Samuel Beckett Featured on BBC Radio 4’s Great Lives

BBC Radio 4: “Business guru Sir Gerry Robinson was born in Ireland but moved to England in his teens, and he chooses Samuel Beckett, another Irishman who lived away for much of his life – in Paris. Gerry, a late convert to Beckett’s plays, loves him because he’s accepting of the human condition: that we’re all locked in this repetitive pattern. We don’t want to keep on doing the same thing over and over again, but we do. Presenter Matthew Parris is also joined by Jim Knowlson, who was a personal friend of Samuel Beckett for 19 years, and is his authorised biographer. He reveals that Beckett was far from the dour gloomy figure of popular imagination, and was in fact very good company – as long as you didn’t interrupt him when he was watching the rugby on the telly on a Saturday afternoon. Producer Beth O’Dea.”

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Why Bother Waiting for Godot?

Marion Rankine (TLS): “In Literary Cynics: Borges, Beckett, Coetzee, Arthur Rose draws on the long history of such challenges to authority. There is, he argues, a literary kind of cynicism that is both theoretically rich and necessarily alienating; it is also inherently paradoxical.”

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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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RESOLUTIONS COLON ZERO STOP PERIOD HOPES COLON ZERO STOP BECKETT

— Samuel Beckett’s 1984 telegram to The Times

Samuel Beckett Died On This Day in 1989

An excerpt from Mel Gussow’s obituary, published in The New York Times, 27 December 1989:

“Samuel Beckett, a towering figure in drama and fiction who altered the course of contemporary theater, died in Paris on Friday at the age of 83. He died of respiratory problems in a Paris hospital, where he had been moved from a nursing home. He was buried yesterday at the Montparnasse cemetery after a private funeral.

Explaining the secrecy surrounding his illness, hospitalization and death, Irene Lindon, representing the author’s Paris publisher, Editions de Minuit, said it was ‘what he would have wanted.'”

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Michael Coffey on his book, Samuel Beckett Is Closed

“[A]ny attempt to get a handle on Beckett takes you to into interesting territory—to classical music, Irish history, Continental philosophy, World War II, abstract painting, the French language. For a quiet man his interests were voracious. Beckett scholarship has ranged far beyond those seminal early essays by Maurice Blanchot and Theodor Adorno and the studies by Ruby Cohn and Lawrence Harvey. Now, with James Knowlson’s authorized biography, the recently released four volumes of letters, and the digital manuscript project going on in Antwerp, the study of his works is vibrant all around the world.”

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Joyce to Beckett: Ireland & Modernism

A symposium at Magdalene College, Cambridge, in association with the Cambridge Group for Irish Studies. The distinguished line-up of speakers includes many of the leading figures in Irish studies across several generations, as well as creative writers and actors. While the main focus will be on the two greatest Irish modernist writers, Joyce and Beckett, contributors will also consider other modern Irish writers and the appropriateness or otherwise of “modernism” as a category in poetry, fiction, drama and the visual arts.

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