Getting ‘hands-on’ with Samuel Beckett at Trinity College Dublin

Trinity is a target destination for Beckett scholars because of the size and variety of original Beckett manuscripts held here. However, because of the physical fragility of the manuscripts (Beckett always used the very worst quality paper), few people get to handle the originals. This creates an obvious problem when it is considered that there is an almost indefinable, special ‘something’ to be experienced from being in the presence of an original artefact – think of Jane Austen’s spectacles or the Ardagh Chalice. Are our students being denied an experience which could be of signal benefit to them? All special-collections repositories share this tension between access and preservation but the issue has been thrown into high relief in the context of Trinity’s development of the Trinity Education Project, which seeks to encourage more original research among undergraduates.

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Eimear McBride on Beckett’s Development as a Writer

“Of all I’ve read in my life, and all that’s yet to come, what’s going to count? How much of it has changed me? How much has even marked me? How much has done both but I don’t know it yet? Readers get to make these discoveries in the privacy of their own heads. Writers must make them in public and then wear them in their back catalogues for as long as they have a readership who cares.”

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German Fever: Take a Look at the “Beckett in Germany” Exhibition

The Deutsches Literatur Archiv website has posted a series of images from the ongoing ‘German Fever’ exhibition, which explores Samuel Beckett’s enduring connections to German art, culture, and community. Among the images one will find photograph, manuscripts, and correspondence, and will be of great interest to anyone interested in Beckett’s work. There is also an accompanying booklet by the exhibition organisers, Dirk Van Hulle and Mark Nixon. 

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The Making of Samuel Beckett’s ‘Malone Dies’/’Malone meurt’

Originally published in French as Malone meurt in 1951 and later translated into English by the author himself, Malone Dies is the second novel of Samuel Beckett’s Trilogy.

The Making of Samuel Beckett’s ‘Malone Dies’/’Malone meurt’ is a comprehensive reference guide to the history of the text. The book includes: a complete descriptive catalogue of available relevant manuscripts, including French and English texts, alternative drafts and notebook pages; a critical reconstruction of the history of the history of the text, from its genesis through the process of composition to its full publication history; a detailed guide to exploring the manuscripts online at the Beckett Digital Manuscripts Project at http://www.beckettarchive.org.

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New Beckett Research Centre in Reading to Inspire New Works

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.”

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Samuel Beckett’s Annotated Copy of Waiting for Godot

The British Library: “This edition of Waiting for Godot is annotated by Beckett for the San Quentin Drama Workshop’s 1984 production, which Beckett supervised for ten days. The production was rehearsed at London’s Riverside Studios before opening at the Adelaide Arts Festival in Australia and later touring Europe. Directed by Walter Asmus, it starred Cluchey as Pozzo, Lawrence Held as Estragon, Bud Thorpe as Vladimir, J Pat Miller as Lucky and Louis Beckett Cluchey as A Boy.”

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New Exhibition: Beckett in Germany

‘When it’s coming up to Xmas I get the German fever’, Samuel Beckett wrote to his friend Thomas MacGreevy in 1932. This exhibition examines Beckett’s life-long engagement with German art, literature and language. It sheds light on Beckett’s extensive reading of classical writers such as Goethe, Schiller and Hölderlin, his engagement with German visual artists from Albrecht Dürer to the Expressionists, as well as his observations on the reality within National Socialist Germany. The exhibition also tells the story of his famous productions at the Schiller Theatre in Berlin from the 1960s to the 1980s – in particular of Waiting for Godot (1975) – and his works for television at the Süddeutscher Rundfunk in Stuttgart. Furthermore, the exhibition documents Beckett’s close relationship with his publisher Siegfried Unseld, his German translator Elmar Tophoven and the important role played by the Suhrkamp Verlag in introducing the writer’s work to German readers.

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Samuel Beckett and the End of Literature

How it would be possible for future writers to formulate the future of literature and literary ‘expression’ after Beckett’s literary revolution? If Beckett introduces a kind of writing that attempts to suspend all talking, all imagination in literary language which opens up literary inventiveness, and at the same time offering an ‘obligation to write’, how we can even think about the possibility of modern literature in the post-Beckett era?

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