“Maurice Nadeau once told me that Beckett is quite capable of meeting somebody and sitting for two hours without uttering a word”. Charles Juliet remembered the warning when he met Beckett for the first time and Beckett is indeed silent. “I study him covertly. He is grave, sombre. Frowning. An expression of unbearable intensity.” In her rich and moving memoir Anne Atik contrasts loud, drunken nights she and her husband Avigdor Arikha shared with Beckett with “entire evenings when he didn’t say a word. “It was”, she says “like being in a tunnel with someone dear whose face you suddenly couldn’t see. Or who couldn’t see you.” . . .
I have been thinking of Beckett’s silence lately without knowing why; that is, why have I been thinking about his personal silence?
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