Inside This Issue
“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 Moi and 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.
This issue also has a double focus on the issue of translation in Japan. Kumiko Kiuchi reviews Junnosuke Tada’s Waiting for Godot, as adapted in relation to two different eras (pre-and post 2019): the Shōwa-Heisei version covers together the two eras Shōwa (1926-1989) and Heisei (1989-2019), and features Hiroo Ōtaka (Vladimir), Takayasu Komiya (Estragon), Hideki Nagai (Pozzo), Toshiaki Inomata (Lucky). The Reiwa version focuses on the present, in which 2019 is a foundational year, and employs different actors, costumes and sets, with Sennojyou Shigeyama (Vladimir), Gouta Watanabe (Estragon), Toshiaki Inomata (Pozzo), Hideki Nagai (Lucky). Both productions are directed by Tada and took place at the Kanagawa Art Theatre (KAAT) in Yokohama, and both use our esteemed colleague Minako Okamuro’s translation of the text, about which you can read in detail in this same issue. It is wonderful to see how the hard work of translating is further translated for the stage, and I would highly recommend both features to our members.
The book reviews alert us to some key work in Beckett studies: Emilie Morin’s prize-winning book has really changed the conversation about politics in Beckett studies, as William Davis rightly argues; Alys Moody’s book shows us, Hannah Simpson persuasive writes, the potential of reading Beckett in a post-war context in which the crisis of artistic autonomy is a key aesthetic problem. Christopher Langlois’s monograph looks afresh at the complex relationship between Blanchot and Beckett through the lens of terror: to know more about it, I would encourage you to read Douglas Atkinson review.
One last announcement: Luz María Sánchez Cardona has set up a temporary Beckett Bibliographic Archive at Centro Cultural Casa del Tiempo in Mexico City; in the Spring of 2020 this collection will move to the Library at the National Centre for the Arts where it will become permanent – those at the 4th Beckett Society conference may remember both these venues. If you would like to donate books for such a growing collection, please do so by getting in touch with Luz María Sanchez Cardona through our SBS e-mail account.”
— Extract from Daniela Caselli’s President’s Address
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Masthead painting: Andrew Litten.