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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 More Overbeck.
Cambridge, 838 pp., £29.99, September 2016, 978 0 521 86796 2
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... addition of the initials was a needless attempt at avoidance of misunderstanding, a weak concession to the usual norms of communicativeness. Fail better next time. Late in his life Beckett granted MarthaFehsenfeld permission to edit a selection of his letters, stipulating that it should be confined to those ‘having bearing on my work’. As the editors sagely observe, no two people would be likely ...

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 More Overbeck.
Cambridge, 771 pp., £30, September 2014, 978 0 521 86795 5
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... MAN: It’s hard to imagine you with tired eyes, mademoiselle. Perhaps you don’t know, but you have very beautiful eyes. GIRL: They will be beautiful, monsieur, when the time comes … I’ll put up with whatever is necessary. And after my eyes have been beautiful, they’ll grow dim, as everyone else’s do. The French​ originals of these lines went out on Paris National Radio on 12 January ...

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 More Overbeck.
Cambridge, 782 pp., £30, February 2009, 978 0 521 86793 1
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... In his essay on the painter Jack Yeats, which he sent to Beckett in 1938, Thomas McGreevy wrote: ‘During the 20-odd years preceding 1916, Jack Yeats filled a need that had become immediate in Ireland for the first time in 300 years, the need of the people to feel that their own life was being expressed in art.’* Beckett was in Paris when he read the essay. He wrote to McGreevy to say that he did ...

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 More Overbeck.
Cambridge, 791 pp., £30, September 2011, 978 0 521 86794 8
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... At the turning point of this second volume of Beckett’s letters, which is also the turning point of his professional life, the moment when, after so many years of ‘retyping … for rejection’, his best work is finally to be published with enthusiasm by editors determined to let the world know what they have discovered, the author’s partner, Suzanne Déchevaux-Dumesnil, writes to Jérôme Lindon ...

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