So I am grateful to those writers who have made it easy to go back to them, night after night, year after year. They are the greats, and Samuel Beckett is one of them. My first encounter with Beckett was when I was studying in Minnesota and I acted in a student production of Krapp's Last Tape. Back then I remember images of Beckett making as great an impression on me as his work. He always looked so impressive – that beak-like nose, eyes staring dead into the camera – and he had an austerity to him, even when he was young, that makes it very easy to connect the man to the words.
Since then I must have read Waiting for Godot – of course – a hundred times. Every time I go back to Beckett he seems more subversive, not less; his works make me feel more uncomfortable than they did before. The unsettling idea, most explicit in Godot, that life is habit – that it is all just a series of motions devoid of meaning – never gets any easier.
Sunday, May 02, 2010
A Major Political Candidate and Beckett
Hat Tip to Andrew Sullivan, who points to this Guardian column by British Prime Minister Candidate Nick Clegg: