This chapter takes a look at the early scenes that reflect failed psychic birth, such as the actual birth of Larry Nixon and Watt's arrival into the fiction. The chapter first presents a detailed reading of Arsene's speech to Watt; this speech suggests initial anxiety situations. It then discusses Watt's stay in the house. This section also considers the absence of emotional connection between the two characters, and Watt's reaction to the failed attempt at forming a primary attachment. The chapter concludes with a section on the different symbols that suggest early maternal failure, disruptions in nurturing, and Watt's need for control by alternative maternal figures.
There are an extraordinary number of autobiographies written by British female theatre professionals working during the period. This generation of actresses and female performers were concerned, in part, with locating themselves in a public culture of self-affirmation and reflection. Their autobiographic writing evidences an awareness of the growing interest in their activities as public figures and practitioners, in a labour market where women were now becoming firmly professionalised. The chapter explores how their ‘autobiographic confessional histories’ can be read as a body of work, as cultural interventions that make an explicit contribution to our understandings of the development of professional theatre practice more generally, during the era.