Samuel Beckett (New Edition) (Bloom's Modern Critical Views)
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Irish dramatist and novelist Samuel Beckett received the 1969 Nobel Prize in Literature for his highly acclaimed body of work, including the play Waiting for Godot, his best-known work and a staple of the modern stage. Half a century after it was first published, the play is considered the forerunner of the plays of Ionesco, Pinter, Stoppard, and others. Harold Bloom introduces this volume of new critical essays about Beckett and his works, which is complete with a chronology of the author's life, a bibliography of his works, and an index.
saw this performance. He was deeply moved by it and, I think, considered it the definitive version of Not I. And it is preserved for the future. Beckett’s involvement with the television and radio media shows that he was thoroughly at home in the twentieth century and with its technology. He was a man with an immense interest in mathematics and technology. In working with him on a number of radio productions I was always deeply impressed by his passionate interest in the technologies involved and
to offer” without committing themselves prematurely to their end of a business deal. Vladimir and Estragon are not surprised by Godot’s noncommittal response, then, because they get what they ask for. Godot’s lawyer and agents seem entirely “normal” because this “vague supplication” is tentative bargaining toward a potential contract, not the implicit communication of traditional prayer which George Herbert summed up as “something understood” (Prayer [I], line 14). Of course, Beckett is
be both purposeful and percussive as it shapes into being the beat and tempo of an imagined world that insists on getting itself heard. “I open .Â€.Â€. And I close,” intones a disembodied voice in the well-named Cascando; and “I have come to listen,” says a shadowy character named She in Rough for Radio I.38 Rather than hold it at bay, each voice distorts, vitalizes, and animates silence, rendering it whole, giving it body and texture, making us hear the sound of sound as if for the first and
America. Over the following decades every addition to the canon was greeted by the swelling ranks of Beckett’s “adoring congregation” (Blau 32). His assertion that, done his way, Godot “would empty the theater” (Knowlson 379), seems as contradictory as it is self-defeating. As Blau writes, “The more synoptic and extrusive [the plays], the more there is a sense of playing into a void, all the more when there is an audience .Â€.Â€. in respectful or even ritualistic attendance” (34). Clearly the
1989. Kenner, Hugh. A Reader’s Guide to Samuel Beckett. Syracuse: Syracuse UP, 1973. Knowlson, James. Damned to Fame. New York: Grove, 1996. â•…â•…â•… , ed. The Theatrical Notebooks of Samuel Beckett. New York: Grove, 1992. Knowlson, James, and John Pilling. Frescoes of the Skull: the Later Prose and Drama of Samuel Beckett. New York: Grove, 1979. Levy, Shimon. The Sensitive Chaos: Samuel Beckett’s Self-Referential Drama. Brighton: Sussex Academic P, 2002. Lyons, Charles R. Samuel Beckett. New