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…Read More
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…Read More
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.…Read More
“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).Read More
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.Read More
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.”Read More
The Samuel Beckett Society and Bordeaux Montaigne University are pleased to announce that we will offer 4 ‘Ruby Cohn Travel Bursaries’ of the value of £300 each to Early Career Researchers wishing to attend the annual conference in Bordeaux in May 2020.Read More
If you join the Samuel Beckett Society with a one-year subscription any time between now and April 2020, you will receive up to three months of free access to the Society’s exclusive content. This offer ends in April 2020.Read More
A new online database allows users to track down the location of every known letter, postcard, and correspondence by Samuel Beckett listed in a public archiveRead More
The titles of Samuel Beckett’s two early novels show a taste for salaciousness and provocation that did not disappear in later years, and led to his being expelled from the family home and censored in Ireland. If obscenity became more subdued afterwards, and if sexuality tended to disappear from an increasingly abstract universe, sex, of an often crude kind, is a recurring feature of the Beckettian text. As for sexuality, in its normative version, it is systematically thwarted by the powerlessness and horror of procreation displayed by Beckett’s male characters, whose sexual behaviour “deviates” from the heterosexual paradigm (anality, onanism).
Sex questions the relationship to the other, as a sexual partner and in its gendered dimension. But this relationship is not a straightforward one in Beckett. Before the trilogy, female characters are essentially derealized (either through idealization or belittling, see Mercier, Bryden, Ben-Zvi, McMullan), while male characters are devirilized (Bjørnerud). Moreover, the question of connection and autonomy, central to the fiction and even more to the theatre, is experienced in sexual encounters with particular acuteness. The promise of a union, or even of fusion with the other, stumbles against an impossibility that feeds the melancholy of many characters. Considering that the sexual act is both material and spiritual, it can be traumatic but is also a source of humour and comedy.Read More