Saturday, October 28, 2006

Samuel Beckett

Letter by letter: Lois More Overbeck finds collecting Samuel Beckett’s correspondence endlessly engaging, by Elizabeth Station, University of Chicago Magazine, July-August 2009

The Tony [Award] show was so long that at the end Godot finally arrived. --David Letterman, June 8, 2009

Beckett's novel Murphy, completed in 1936, the first work in which this chronically self-doubting author seems to have taken genuine if transient creative pride (before long, however, he would be dismissing it as "a very dull work, painstaking, creditable & dull"), draws on his experience of the London therapeutic milieu and on his reading in the psychoanalytic literature of the day. Its hero is a young Irishman who, exploring spiritual techniques of withdrawal from the world, achieves his goal when he inadvertently kills himself. --J. M. Coetzee, The Making of Samuel Beckett, The New York Review of Books, April 30, 2009, review of The Letters of Samuel Beckett, Volume 1: 1929–1940, edited by Martha Dow Fehsenfeld and Lois More Overbeck

One naturally seizes on such statements — and on all evidence of stasis, itinerancy, nausea, angoisse, etc. — because they are so utterly Beckettian. But our understanding of this adjective is radically enlarged by the evidence, in this correspondence, of other qualities. --Joseph O'Neill, I’ll Go On, The New York Times, April 2, 2009, review of The Letters of Samuel Beckett: Volume I: 1929-1940, edited by Martha Dow Fehsenfeld and Lois More Overbeck

Despite the comic patter consistent throughout the play, this expression of despair for the irremediable suffering of mankind clings to the characters like the fog one imagines inhabits the world outside their decaying cocoon. --Aisha Motlani, Incurable Despair, by Aisha Motlani, Shepherd Express, March 26, 2008, review of Endgame, by Samuel Beckett, performed by the Milwaukee Repertory Company

This ability to tear into what he dislikes but not let it blind him to what is admirable in a work or artist would remain typical of Beckett. --Gabriel Josipovici, Letters from Beckett, The Times Literary Supplement, March 11, 2009, review of The Letters of Samuel Beckett, Volume One: 1929–1940, edited by Martha Dow Fehsenfeld and Lois More Overbeck (via Arts & Letters Daily)

My Darlings, Colm Toibin on Beckett’s Irish Actors, London Review of Books, April 5, 2007

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