By Hugh Kenner

Samuel Beckett, who wrote every thing either in French and English, really expert briefly enigmatic texts, implying gigantic visionary works of which the tales are damaged items. Kenner's consultant is designed to assist 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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Extra info for A Reader's Guide to Samuel Beckett (Irish Studies)

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His father's love of sports rubbed off on him, and his mother's piety, though he lost its convictions, never left his mind. He has recalled his childhood as a happy one. Nevertheless he had 'little talent for happiness', and much sensitivity to suffering. Before long he was unable to share his mother's belief that the Divine Will orders everything for the best. There was simply too much misery in the world. A girl he loved, for instance, died at twenty-four, coughing her lungs out. He took his degree at Trinity in the spring of 1928, spent the next two years as an exchange student at the École Normale in Paris, and in 1930, having written a book on Proust, commenced teaching at Trinity.

When it should be achieved, then the impulse behind the early stories would at last be laid to rest. Meanwhile he had a more immediate project, which was to try not a parody of standard fiction, but the expedient of surrounding an unassimilable hero with characters who are caught up in a standard fiction. He was -55Questia Media America, Inc. com Publication Information: Book Title: A Reader's Guide to Samuel Beckett. Contributors: Hugh Kenner - author. Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Place of Publication: New York.

We do not see him do this, but we see that it has been done, and since the novelist has nowhere undertaken to conform to God's rules, we have no license to complain. On one occasion-it is in Watt again--Beckett is quite specific about the principle employed: 'Haemophilia is, like enlargement of the prostate, an exclusively male disorder. ' The comedy arises from this, that the novelist employs the language we all employ, a language human beings have devised to conform with the world in which they have been placed.

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