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The Playwrights Forum > Critic's Corner > Reviews and Critiques > MORE ABOUT SAMUEL BECKETT

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 Posted: Wed Jul 3rd, 2013 10:46 am
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RonPrice
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Back in 1937 the Irish novelist and playwright Samuel Beckett(1906-1989) wrote a letter to the publisher Axel Kaun. This letter was, wrote another Irish novelist John Banville(1946- ), “one of the most significant and revealing Beckett ever wrote.”(1)-Ron Price with thanks to (1)John Banville, “Beckett: Storming for Beauty,” The New York Review of Books, 22 March 2012.

Was your goal in ’37 in Ireland some
abstract literature, dissolving word’s
surfaces, dealing as you tried to do
with your depression, psycho-somatic
problems, your book and your mother.(2)

Words are not like music, nor are they
like painting. They rub-up against actual
things and, if they lose their meaning, all
one has is noise. One must struggle with
the faintest pinpricks of light, & darkness
when one communes with oneself, & the
world as one looks for meaning—you did.

You were hospitable, but you had not any
sustaining metaphysics. You were serious,
evoked a complex psychological reality, a
sense of futility and despair as well as an
endless waiting and we too, Samuel, wait.(3)

1 See, The NYRB above and The Letters of Samuel Beckett, Volume I: 1929–1940 (Cambridge University Press, 2009), pp. 512–520. The freedom and directness, unique in the letters published so far, that Beckett allowed himself in addressing Kaun, may in part be accounted for by the fact that the letter is written in German, a language that Beckett knew well, but in which he was not entirely fluent….Beckett was one of the greatest letter writers.

2 Samuel Beckett, Wikipedia.

3 Tim Parks, “Beckett: Still Stirring,” The New York Review of Books, 13 July 2006.; and “Samuel Beckett, infoplease.

Ron Price
8/3/'12 to 3/7/'13.

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