Thought Upon Reading Beckett

I don’t know what he’s saying, but I like how he says it.

If you’d like to see what I mean, the book is Watt, the page is 58:

Thanks be to God, an opinion in which in tones that haunt me still my poor old mother would acquiesce, sighing, saying, Amen. Or is there a coming that is not a coming to, a going that is not a going from, a shadow that is not the shadow of purpose, or not? For what is this shadow of the going in which we come, this shadow of the coming in which we go, this shadow of the coming and the going in which we wait, if not the shadow of purpose, of the purpose that budding withers, that withering buds, whose blooming is a budding withering? I speak well, do I not, for a man in my situation?

Wayne Booth makes a pretty good reading of Beckett in his A Rhetoric of Irony.


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For a short guide to Beckett, you might try Hugh Kenner’s A Reader’s Guide to Samuel Beckett. I imagine it’s out of print, but I found a cheap used copy. Good stuff.
(Actually, I just checked. It’s not out of print, but it’s an expensive paperback new.)

Clearly a man with a sense of humour, that Beckett… and probably a Groucho fan (along with his bete noire, TS), too.

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