Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 70% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Shop now
Customer Review

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, 16 Nov. 2011
This review is from: The Letters of Samuel Beckett: Volume 2, 1941-1956 (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This second volume of correspondence covers the years from 1941 to 1956, and includes the author's various artistic, commercial and legal concerns relating to the evolution and assimilation of some of his most important and interesting works, such as Watt, Mercier and Camier, The End, Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable and, of course, Waiting for Godot. There are also many insights into the 'ordinary' life of the man as well as the writer, as he discusses everything from nagging colds to exciting excursions to the music hall and the theatre. One cannot really summarise such a vast range of letters to so many different kinds of correspondents, but one can certainly confirm that any reader will encounter innumerable fascinating details as he or she moves from page to page. One little piece of trivia, for example, occurs in a letter written in 1955, when Beckett relates, with a hint of excitement, that a New York promoter was attempting to stage Godot on Broadway with Buster Keaton as Vladimir and Marlon Brando as Estragon. Another tiny but intriguing remark occurs in a letter dated the following year, when (eight years before the making of Film) the author expresses his disenchantment with the cinema, writing: 'The cinema was killed in the cradle and if ever there is an Elijah to lie himself down on the corpse I won't be there to profit by it'. There are also many passages when, during the course of accounting the prosaic details of his everyday life, his style, his syntax, is the most interesting aspect of the discussion (e.g. 'I'm writing one short act straight into English. Nothing better to do here. I've planted some trees, including a cedar of Lebanon. I've seen no-one').

As far as the production of the book itself is concerned, the paper quality is rather better than that of the previous volume, but there is still a nagging feeling that, with no fewer than four distinct editors, there were 'too many cooks' involved in the preparation, with some of the overly intricate and/or dubious footnotes creating a messy look without contributing much in the way of enlightenment. The index, too, is much too basic and imprecise for a book such as this, and will not be of much help to anyone who is searching for specific details among the 692 pages of text. In general, however, the format - which, as with the previous volume, presents each letter first in the language in which it was written, followed by an English language translation - works well, and most of the additional explanatory material, such as the appendix of brief profiles of some of the figures discussed, is potentially very useful.

For any student and/or admirer of Samuel Beckett and his work this volume will be an essential reference book, as well as a treasure trove of tiny but telling insights. I'm certainly very grateful to have it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]


Review Details

Item

Reviewer

Post Scriptum
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

Top Reviewer Ranking: 469