Samuel Beckett

Page 1 of 3 1, 2, 3  Next

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Samuel Beckett

Post  eddie on Tue Apr 12, 2011 3:03 pm

First page of the old ATU Beckett thread:

LINK EXPIRED

...but here's a picture of Sam:





Last edited by eddie on Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:24 am; edited 1 time in total

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts: 7840
Join date: 2011-04-11
Age: 58
Location: Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Samuel Beckett

Post  eddie on Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:27 am


Cover of the first English edition of Waiting For Godot.

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts: 7840
Join date: 2011-04-11
Age: 58
Location: Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Samuel Beckett

Post  eddie on Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:31 am


Cover of 1957 Grove Press edition of SB's comic novel Murphy.

Murphy is considerably shorter than War and Peace, but Twood has not managed to finish either work.

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts: 7840
Join date: 2011-04-11
Age: 58
Location: Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Samuel Beckett

Post  eddie on Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:44 am

A daunting task, trying to reconstruct this thread from memory:

"You must go on, I can't go on, I'll go on."

(Last sentence of 'The Unnamable', third book of SB's Trilogy of novels preceded by 'Molloy' and 'Malone Dies').

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts: 7840
Join date: 2011-04-11
Age: 58
Location: Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Samuel Beckett

Post  eddie on Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:53 am

Sod it.

Let's go down the pub instead:




Samuel Beckett's Irish Pub 2800 South Randolph St., Arlington, VA

Ceilings two stories up, huge bookshelves lining the walls, a pair of working fireplaces, a mezzanine bar overlooking the rest of the pub — Samuel Beckett’s blows the dark-and-cozy Irish stereotype out of the water.

Though several hundred people could squeeze in comfortably here, clever design keeps Samuel Beckett’s from feeling too much like a barn. A restaurant with tables of dark wood occupies the front of the space, near the huge glass windows looking onto Campbell Avenue. A glass partition screens the curving main bar from the rest of the room and makes the pub area seem more intimate, especially when you can pull up a barstool and chat about soccer with one of the bartenders, several of whom have authentic accents.

If this area looks full, follow the narrow passage at the right end of the bar to the back, where there’s a tiny eight-seat bar and a lounge area with dinner tables and couches. My favorite place, though, is the mezzanine bar, which over looks the main bar and is reached by a grand staircase. There are only a dozen stools up there, along with a small group of tables, but you can’t beat the view.

The outdoor areas are almost as generously sized, with room for dozens of diners. Skip the sidewalk tables on busy Campbell Avenue and ask for the seats facing the wide pedestrian walkway on the side of the building.

The drafts at Samuel Beckett’s mix your traditional Irish and English taps with American microbrews, including the local Flying Dog. The pub’s menu is one of the better Irish selections in the area; the potato skins are topped with Irish cheddar and crunchy Irish bacon, mussels are cooked in Kilkenny Ale. But I find myself drawn to the lamb burger, perfectly seasoned and topped with rich, creamy Cashel blue cheese.

Overall, service has been friendly — if a little harried on weekends — and crowds range from couples on double-dates to groups of women knitting at the bar. Even the “slow” nights rarely feel empty, thanks to a popular pub quiz (Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m.) and half-price burgers on Monday night.

The name is a nod to the neighboring Signature Theatre, though a more theater-literate friend jokes that the place is a little too ostentatious for a playwright whose later works were known for their minimalism. We laugh. I’ll have another Kilkenny.

-- Fritz Hahn (June 10, 2011)


eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts: 7840
Join date: 2011-04-11
Age: 58
Location: Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Samuel Beckett

Post  eddie on Thu Jun 16, 2011 6:57 am

Ah!<hic> That's better. drunken

Where were we?

Ah, yes:


"What! You are giving up your Queen? Sheer madness!"

SB wanted this photo for the original cover of Murphy which features an unconventional game of chess between our hero and a lunatic named Mr Endon- but the publisher objected, for some reason.

Here's that distinctly odd chess games in full:

http://www.redhotpawn.com/gameanalysis/boardhistory.php?gameid=3007756

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts: 7840
Join date: 2011-04-11
Age: 58
Location: Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Samuel Beckett

Post  eddie on Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:29 am

The general trajectory of Beckett's writing career is characterised by a progressive and self-imposed diminuation of conventional expressive resources.

The characters in early prose works such as the short story collection 'More Pricks than Kicks' or his London Novel 'Murphy' exists in a social milieu of sorts. Belacqua, the central character of 'More Pricks...', has to visit a shop to buy the lobster boiled alive at the end of the story "Dante and the Lobster" and a cook has to cook it:

-It's a quick death. God help us all.

-It is not.

And Murphy even has a girlfriend, an astrologer and a job as a nurse in a mental hospital. SB's early characters are, up to a point, social beings.

But from the Trilogy onwards (Molloy, Malone Dies and The Unnamable), there is a sharp and distinct drawing inwards; social connections atrophy to the point where the speaker of The Unnamable is virtually a fetus in a glass jar on a laboratory shelf, blind to its environment and sensitive to no stimuli but the inner compulsion to talk.

In "Three Dialogues With Georges Duthuit", SB characterises his Art as, "The expression that there is nothing to express; nothing which with to express; nothing from which to express; no power to express; no desire to express; together with the obligation to express..."

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts: 7840
Join date: 2011-04-11
Age: 58
Location: Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Samuel Beckett

Post  eddie on Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:44 am

So it is, too, with the dramatic works.

SB's first and unperformed play, ironically entitled "Eleutheria" (Greek for "Freedom"), is said to be a comparatively conventional 3-Act play with a realistic setting and a narrative of sorts (about a young man who, realising the pointlessness of his existence, "turns his face to the wall").

And his first stage success "En Attendant Godot" has a setting (Tree. County Road. Evening.), residual traces of a plot (a previously arranged appointment is not kept) and characters capable, at least, of movement and speech:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAZPzrC6dZc
Waiting For Godot- end of Act I.

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts: 7840
Join date: 2011-04-11
Age: 58
Location: Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Samuel Beckett

Post  eddie on Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:17 am

Beckett's next stage play 'Endgame'- we're back to chess again- has a setting identifiable only as an interior of some sort with two windows set high in one wall.

One character Hamm is confined to a wheelchair; his servant (?- the precise social relationship is unspecified) Clov is apparently incapable of sitting down; and Hamm's parents Nagg and Nell lead a bleak existence in separate ashcans where they live off pap.

The play has no plot to speak of, except that supplies of every commodity are rapidly running out and that nothing living is to be seen through the two high windows.

Life in a bunker after a nuclear holocaust? That's one reading.

Another is that the two widows are eye sockets; the walls of the "bunker" the inside of a skull; and the various characters represent forces inside the human mind. The process of the interiorisation of SB's dramatic work has begun:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Joj4Akj_rPo
Endgame (Part 1)- The San Quention Drama Workshop, directed by SB.

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts: 7840
Join date: 2011-04-11
Age: 58
Location: Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Samuel Beckett

Post  eddie on Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:25 am

The interiorisation process continues a stage further with "Krapp's Last Tape", in which the cast has been reduced to a single player and the only "conversation" is between that character (Krapp) and his past "selves", an effect achieved economically by means of the mechanical device of the tape-recorder:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPB9_Ql_fzc
Krapp's Last Tape (Part 1)


eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts: 7840
Join date: 2011-04-11
Age: 58
Location: Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Samuel Beckett

Post  eddie on Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:29 am

And so the diminution process goes on....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7gtfetC3Zs

That Time (1/2)- SB.

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts: 7840
Join date: 2011-04-11
Age: 58
Location: Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Samuel Beckett

Post  eddie on Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:33 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3cjRicX1Hw
Rockabye- SB. With Billie Whitelaw.

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts: 7840
Join date: 2011-04-11
Age: 58
Location: Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Samuel Beckett

Post  eddie on Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:51 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8C4HL2LyWU
Not I- SB. With Billie Whitelaw.

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts: 7840
Join date: 2011-04-11
Age: 58
Location: Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Samuel Beckett

Post  eddie on Thu Jun 16, 2011 9:12 am

The last gasp (sic) of this reductionist process must logically have come with "Breath", a piece Beckett wrote (as a joke?) for the drama critic Kenneth Tynan's erotic review "Oh, Calcutta!":

The curtains part on a stage filled with rubbish. Sound of breathing. The curtains close.

http://www.encyclopedia.com/video/Y1ZON66BbB0-breath-by-samuel-beckett.aspx
Recent production of Breath, designed by Damien Hirst.

A lot like Life, really. Very Happy


Last edited by eddie on Fri Jun 17, 2011 11:52 am; edited 1 time in total

eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts: 7840
Join date: 2011-04-11
Age: 58
Location: Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Re: Samuel Beckett

Post  eddie on Thu Jun 16, 2011 9:26 am

Sam continued to write plays, of course, for both stage and TV, particularly for the work of performers such as Billie Whitelaw whom he admired (see clips above).

But was he just going through the motions? Did he have anything important left to say? The clip of "Catastrophe" (below) suggests he might have been wearying of the whole process of theatrical production. Or perhaps he was just taking the piss?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COZ0QXyDgYI
Catastrophe. With Harold Pinter and John Geilgud.


eddie
The Gap Minder

Posts: 7840
Join date: 2011-04-11
Age: 58
Location: Desert Island

Back to top Go down

Page 1 of 3 1, 2, 3  Next

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum