A little more on the awesome pamphlet from the Cahiers series, which I discussed earlier this month. . . . continue reading, and add your comments
The second volume of Samuel Beckett’s letters will be published in October by Cambridge University Press. The Cahier series, which I mentioned a little while back, will be publishing a pamphlet by George Craig on his experiences translating letters for this volume, titled “Writing Beckett’s Letters.” I would highly recommend this Cahier to anyone interested in Beckett, translation, or writing. What Craig does is to use . . . . . . continue reading, and add your comments
In the years when Beckett was tentatively creating his early work, three events stand out which helped to mold and shape his genius. The first took place in London, as Beckett was undergoing psychotherapy. In the autumn of 1935, as he was writing Murphy, he attended a lecture by C.G. Jung, who spoke of a patient, a young girl: “Of course, the truth of the matter is, as I realised afterwards, this young girl had never really been born.” The idea intrigued Beckett. Twenty years later, in his radio play All That Fall, Beckett’s character Mrs. Rooney would . . . continue reading, and add your comments
This week concurrently with Life A User’s Manual I’ve been reading Beckett’s trilogy starting with Molloy, and I noticed this interesting coincidence of thoughts. They deal with satisfaction, meaning, and hope, items that are certainly of central importance to Perec’s book. My emphasis in both quotes. . . . continue reading, and add your comments
I was very flattered when Joyce dropped the ‘Mister.’ Everybody was ‘Mister’. There were no Christian names, no first names. The nearest you would get to friendly name was to drop the ‘Mister’. I was never ‘Sam’. I was always Beckett at the best. We’d drink in any old pub or cafe. I don’t remember which. . . . continue reading, and add your comments
“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 . . . continue reading, and add your comments
More coverage for the big Beckett centenary edition from Grove Press.
Americans have for the most part read Samuel Beckett in a motley collection of very thin books. The average educated person typically owns the paperback of "Waiting for Godot" plus a select handful of the numerous other 50-to-60-page volumes, set in large type, that Grove Press issued over the years in a tireless effort to squeeze every penny from its star author, with his famous penchant for brevity. Those who have rationalized the cheese-slice books as apt vessels for Beckett's rigorous art . . . continue reading, and add your comments
The New York Sun has some info on Grove's forthcoming boxed set of virtually all of Beckett's works.
Grove Press, Beckett's original American publisher, has produced the most suitable tribute for so fastidious and ornery an author. The Grove Centenary Edition of his works, edited by Paul Auster in four handsome volumes ($24 each), contains almost all the extraordinary prose, poetry, and drama Beckett produced over half a century. Volume One (496 pages), with a superb introduction by Colm Toibin, offers the early novels ("Murphy" and "Watt"), written in English, followed by "Mercier . . . continue reading, and add your comments