“This issue covers performances in the US (among them the Happy Days Renaissance Theaterworks production in downtown Milwaukee and Richard Sullivan Jr.’s Waiting for Godot in Providence, RI), Australia (Mark Byron reviews the Red Line Productions’ staging of Krapp’s Last Tape at the Old Fitz Theatre in Sydney), London, Paris and Dublin. We have rich resources to rethink the Beckett oeuvre in the context of contemporary music, as the Farmleigh Music and Arts festival and the What is the Word… concert organised by Benjamin Dwyer at the Centre Culturel Irlandaise in Paris show. A panel on the Battle of Ideas Festival at the Barbican, the role played by Beckett in shaping the “Fail Better” series of the Poet in the City at Wilton’s Music Hall in London, and an account of number of symposia keep demonstrating Beckett’s continuous cultural importance…”
— Extract from the joint President’s Address from Daniela Caselli (sitting president) and Laura Salisbury (president elect).
Our new issue of The Beckett Circle is extremely rich. Professor Jim Knowlson talks to the well-known British actor David Neilson about the very different fates of two of Beckett’s most famous manuscripts: Murphy and Waiting for Godot. I had the great pleasure of seeing David Neilson act in Endgame here in Manchester, and the Society is delighted to host this dialogue. The ‘Happy Days: Enniskillen International Beckett Festival’ of 2019 takes centre stage in our issue. In its seventh edition under the guidance of Artistic Director Sean Doran, it has offered a rich programme: in this issue, Feargal Whelan’s interviews Clara Simpson’s bilingual production of Pas Moiand Not I, and Emma Keanie reviews her performance – both will speak to those among us interested in translation not only on the page but also on stage. Brenda O’Connell and Sean Walsh review what sounds like a spectacular interpretation of Come and Go, Catastrophe, and Quad by the Mark Morris Dance Group. I’d like to draw your attention also to Sheila Mannix’s review of How It Is (Part 2) by Gare St Lazare Ireland at The Everyman in Cork.
We announce the upcoming Samuel Beckett Society conference, to be held in Spain from 9-11 May 2019; Catherine Fahy contributes an essay/review of György Kurtág’s operatic adaptation of Endgame; James Brophy reviews the recent Beckett and the Nonhuman/Beckett et le Non-Humain conference in Brussels, while Eleanor Green reflects on the most recent Samuel Beckett Society annual conference. José Francisco Fernández reviews Anthony Cordingly’s recent volume, Samuel Beckett’s How It Is: Philosophy in Translation; Amanda Dennis takes a look at Jean-Michel Rabaté’s Think Pig!; and Michael Coffey assesses James McNaughton’s recent monograph, Samuel Beckett and the Politics of Aftermath.
There are tributes to George Craig, who died in March of this year. His colleagues on the editorial team of The Letters of Samuel Beckett reflect on the loss of a dear friend and colleague, while Gabriel Josipovici shares the eulogy that was delivered at Craig’s funeral service.
Finally, this issue shares a rich number of theatre reviews from across the world.
An announcement from the University of Reading: “We are delighted to announce the Mary Bryden Studentship in Beckett Studies at the University of Reading. Supported by an endowment from our colleague Professor Mary Bryden’s Estate, the Ph. D. studentship offers an annual subsistence stipend of £10,000 for 3 years full-time study, or part-time equivalent. The scholarship will also cover full UK/EU tutorial fees, or will make a contribution to overseas fees.”
The fourth annual festival celebrating the life and work of Samuel Beckett will be held in the author’s home parish church of Tullow in Foxrock, County Dublin, with what promises to be a very atmospheric performance of All That Fall.
The Samuel Beckett Society is sad to learn of the death of French literary critic Pascale Casanova, familiar to many Beckett scholars as the author of Samuel Beckett: Anatomy of a Literary Revolution. Our thoughts are with her family during this difficult period.
The Samuel Beckett Society is sad to learn of the death of British publisher John Calder, a strong supporter of Beckett’s writing and a close personal friend. Our thoughts are with his family during this difficult time.
The Society welcomes tributes and recollections of Calder from friends, family, fans, and well-wishers, for publication in the official newsletter, The Beckett Circle. If you would like to share your own tribute, please get in touch using the form. Thank you.
April 13th marks 112 years since the birth of Irish writer, playwright, and Nobel laureate Samuel Beckett. To celebrate, we at the Samuel Beckett Society have assembled a collection of links to celebrate his life, work, and legacy. Enjoy!
University of Reading: “Public events, new creative works, and funded fellowships around the work of Samuel Beckett will all be products of a new research centre dedicated to the Irish novelist, story writer, and playwright.
The Beckett Research Centre brings together academics at the University of Reading to promote world-leading research, teaching and creative projects based around the University’s internationally-recognised Beckett Archive.”
On 12 February, Cal Revely-Calder began his critique of the current state of Beckett studies by allowing readers of the Times Literary Supplement to drop their jaws at the bad behaviour that can go on at academic conferences. The essay made its revelation broadly in the name of ‘care’ – care for the work of an author…
Announcement: “In response to the current pandemic, we have postponed our annual conference (Bordeaux) to 2021. Details of future events will be circulated once we have a clearer idea of how things will develop in the next few months.”
Landmark Productions will broadcast Happy Days from the Olympia Theatre, Dublin on January 30-31, directed by Caitríona McLaughlin with Siobhán McSweeney as Winnie and Marty Rea as Willie. Here is an edited version of Stiene Thillman’s interview with Rea about the role and his engagement with Beckett. The full version and a performance review will…
Clockwise from top: Katherine Wess, Nadia Louar, Jonathan Basile, and Brenda O’Connell As with all events in the recent calendar, the annual MLA convention has had to be reconfigured to accommodate the inability of attendees to travel and present. However, given that all papers will now be delivered remotely, there is a greater opportunity for…
Inside this issue The second issue of the Beckett Circle to be posted in the time of pandemic bears the scars of the community’s endurance of uncertainty and loss. As performance, in its normal sense has disappeared, we hear from practitioners Sarah Jane Scaife and Cathal Quinn about their attempts to overcome the restricted environment.…
A call for papers for the first ever wholly online Beckett conference. Samuel Beckett and the Anthropocene will take place at/from Trinity College Dublin on 4-5 December, 2020. Full details further cfp details are available here and the participation application can be found here. Confirmed Keynotes are Prof. Anna McMullan (University of Reading) and Prof.…
For a limited period, the publisher ASP is offering 3 for the price of 2 on their range of companion volumes to modules in the Beckett Digital Manuscript Project. At present, there are eight titles in this series and have proved to be invaluable for all those engaging with the project. To avail of the…
Corresponding with Samuel Beckett is an edition of critical essays that forms a major intervention in key debates on the use of Nobel prize winning author Samuel Beckett’s correspondence in literary and cultural studies and in the digital humanities.
What does it mean to correspond with Beckett? How does Beckett’s correspondence give us insight into the work? In what ways are critical reading and writing a form of correspondence with an author? The publication of the fourth and final volume of The Letters of Samuel Beckett marks an appropriate moment to take stock of the role of autobiography in research, and the importance of the epistolary in literary studies. Corresponding with Samuel Beckett examines issues around the development of the grey archive, the use of digital resources, translation, visual metadata, and the role of corollary correspondence. Given Beckett’s hesitation to render the personal public, the book examines what is at stake in negotiating issues of privacy, permissions, and copyright. The book generates new thinking on the letter as artefact, and the textual and stylistic aspects of the epistolary. It explores the legacy of a correspondence project and how the research that underpins it can be deployed for further research. Using literary correspondence and related materials raises older literary questions on authorial intention and reading methodologies that continue to inform literary analysis. In the age of twitter, snapchat and whatsapp correspondence is primarily digital: the edition will question the longevity of contemporary digital correspondence, and explore strategies for future engagement with the epistolary in literary research.
In March 2020 Inga Zhghenti’s translation of Waiting for Godot received critical acclaim as the first Georgian translation of Beckett’s play (from the English text). The translation has been uploaded to the Internet Archive of Georgian Theatre, and is available here. Zhghenti is currently an associate professor at East European University and an invited lecturer at Caucasus University.
A one-day colloquium in honour of Rosemary Pountney is to be held in Jesus College, Oxford on March 26 to coincide with the launch of the new series ‘Elements in Beckett Studies’ from Cambridge University Press. The speakers, drawn from the series’ authors, will include Anna McMullan , Jonathon Heron and Nicholas Johnson, Olga Beloborodova,…