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December 17, 2012

I’m so glad a friend turned me on to The Paris Review. My nephew said that it was wonderful that a person my age was still learning. Before he said that, I didn’t know I was old. The best thing about being old and subscribing to magazines is that you get a lot for your money. A month after I read something I forget what it was about and I get to read it all over again (two or three times actually).

I just read Samuel Beckett’s “Text for Nothing No. 1”. Now that is something which has to be read more than once. I read it four times. I underlined sections I liked. I looked up words I didn’t know: “larch”– a coniferous tree; arquebuse–a small caliber long gun dating from about 1400; blear–not in my dicionary ’til my eyes were “blear”. After reading it (it is only 3 pages) three times I was lucky enough to find a youtube video of a discussion of Beckett which had some very interesting participants. Among them was Edward Albee who had directed some Beckett and had been a friend of his. He called Beckett a composer. He talked about the sound of the words and reading Beckett aloud.

So the last time I read “Text for Nothing 1” I read it aloud to myself. I used the kind of rhythm that is sort of stunted rhythm used in “Ohio Impromptu”. I played both “reader” and “listener” (the two characters in the play, “Ohio Impromptu”). Then, the text really made sense. All of a sudden one was in Beckettland.

It takes me a long time to understand Beckett, but I feel it is worth the effort. In his immortal words:

“I can’t go on. I’ll go on.”

From → Uncategorized

  1. Ginger Snap permalink

    Now it’s my turn: where do you find the time?!? I will add this to my ‘to read’ list.



    • Now I am into The New Yorker. I always have lots of issues around here. If you want some of them just let me know. Janet

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