Writing for the Cambridge University Press website, Conor Carville discusses the role of the Reading archives in the research of his most recent book, Samuel Beckett and the Visual Arts

“The magnificent collection of Samuel Beckett’s manuscripts, notebooks, letters and other material held here at Reading was fundamental to the research for my new book Samuel Beckett and the Visual Arts, which has just come out from Cambridge University Press.

To take one example, I vividly remember, early on, calling up a tattered old jotter. Opening it I found neat lists of the pictures Beckett had looked at while living hand-to mouth in London in the early 1930s: paintings from the British Museum, the Wallace Collection, Hampton Court and Leeds Castle.  There is no mention of contemporary art of the 1930s. It is the painting of the past in which he is interested: Hieronymus Bosch, Watteau, Dutch and Flemish artists of the 17th century. Some titles are marked with a small X, such as Dürer’s extraordinary drawing Head of the dead Christ.”

Read the full post on the Cambridge University Press website.

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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