By Hugh Kenner
Samuel Beckett, who wrote every thing either in French and English, really expert in brief enigmatic texts, implying colossal visionary works of which the tales are damaged items. Kenner's consultant is designed to aid readers see past the tale in Beckett to the textual content as a complete and to understand the distinctiveness of every of his works.
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Additional resources for A Reader's Guide to Samuel Beckett (Irish Studies)
The Beckett novel or play or film, in fact, is strikingly similar to a non-Euclidean geometry. Euclid's geometry derives from five postulates, all of which strike commonsense as irrefutable, but one of which, the parallel postulate, has a long history of irritating mathematicians who feel it is somehow a little less self-evident than the other four. It states in effect that through a point only one line parallel to a given line can be drawn. Efforts have been made to get rid of this postulate by simply deducing it from the other four, which would turn it into a detail in the system, not a principle of the system.
Contributors: Hugh Kenner - author. Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Place of Publication: New York. Publication Year: 1973. Page Number: 57. Very good. Now: (1) where is the seventh scarf? (2) how was the sixth scarf tied? 'His wrists to the strut behind': the reader is invited to experiment. This is not the only time we shall find Beckett lending his most careful descriptive techniques to delineating a situation that is quite impossible. In a later novel, Watt , a lengthy passage is devoted to the question how Watt moves from place to place by the use of his legs.
Friends and family felt betrayed. Sam for his part felt he had betrayed them. Nevertheless he had discerned no choice. The classroom was simply not his life. An act of negation, straining loyalties; an act for which moreover no structure of reasons could be assigned: it was a paradigmatic Beckett event. We must be careful not to ponder the romance of the acte gratuit. It appears to be one of Beckett's deepest convictions that to actions of any import no reasons can really be assigned, except retrospectively, or for the sake of argument.
A Reader's Guide to Samuel Beckett (Irish Studies) by Hugh Kenner