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Highlight of Stay So Far

Stefan Collini: Beckett’s Letters, 1 December 2016

The Letters of Samuel Beckett Vol. IV: 1966-89 
edited by George Craig, Martha Dow Fehsenfeld, Dan Gunn and Lois MoreOverbeck.
Cambridge, 838 pp., £29.99, September 2016, 978 0 521 86796 2
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... of intimacy with Bray. As he reflexively rounds off another letter to her: ‘Can think of nothing more of uninterest to say.’ No cliché is so stale, no metaphor so dead that Beckett can’t find a way to make it twitch: ‘My spirits, though they lack altitude, are far from extinguished.’ Setting his face against any modification of his short plays, he ...

Under-the-Table-Talk

Christopher Tayler: Beckett’s Letters, 19 March 2015

Letters of Samuel Beckett: 1957-65 
by George Craig, Martha Dow Fehsenfeld, Dan Gunn and Lois MoreOverbeck.
Cambridge, 771 pp., £30, September 2014, 978 0 521 86795 5
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... spasmes’, and after two weeks the producers pulled the plug. The broadcast found a more receptive listener in Samuel Beckett, who wasn’t only in favour of an art of last gasps but had recently been brooding on radio drama as a pure play of sound and silence. ‘Merveilleux, merveilleux,’ he wrote the same day in a note to Duras, whom he ...

Who to Be

Colm Tóibín: Beckett’s Letters, 6 August 2009

The Letters of Samuel Beckett 1929-40 
edited by Martha Dow Fehsenfeld and Lois MoreOverbeck.
Cambridge, 782 pp., £30, February 2009, 978 0 521 86793 1
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... and by the demagogues in service of the priests, or that it will ever care, if it ever knows, any more than the Bog of Allen will ever care or know, that there was once a painter in Ireland called Jack Butler Yeats. Like McGreevy, Beckett was fascinated by Jack Yeats; in these letters Yeats the painter is almost alone among living Irish figures of the ...

On Needing to Be Looked After

Tim Parks: Beckett’s Letters, 1 December 2011

The Letters of Samuel Beckett: 1941-56 
edited by George Craig, Martha Dow Fehsenfeld, Dan Gunn and Lois MoreOverbeck.
Cambridge, 791 pp., £30, September 2011, 978 0 521 86794 8
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... his ailments: For years I was unhappy, consciously & deliberately … so that I isolated myself more & more, undertook less & less & lent myself to a crescendo of disparagement of others & myself … The misery & solitude & apathy & the sneers were the elements of an index of superiority & guaranteed the feeling of ...

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