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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 DowFehsenfeld, Dan Gunn and Lois More Overbeck.
Cambridge, 838 pp., £29.99, September 2016, 978 0 521 86796 2
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... with the threatening possibility of hope, Beckett liked to get his retaliation in first. ‘Downhill begins this year,’ he announced with grim satisfaction in 1966. Even this may have been a slip, allowing the possibility of there having been an ‘up’ from which to come down. Usually his defences were in place in ...


Christopher Tayler: Beckett’s Letters

19 March 2015
Letters of Samuel Beckett: 1957-65 
by George Craig, Martha DowFehsenfeld, Dan Gunn and Lois More Overbeck.
Cambridge, 771 pp., £30, September 2014, 978 0 521 86795 5
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... was, in other words, beginning to resemble the otherworldly, saintly figure of later legend, down to being, by this stage, craggily photogenic. He ‘looks like a magnificent Mexican sculpture now’, Nancy Cunard wrote in 1956 after meeting him for the first time since the 1930s. In a letter to A.J. Leventhal quoted by Knowlson, Beckett says of the same ...

Who to Be

Colm Tóibín: Beckett’s Letters

6 August 2009
The Letters of Samuel Beckett 1929-40 
edited by Martha DowFehsenfeld and Lois More Overbeck.
Cambridge, 782 pp., £30, February 2009, 978 0 521 86793 1
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... Tide’ – bought by Meredith for the Municipal is overwhelming … In the end we went out, down to Charlemont House [the Municipal Gallery] to find out about Sunday opening, & then to Jury’s for a drink. He parted as usual with an offer to buy me a Herald. I hope to see him again before I leave, but do not expect ever to have him like that ...

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 DowFehsenfeld, Dan Gunn and Lois More Overbeck.
Cambridge, 791 pp., £30, September 2011, 978 0 521 86794 8
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... all the time economically dependent and afflicted by the anxiety that he was letting the family down. As the impasse continued, he developed a number of physical symptoms – boils, anal cysts, pelvic pains, tachycardia, panic attacks (they feature prominently in the early letters) – and a tendency to oscillate between seeing his plight ...

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