Times Higher Education offers a weekly look over the shoulders of their scholar-reviewers. This week they caught up with Professor Matthew Feldman:
Times Higher Education
Times Higher Education

Matthew Feldman, professor in the modern history of ideas, Teesside University, is reading The Letters of Samuel Beckett, 1966-1989 (Cambridge University Press, 2016, edited by George Craig, Martha Dow Fehsenfeld, Dan Gunn and Lois More Overbeck): “At 77, Beckett bemoaned ‘inertia & void as never before’.” Given his art, that’s some void! This final instalment, edited with the superlative scholarship shading all four volumes, nonetheless shows a dimming of that wan light for which Beckett was so admired. Over these 23 years, letters grow shorter and more formal – and less artistically insightful – as health problems grow more intractable. Much starts stopping: theatre direction, extra-European holidays, unassisted living. Through it all there is the courageous resistance to ending that made his name, even if he repeatedly laments not going to work for Guinness in Dublin! His global admirers will disagree, and cherish this book.”

Read what others are reading over at TimesHigherEducation.com.

Posted by:Rhys Tranter

Rhys Tranter is a writer based in Cardiff, Wales, UK. He is the author of Beckett's Late Stage (2018), and his work has appeared in the Times Literary Supplement, The Spectator, and a number of books and periodicals. He holds a BA, MA, and a PhD in English Literature. His website RhysTranter.com is a personal journal offering commentary and analysis across literature, film, music, and the arts.

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