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Melmoth
05-01-2005, 04:14 PM
Things i think about when I think about Sam:

Tramps, minimalism, dark glasses, the great Billie Whitelaw, the Holocaust, video installations, jokes, bodies, Paris, Adorno, those gnarly close-ups of his face floating in the void, Ireland, bananas, tragedy, absence, surrealism, tape recorders, the bomb, Buster Keaton's face, Bruce Nauman, the Bible, that sharp haircut, power, dustbins, Francis Bacon, prosthetics, glum treks, psychoanalysis, the great Patrick McGee, sole trees, Giacometti, bicycles, lessness, Julianne Moore, anal boils, sucking stones, laughing in the wrong place, Pinter, music hall, a screaming mouth, umbrellas.

What does Beckett mean to you?

luka
05-01-2005, 04:15 PM
writing yourself into a corner

arcaNa
05-01-2005, 05:24 PM
black turtlenecks.
bleak, black-and-white existensialist dramas, as presented by grave "progressive" finnish tv drama actors.
smoking yourself to death in some shabby café while carelessly placing your notebook on the table for all to see...
crying over humanity.
teenage angst /bottomless ennui.
the male staging of the grandiose ego- "the Artist" with a capital A.
he who sees it all, and which shall be worshipped for his insight, for we are mere mortals and led in flock,as sheep.
Death.
Nothingness.
a blind alley.

Melmoth
05-01-2005, 05:54 PM
Its true, Beckett does attract an unfeasibly high proportion of pretentious wankers, but there's much more to his work than the undead black-clad hordes would suggest. Don't mistake the second-hand, culturally-commodified image for the actual words on the page. As for writing himself into a corner, he was the first to admit it. But then he turned from prose to the theatre and wrote himself out again.

Loki
05-01-2005, 06:34 PM
I always thought Beckett's novels were more interesting than his plays, and some of the shorter prose works are quite haunting. Company really struck a chord for one reason or another when I was a teenager (though i wonder how it might read as a less indulgent adult...)One thing I remember noticing about the novels: at first they can seem intimidating - no paragraphs etc - but the trick was to read them really quickly, as quickly as you can read.... only then do they start to make sense. It's as if they have a rhythm which needs to be adhered to if the meaning is to be extracted.

h-crimm
05-01-2005, 07:00 PM
awwww
dont agree with the haters...

the thing i most associate with beckett is having a good old laugh.

no i'm serious here. if you havent read the novels, i'll maybe assume waiting for godot for most people who are gonna bother reading this thread...
the part where the servant just spouts his academic thought to wide applause, making the audience sit thru the whole first act again practically unchanged, cant really remember cos it was years ago i read it... but it is jokes

its like ionnesco too... and not just the (depressing at face value) slap stick in "the bald prima donna", what dyou think?
its theatre of the absurd - absurd tragedy is comic and in the way it reflects on the absurdieties of the systematics of our lifestyle its very funny, in the way it attacks or ridicules the black polo necked art wankers by making them lap up this empty stuff, like some of the short plays, on top of it being an enjoyable description of his feelings about life/culture/society. i'm not saying the shorts are ironic and meant primarily as a joke on the viewer, but that they often look at delusions which we construct to be able to look at theatre, like props, sets, charcters, the forcing of dialogue... in that way i think theyre funny cos they violate your expectations

before the plays tho the novels are a total hoot!
i admit that when i first started i was taking them very seriously and found myself getting very pissed off with his deliberate obtuseness, once i decide to accept this as part of a joke on the 'sensitive outsider types' that always get writen about in those kind of art-existentialism books and on the readers and thier expectations and decide that the painful constructions and language are games to be enjoyed, they become real page turners and quite addictive... what stupid painful metaphysical complaint is going to prevent murphy from acting at all i the next chapter?? how is malone going to yack on for another hundred pages without saying anything, leaving his bed or dying? its funny, cos whether or not we leave our beds we're still just yacking on to fill the pages (oh dear i think i'm just yacking on...)

also he makes me laugh cos of the semi dyslexic style of some of his language jokes - which is something i can relate to (if i could write in plain english it would help...)


there you go it means jokes to me, prostitutes who are the fairest and noblest women in the world until arty type gets bored, not being arsed to continue the most important love affair of your life, losing your pen when you have something important to write, bodily functions, worrying about pointless things, lists. i dont get any of this dark and moody shit thats just the stuck-as-teenagers dont let them put you off.

luka
06-01-2005, 12:09 AM
i'm not a hater, i love beckett. it was an observation not a criticism.

jenks
06-01-2005, 10:33 AM
can't see a bare tree in the middle of a field without thinking of beckett

Melmoth
06-01-2005, 10:54 AM
can't see a bare tree in the middle of a field without thinking of beckett

I was walking in the mountains near where he was born over Christmas and its all like that round there.

Melmoth
06-01-2005, 09:22 PM
Which do you love Luka, prose, poems, drama, all of them? Which ones? Why?

For me its Krapps Last Tape, Not I, and Footfalls in the theatre; Molloy, Company (like Loki says) and First Love in the prose.

Not that keen on the poetry, can't abide Murphy and A Dream of Fair to Middling Women.

Oh and Imagine Dead Imagine is fantastic (and only 2 pages long, shirkers). Always reminds me of Burroughs that one.

As H-Crimm says he's very funny too. I saw Happy Days with Felicity Kendall playing the lead last year and she had the Good Life crew in the audience laughing their heads off. Also saw Lee Evans (another UK comedian) in Endgame and he wasn't bad. Steve Martin and Robin Williams famously did Godot on Broadway, and Ade Edmondson and Rik Mayall murdered it in the West End. I think Max Wall did Godot too in London if I'm not mistaken (might be making that bit up).

And of course there was Film with Buster Keaton in it - what a face! Thats one for a Dissensus movie night.

luka
07-01-2005, 12:32 AM
the prose is far too hard for me and the poetry i don't find interesting
only the plays