The Complete Dramatic Works
“They give birth astride of a grave, the light gleams an instant, then it's night once more.”
Take Shakespeare’s enlightened, prophetic clarity of view and expression; Chekhov’s bleak humor; Joyce’s or Woolf’s gift of psychological deepness; the definitely disenchanted understanding of the world and yet the compassionate
Take Shakespeare’s enlightened, prophetic clarity of view and expression; Chekhov’s bleak humor; Joyce’s or Woolf’s gift of psychological deepness; the definitely disenchanted understanding of the world and yet the compassionate consideration of all human being that were common, for instance, to T.S. Eliot and Faulkner; the anthropological research and the humanitarian, “existentialist”, kaleidoscopic resonance of Dostoyevsky’s or Kafka’s works.
Well, if you are going to read Beckett’s dramatic works – like I did – for the first time, it’s very likely that you’ll be reminded of all of these authors at once – and of course of all the others that I’m not listing here or I’m not even aware of, but who guessingly contributed to his education and to the formation of his worldview.
But it’s also possible that you, too, will be reminded of some more recent “minimal”, “postmodern” short story or novel you have read, or of some wonderfully introspective, psychological movie by some great director – and in that case you’ll have to realize that what you are remembering is in fact, and at least to some extent, part of the immense artistic and moral heritage coming from that incredibly brilliant and prolific “father” that Samuel Beckett was, so to speak, or still is.
“Astride of a grave and a difficult birth. Down in the hole, lingeringly, the grave-digger puts on the forceps. We have time to grow old. The air is full of our cries. (…) But habit is a great deadener. (…) At me too someone is looking, of me too someone is saying, he is sleeping, he knows nothing, let him sleep on.” (from Waiting for Godot)
“Perhaps my best years are gone. When there was a chance of happiness. But I wouldn’t want them back. Not with the fire in me now. No, I wouldn’t want them back.” (from Krapp’s Last Tape)