on 29 May 2014
Beckett's prose became ever sparser in the 60s and 70s until his words don't tell stories but describe geometrical arrangements of human figures, mostly in attitudes of coma or death, under harsh, unremitting white light. Characters have disappeared along with plot and punctuation, apart from the fatal full stop, and many of the texts here are terrifying in their nihilism. Essentially, SB wrote himself into a dead end - "Inanimate in an inert savoir" as the American poet Wallace Stevens puts it. If you're looking for fun, frolics and rollicking tales of love and disaster then this ain't the book for you; if you're a fan of the 20th century's greatest writer, and want to admire the surgical genius of language as it is honed to scalpel sharpness, then it is. Nothing's better.
on 9 March 2014
Stimulated by a local reading group to reared Beckett's short prose, I bought this in order to add a semblance of order to my collection of the separate monographs published and bought over the years.
It is so good to see these ordered and published again
OK, they are not to everyones taste but my partner, initially sceptical, as well as the others in the group have found our selection rewarding, thanks to a wonderful leader who starts us off by getting us to read them aloud.