Beckett, Samuel (Barclay)
Samuel (Barclay) Beckett 1906–
Irish-born dramatist, novelist, short story writer, scriptwriter, poet, essayist, and translator.
One of the most celebrated authors in twentieth-century literature, Beckett is especially recognized for his significant impact on contemporary drama. His play En attendant Godot (1953; Waiting for Godot) is a seminal work of Theater of the Absurd, a post-World War II trend in drama characterized by experimental techniques and philosophical nihilism. In his works, Beckett expounds a philosophy of negation through characters who face a meaningless and absurd existence without the comforts of religion, myth, or philosophical absolutes. Through economical, fragmented language and stark images of alienation and absurdity, Beckett creates art out of minimal material. His preoccupation as a writer has been to experiment with language in order to present truths that are pure of rhetorical embellishment. Beckett was awarded the 1969 Nobel Prize in literature for contributing a "body of work that, in new forms of fiction and the theatre, has transmuted the destitution of modern man into his exultation."
Beckett was born and raised in Ireland. He traveled to Paris in the late 1920s and became associated with James Joyce, whom he regarded as a consummate artist. Beckett's first volume of fiction, More Pricks than Kicks (1934), won modest critical attention. This book, which can be considered a novel or a collection of interrelated short stories, reflects Joyce's influence in its embellished prose and is considered atypical of Beckett's work. The novel Murphy (1938) initiated Beckett's use of a spare prose style and presents a greater emphasis on the Cartesian mind-body dualism, which had been touched upon in his earlier work.
During World War II Beckett collaborated with the French Resistance and had to flee Paris in order to avoid capture by the Nazis. In the years immediately following the war, Beckett returned to Paris and created what many consider his finest prose achievements. The novels Molloy (1951), Malone muerte (1951; Malone Dies), and L'innomable (1953; The Unnamable) introduced into Beckett's writing two important developments: he began writing in French rather than English, finding that he could write with greater austerity, and the novels are narrated as first-person monologues. Although these novels generated little interest upon publication, they have become widely recognized as among his most significant works. These novels, which can be considered a trilogy, are narrated by a succession of characters who might all be variations of a single individual. Several of these narrators have names that begin with the letter M, and it has been suggested that M is a cipher for man. The narrators suffer rapid physical decay while their minds reassure them of their existence. In The Unnamable, the physical decay culminates in a being composed only of a mind and a mouth. This being, like many of Beckett's characters, creates stories and contrives long, rambling monologues as a means of counteracting the pervasiveness of silence and nothingness.
Dissatisfied with the progress he was making on his prose works, Beckett experimented with drama. He wrote Waiting for Godot in the late 1940s, but the text of the play was not published until 1952. First performed in Paris, Godot became an immediate success. The play concerns two down-and-out characters, Vladimir and Estragon, who await the arrival of a Mr. Godot with whom they apparently have an appointment. While waiting for Godot, these characters pass the time by engaging in pointless activities and by musing upon existence. Their attempts to stay amused are played out against a bare stage setting. The actions, gestures, and words of the characters are usually taken to represent the human condition. Godot has been interpreted in many ways, from a parable of Christian salvation to a depiction of the meaninglessness of life, but such interpretations are often considered to limit the full implications of the play. In its deemphasis of plot, scenery, dramatic action, and character psychology, Godot defies conventional forms of drama. Such innovations by Beckett, Jean Genet, Eugène Ionesco, and others, who have been categorized as dramatists of the Theater of the Absurd, have had a major influence on contemporary drama.
Beckett's next play, Fin de partie (1957; Endgame), like Godot focuses on a pair of characters faced with nothingness as they attempt to find meaning for their existence. Critics have noted that the characters of this play resemble chess pieces playing an "endgame" in which the outcome has already been determined. The black humor and pathetic circumstance of these players is grimmer and more intense than the plight of Vladimir and Estragon. In Endgame and subsequent plays, Beckett further develops his innovative theatrical techniques and metaphysical concerns. Krapp's Last Tape (1958) depicts a single character who, with the aid of a tape recorder, relives the past that has led to his present, alienated state. Winnie, the protagonist of Happy Days (1961), continues to perform her daily rituals while sinking into the earth. Beckett's later drama becomes even more minimalistic, often displaying striking technical virtuosity by forcing the audience to concentrate on a single fully developed image, such as the raving, disembodied mouth in Not I (1972). Many critics consider Rockaby (1980) one of the most striking achievements of his minimalization of drama. Rockaby is built on the image of an old woman in a rocking chair listening to a recording of what seems to be her life story. Most critics praise the mixture of poetic language and dramatic image as powerful and lyrical. Although some critics judge these minimal dramas as a whole to be a waste of Beckett's talent, many others find his work to be continually fresh and innovative and praise him for achieving forceful dramatic statements with increasingly less material.
Beckett's prose work since the trilogy mirrors the increasing fragmentation and the inclination toward brevity apparent in his later drama. Comment c'est (1961; How It Is) was his first "full-length" piece to appear since The Unnamable. In his prose, Beckett has been steadily omitting the use of various grammatical elements; in How It Is he abandons almost all forms of punctuation. In later works, which consist almost entirely of collections of fragments and short stories, Beckett projects intense, often painful images through rhythmic language that stresses and repeats individual words or phrases. Beckett's most recent prose echoes themes and techniques that have been evolving in his work, with special emphasis on the narrative aspect of storytelling. Compagnie (1979; Company), generally regarded as the most successful of these later pieces, concerns a voice telling a life's story to a being lying alone in the dark. The theme of devising tales for the sake of companionship, or company, which Beckett has been developing throughout his career, becomes the main focus of Company.
Although Beckett's works are darkly comic, his characters often grotesque, and his themes usually absurdist, he is not generally considered a nihilist. Beckett is instead widely recognized as having a keen sense of the modern human condition, especially the impotence and ignorance of humankind. According to Robert Martin Adams, Beckett "has kept open the possibilities of humanity by cutting the throat of literature and forcing his readers to confront naked conditions of mere existence—without sham exhilaration or despair, but coldly, very coldly."
(See also CLC, Vols. 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 10, 11, 14, 18; Contemporary Authors, Vols. 5-8, rev. ed.; and Dictionary of Literary Biography, Vols. 13, 15.)
There is no literary parallel for [Molloy, Malone Dies, and The Unnamable,] the three books in which Samuel Beckett, releasing a certain violence of temperament evident in his earliest works and suppressed in Murphy and Watt, turned his face away from every accessible satisfaction, even from the familiar contours of his own language, and jettisoning the very matrices of fiction—narrator, setting, characters, theme, plot—devoted his scrutiny … to the very heart of novel writing: a man in a room writing things out of his head while every breath he draws brings death nearer.
From that everything flows, including the bedridden Malone's frequent proposal to enumerate his possessions, like a senescent Crusoe. Reminiscence, fantasy, description, reflection, all the paraphernalia of fiction pass through these books with the disarming obviousness of the unexpected. The narrator constantly shifts his focus of attention in order to keep himself interested. That is what the professional fictionist does too, though he would claim if pressed that he did it in order to keep the reader interested. Yet from no one is a reader more remote than from a novelist; the sheer labor of covering pages fills up his working days. (p. 62)
The trilogy is, among other things, a compendious abstract of all the novels that have ever been written, reduced to their most general terms.
And not only...
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Tom F. Driver
The roots of modern tragicomedy lie in Chekhov, who was the first important modern playwright to make art out of the representation of the qualities of life rather than its actions…. His innovation made possible, though he did not know this, a purely theatrical theater, of which the modern epitome has been reached in the plays of Samuel Beckett. (p. 386)
All of Beckett's plays are "games" for actors. In these games the audience also has a role to play, one that allows a certain freedom for improvisation of response, just as the technique required of the actors also includes a good bit of improvisatory invention. Long before he called one of his pieces Play, Beckett was writing playful pieces (nevertheless in great seriousness) in which the characters were clearly aware that they were participants in games. They engaged themselves in talk and went through numerous gestural routines in order to pass the time and give some structure, however fragile, to an otherwise empty existence. When Beckett implies that life is a game, he does not mean only that it is arbitrary and made up of (perhaps) enjoyable routines; he means also, and more importantly, that it is just something to do. As theater is for the passage of an evening, so life is for the passage of—life. We are all clowns (or servants, or entrepreneurs, or spouses—what is the difference?) wondering if our "bit" is sufficiently long and diverting to fill up the time...
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[In] contrast to the progression of Joyce's oeuvre, where each new work appeared more exhaustive and revolutionary than its predecessors, Beckett came to offer a modern regression. His career, as it developed, actually seemed to reverse the traditional picture of artistic development. Each new work of Beckett's shrank in length; minimal plot, social setting and characterization became yet more minimal. The logical point of termination began to look like silence, the pure blank page. This was the meaning of Beckett for many in the 1960s. But from the viewpoint of 1970s the perspective is quite different. The myth of regression has collapsed. In retrospect we can see how the apparent dead-ends of Beckett's career are simply staging posts for new ventures. We now get an image of the writer as a free man making artistic decisions, rather than as a metaphysician trapped in the coils of an immutable aesthetic logic. And, as the perspectives change, the question that now arises is whether or not Beckett has managed to match the accepted triumphs of his trilogy, Molloy, Malone Dies and The Unnamable…. (pp. 94-5)
Waiting for Godot is the work which we automatically associate with Beckett's name. It remains his most popular and successful play, and, together with the prose trilogy, it forms the central achievement of his career. It seems significant that it took a play to draw public attention to Beckett as a...
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As you would expect, the situation [in Company] is as you would expect. A narrator narrates about someone almost terminally deprived, who may or may not be the narrator himself and of whom what can be said is debatable but in any case exiguous. The fiction exists on the brink of non-existence, and through proposition and counter-proposition constantly threatens to cancel itself out. Yet this minimalism and self-contradiction make it both a touching metaphor for human life and a vehicle through which the largest and strongest emotions about birth, childhood, love, old age and impending death unequivocally make themselves felt.
Why, since we know from the first sentence that what Company is about is more or less what Malone Dies or The Unnamable or Not I are about, should we read on? A lot of people won't, of course: few writers' non-readers are so resolute as Beckett's, or so vocal. But for others the pull comes immediately in the opening, which is both a shrug and an imperative: "A voice comes to one in the dark. Imagine." And there is the anticipation that here as elsewhere in Beckett's dry acres the rare shoots will be extraordinarily vivid: and so it turns out, for example, in the single passage of romantic sexual reminiscence, with its sustained vowel-music….
Memory is a mixed blessing in Beckett's work and there is plenty the narrator/narrated-about would be glad to forget:...
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J. D. O'Hara
"Company" reports on a life from the inside; it is striking evidence of the primacy of mind over matter in the heavily documented world of modern literature.
Early in his career Beckett announced that a writer's task is excavatory, his goal "the ideal core of the onion" (without tears). Many of his fictional characters, turning their attention inward, hear voices in their heads. One character even tells us: "I began to think, that is to say to listen harder." "Company" continues this excavation. We listen as a speechless man is told the story of his life by a voice. Though speechless, the man is able to imagine his situation, alone in the dark and hearing a voice that tells him stories and insists that they are about him. This act of imagining soon becomes a third being who is creating the voice and the listener to keep himself company, and who tries to create himself too; and it is this voice that we hear.
Well, okay, "Company" is not something to read casually, while commuting. Humans lie easily. We can effortlessly read trash and imagine ourselves a swashbuckling soldier of fortune or a sultry Southern belle. But to see ourselves without rose-colored glasses is more difficult. Still, imagine yourself old and reviewing your life. You are at the mercy of your memory, which repetitiously dins in your ear stories of those scenes that made your life what it was, like it or not. And if in addition you perceive yourself...
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The setting of almost all of Samuel Beckett's work is that of Krapp's Last Tape, written in 1958: "A late evening in the future." The future is not a place, and not much of a time; it is a guess, a possibility, a threat. We may say it is in the head, and that is where Beckett's characters often think they are: in an "imaginary head," an "abandoned head"; "we are needless to say in a skull"; "perhaps we're in a head, it's as dark as in a head before the worms get at it, ivory dungeon." But the head in this meaning is not a place either. It is a metaphor, a spatialization of the unseeable mind, and it is important not to be taken in by the familiarity of the figure….
Another name, another metaphor for this nonplace is limbo, the home of "those nor for God nor, for his enemies," as Beckett puts it, quoting Dante. But Beckett's fictional universe is a limbo not because of the neutrality of its inhabitants (although this may well be part of Beckett's strict judgment on himself), but because it is imagined and knows itself to be imagined. It is a domain just off the edge of life, late in the future, an ending order peopled by decaying or immobile creatures who lose the use of their limbs the way others lose their car keys….
And yet, in spite of appearances, a good deal of mimesis remains in Beckett. However broken or derelict, schematic, unlikely or cruel, a world is being imagined or remembered or...
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A special continuity runs through Beckett's works. On almost any page of his numerous novels, stories, plays, and even poems, the words conspire to create a sense of déjà vu: "I've seen this before," every reader responds. Within each work itself, certain lines return to haunt the narration, inspiring an overwhelming sense of remembrance.
The same words that inhabit his earlier writings return in Beckett's newest novel, Company, but something other than the familiar textual pattern that we recognize is woven into the novel: memories that have a suddenness and a clarity almost unknown in his previous books stand away from the page—the memories seem to stand against the page. Beckett provides a few moments of memory, often involving a young child in a country similar to Beckett's native Ireland. During these scenes of childhood. Beckett's prose no longer inspects itself; the words fall back into a position of subordination and become a medium for perception. In one of his earliest essays. Beckett insisted that Joyce's Finnegans Wake was not about something, because it was something. In Company Beckett may be indicating that this work is different, and the difference involves sensations removed from the work's verbal texture: one must feel what the words are about.
The scene is familiar: someone (the word "man" has been lost) is lying on his back in the dark…. The being in...
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Samuel Beckett was born around Easter time, April 13, 1906. His newest book, Ill Seen Ill Said is a sort of birthday present for himself, one might say, mentally grinning with the silent laughter that he has characterized as being most his own kind of laughter, a present for his 75th birthday. And what a fine present it is! Sixty-one short paragraphs of limpid, lucid, uncannily dense, yet light and powerful sentences; sentences neither prose nor poetry, or it would be much better to say, neither prose-poetry nor poetic prose. Essential Beckett, the Beckett of another mysterious little book like this, entitled The Lost Ones, written in the early 1970s….
The Lost Ones was a harrowing narrative of what might be called Beckett's version of Purgatory, a narrative of awful images of harrowing compulsions, so that one thought. If this is Purgatory, what must Hell be like? Or, one thought that Beckett might be saying that our existence on earth is itself Hell. But now, with this latest work, which is really a most poignant, most mysterious utterance, a writing of such beauty and at the same time so characteristic of so many of the nuances of savagely honest, and deceptively ingenuous questionings we have come to know in his writings. I think we can see something we may not have seen in Beckett before. I mean a kind of ruthless pity. It is a pity born of intense personal suffering, Beckett's suffering; but it is not only...
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Parrish Dice Henry
Company's fifty-seven pages make it rather an extended utterance from the master of compression whose appearances of the recent past have carried titles like Lessness, Ends and Odds, and Fizzles. What's more, it is a strikingly intimate book, arriving as something almost in the nature of a backstage pass, an invitation to the studio, and thus offering unique pleasures for admirers of Beckett's work. But this is a tale for careful telling, of necessity oblique. (p. 429)
[Beckett] has come to his readers as an unclamorous Ahab, a bowed affirmer, master of those who don't know, chronicler of the "little murmur of unconsenting man" (this from The Unnamable). Reading his stories, watching his plays, one learns to be attentive to small gestures, to the tiny victories which appear as patches in a fabric of loss: Vladimir gives his coat to the sleeping Estragon in Godot, and then walks about swinging his arms to keep warm. Nagg, in Endgame, saves part of his biscuit for Nell, and Holloway, in Embers, comes alone at night through the snow at Bolton's call. Such gestures may seem trivial, a matter for no great rejoicing, but they are completed in a world where gestures of any kind are accomplished only at great cost. And they are appreciated, too, by their beneficiaries, who do not ask lightly. When one asks something of another, Beckett tells us, one is, "Begging. Of the poor" (this from...
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With every new thing that Samuel Beckett has written there has been the temptation to say "Here at last is the real Beckett: this is where it was all leading." That has allowed one again and again the retrospect needed in order to set out the true configuration of his work, to get his measure—in short, to have done with him. Until, unforgivably (can the man not take a hint?), more words of his arrive and we have to go through the process again. And now there is the awkward, obtrusive presence of Mal vu mal dit, which he has translated as Ill Seen Ill Said. Is there to be no end to it?
The design of Ill Seen Ill Said faces us once again with a mixture of the familiar and the strange. Ostensibly, an unnamed narrator strains to catch the detail of movement and appearance of an old woman in the ritual conduct of her last, solitary days…. Sitting, kneeling or lying still in her darkened hut or moving erratically across stony pastureland to visit a tomb, her presence, now vestigial, now fiercely scrutinized, is at all points overwhelming, even when the hollow omnipotence of narration is turned against her: "No shock were she already dead. As of course she is. But in the meantime more convenient not." Black dress, white hair, black dark, white stones, observer, observed: this grimly expectable duality is cut across by "the twelve"—surrounding the hut—and by the discovery, given now as remembered, now as...
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[Rockaby] continues Beckett's recent preoccupation with a small-scale play written specifically for a prerecorded voice in conflict with live stage action. A strange mixture of the carefully controlled and the spontaneous, the drama, whose sole protagonist is a woman dressed in black and whose only scenery is a rocking chair, restricts its subject matter and directs our attention instead to the formal elements of the play as performance. Light, sound, movement, and action therefore must be understood within the context established by this deliberately circumscribed stage space, an acting area in which a single image is expressed, explored, and advanced. Clear, articulate, definite, and precise, the visual impact becomes progressively haunting in its lonely simplicity. Simultaneously remote yet urgent in its personal appeal, a human shape is transfixed by the strong and pitiless light of a cold lunar glare. Much is made out of almost nothing.
What Rockaby gives up in breadth it makes up in fineness. The closely valued harmonics in the interplay of all that is visual and verbal, the use of light, the rocking of a chair that is controlled mechanically, the function of movement to emotionalize meaning, and the incorporation of electronics in the form of a magnetic recording tape are developed tactfully and richly. Beckett has employed elements of this strategy before, most notably in the two plays immediately preceding...
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Bryan Appley Ard
Samuel Beckett is the greatest living master of the English language. When it comes down to the elemental craft involved in placing one word next to another he has no equal, indeed he has no close rival. Few would seriously attempt to deny this. But many would go on to add that the purposes to which he puts his artistry somehow constitute a sad waste, as if in selecting his austere subject matter he has deprived us of some beautifully written tales of family life or of a series of panoramic novels about society, history or culture.
In one sense such a reservation is understandable. Ever since his first poems Beckett has had no truck with the narrowing banalities of conventional artistic expression. His mature plays and novels are fiercely concentrated products of his determination to deny himself the luxuries and distracting categories of aesthetic experience. This is not to be confused with the heavings and strainings of the avant-garde nor with the earnest efforts of the fringe, for it is, in reality, the last, magnificent flowering of the modernist impulse.
That impulse took many forms but the most relevant to Beckett was the prose of James Joyce. With the aid of a vast range of arcane knowledge and a phenomenal linguistic ability, Joyce pursued language into the wild associative maelstrom of Finnegans Wake. "You complain that this stuff is not written in English", wrote Beckett addressing the critics of his...
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From first to last, Samuel Beckett celebrates life while waiting fearfully for the arrival of death cloaked in the "old terror of night." His three new short plays … are epilogues to a "Catastrophe," to borrow the title of the evening's centerpiece. Each of the plays is an end game. Together, including two intermissions, they last only 70 minutes. In that brief time, they tantalize the mind as well as the eye.
In Beckett's lifetime of art, his themes have remained constant and timeless—man facing the unknowable and the unnameable with the courage of his pessimism. Though questions of power and domination are important in "Waiting for Godot" and "Endgame," Beckett would not be regarded as primarily a political playwright. What is new, in two of the three pieces, is the overt expression of his political consciousness.
"Catastrophe," the most striking of the three plays on the current bill, was written specifically for Vaclav Havel and was first presented in France as part of a festival of works honoring the dissident Czechoslovak playwright. Even without knowing the provenance of the play, there is no mistaking the message. It offers testimony in resolute opposition to tyranny.
A director, dressed like a commissar, is preparing for a staged public event, the unveiling and exhibition of a martyr, the play's "protagonist," as an enfeebled sacrifice to the state…. [The] protagonist is as...
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Samuel Beckett is unquestionably the greatest playwright of the second half of our century. But he was always a minimalist, exulting in making do with less even as he strikingly evoked the daily depredations of existence on our decreasing potencies. He allowed his characters to do less and less, as his dramatic means became more and more stripped down. No further paring down is possible, yet Beckett continues to whittle away. In the corner into which he has deliberately painted himself, he can only bang his head against the wall; but the stunning éclat of this metaphysical head-banging has dwindled, with repetition, to a dullish thud….
[Ohio Impromptu, Catastrophe, and What Where offer an] orgy of self-denial, a feast of physical and spiritual askesis in which outer and inner agencies combine to render human beings ever more crippled and downtrodden as they are being translated into non-being…. Late Beckett plays differ from earlier ones by the total absence of joy. Before, even if the joy was grim, masochistic, mere gallows humor, it was there. The characters recollected footling pleasures from their past, savored their miseries with a stoic transcendence, harbored minuscule hopes with lavish stubbornness, and, if all else failed (as it usually did), looked forward to annihilation with gleeful consent.
None of that in these playlets, where the author's inventiveness seems to ossify before...
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Beckett is the great master of less is more, of the fertile silence and the echoing nuance; no other living dramatist is so free of cant, sentimentality and verbal fuss.
If he now sometimes gives the impression of parodying himself or, less harshly, of working and reworking familiar materials, it doesn't much diminish my pleasure in his work. (p. 123)
Ohio Impromptu, which was written for and first performed at Beckett's seventy-fifth birthday celebration at Ohio State University a couple of years ago, is a two-character piece in which a reader, R …, reads to a listener, L …, a tale of love fading and finally dead. The first line is "Little left to tell"; the last is "Nothing left to tell." Between those so characteristic utterances lies the story and something more: the fact and nature of storytelling itself, of literature, something composed, sent out, received.
Visually, Ohio Impromptu is striking, if a little portentous…. The two men sit at right angles to each other at the end of a long table, in the center of which is a black wide-brimmed hat. Both have long white hair and are dressed in long black coats; they shield their eyes from the light and remain almost immobile throughout, except for an occasional rap on the table by L, which serves to start the reading again after a pause. The men are mirror images of each other, the point being that so are writing and reading: the...
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With the publication of Worstward Ho, Samuel Beckett seems once again to have escorted us to one of the limits of what can be done with fictional narrative. Readers who have been following the development of his late work are in for a surprise similar to the one which greeted the first readers of How It Is 20 years ago.
The content of this new work is a further reduction of the basic situation Beckett has been exploring with increasing compression and economy since his early trilogy of novels, Molloy, Malone Dies and The Unnamable, first written in French during the 1940s. A mind, trapped in a deteriorating or immobilized body, sustains its existence by various forms of mental activity: perceiving, reminiscing, mathematical reckoning, inventing stories….
How It Is, which appeared in French in 1961, inaugurated a new sequence of narratives which now seems to culminate in Worstward Ho. Like Molloy, How It Is chronicled a journey. Its narrator speculates, remembers and inventories his sackful of possessions as he crawls through the slime toward a disastrous encounter with a fellow creature called Pim. What most surprised about How It Is, however, was its style. Beckett's language seemed to have recrystallized under the enormous pressure of what he was trying to express. After all, Hugh Kenner has shown that Molloy, Malone Dies and The Unnamable are...
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Who reads Beckett? As opposed, that is, to watching his stuff on stage or on television. One doubts if they are all that many…. But publishers appear to believe in the persistence of readerly interest, and in its variety; so that Beckett is made available, and to an extent surely unique among living authors, for communion—oecumenically, as it were—in a most interesting variety of kinds….
[Worstward Ho] is for the steady customers, whoever they are, the people waiting, one imagines not unkeenly, to pick up where the last published text of the master, Ill Seen, Ill Said, left them. For its part, [Disjecta: Miscellaneous Writings and a Dramatic Fragment, edited by Ruby Cohn,] will doubtless interest some of these, though probably not all of them. It consists of old and arcane things, dusted off essays and reviews, pieces on other writers and on painters, a tiny clutch of letters, fragments of Beckett's first novel, a bit of an unfinished play. Some of these are already in print—though often in the remoter corners of the available Beckettiana; some have never been published before. They come mainly in three out of Beckett's five or so languages, with some of the German translated into English, but none of the French. Beckett "belittles" these materials, but since they're for "scholars", who're supposed to be eager for anything and everything Beckett might disject their way, the author in his undoubted...
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