy as easily as when you were two.


GIRL  Cry ping pong tears. Come on. Now. Cry ping pong tears. Now. Now. Now. (She turns ‘now’ into an irritating childish chant. Pause.)


MAN  It’s just that I prefer to shed tears of salt water, child. (Pause) As long as you’re in each one, swimming.


(Sound of the sea. A cloud begins to invade the stage. The Man looks at the sky.)


It’s time.

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