By John Fletcher
In About Beckett Emeritus Professor John Fletcher has compiled an intensive and obtainable quantity that explains why Beckett's paintings is so major and enduring. Professor Fletcher first met Beckett in 1961 and his publication is stuffed not just with insights into the paintings but in addition interviews with Beckett and first-hand tales and observations through those that helped to place his paintings at the degree, together with Dame Peggy Ashcroft, Roger Blin, Peter corridor, Max Wall and George Devine. As an creation to Beckett and his paintings, Professor Fletcher's publication is incomparable.
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Extra info for About Beckett. The Playwright and the Work
Molière did write a few traditional plays – in his case, knockabout, vulgar farces – until his own particular genius for the more serious and socially aware type of comedy (which he largely invented) asserted itself. The Misanthrope (1666) still retains elements of farce, but they are subordinated to the portrayal of a man who, by obstinately maintaining that total candour is not only desirable but perfectly feasible, finds himself comically at odds with a society that knows only too well that neither is the case: there would be anarchy, murder and worse if everybody spoke their mind with complete frankness.
That is the measure of the difficulty. How is one to define an aesthetic of modern drama that needs to embrace two such disparate figures, two giants (in their very different ways) of modern dramaturgy? There are a few indicators, which the very ‘metatheatrical’ aspect of Modernism implies. One might, for instance, attach to Modernist dramaturgy the label of ‘the aesthetics of silence’. Never before had the fragmentary, the low-key, the inarticulate, even the incoherent and the frankly non-verbal tendencies of theatrical intercourse been so extensively developed.
It was not raining. (pp. 175–6) The contradiction in the last four sentences betrays the ambivalence Beckett felt about the activities that he was called upon to engage in and that he later self-deprecatingly dismissed as ‘boy-scout stuff’. General de Gaulle evidently did not share his opinion of this wartime work. The liberation of France in 1944 enabled Beckett eventually to resume his Paris existence. There he wrote, almost in an inspired trance, those works in French (later self-translated into English) on which his reputation will permanently rest: the trilogy of novels Molloy, Malone Dies and The Unnamable, and the play Waiting for Godot.