Tag Archive | Beckett

From “Echo’s Bones”

By Samuel Beckett.

Something simply had to happen, the ground-fog lifted, the sky was mare’s-tail and shed a livid light, ghastly in the puddles that pitted the land, but beautiful also, like the complexion of Addison’s disease. A child, radiant in scarlet diaper and pale blue pilch, skipped down off the road and began to sail a boat.

“Though you hedge” said Belacqua, “Miss Privet, yet do you win, and my shame be my glory.”

“That’s a most sensible cadaver” said Zaborovna. She began to back away most gracefully.

“Let the deadbeats get on” said Belacqua, “I can’t bear a crowd.”

The faithful, seeded with demons, a dim rabble, cringing home after Vespers, regrettably not Sicilian. In the van an Editor, of a Monthly masquerading as a Quarterly, his po hat cockaded fore and aft with a title-page and a poem of pleasure, a tailor of John Jameson o’Lantern dancing before him; next, a friend’s wife, splendid specimen of exophthalmic goitre, storming along, her nipples up her nose; next, a Gipsy Rondo, glabrous but fecund, by-blow of a long line of aguas and iluminaciones; next, Hairy, leaning back, moving very stiff and open; next, in a covered Baby Austen, the Count of Parabimbi and his lady; next, trained to a hair, a nest of rank outsiders, mending in perfect amity a hard place in Eliot, relaxing from time to time to quire their manifesto: “Boycott Poulter’s Measure!”; next, as usual in the thick of the mischief, a caput of highly liberally educated ex-eunuchs, rotating slowly as they tottered forward, their worn buttocks gleaming through the slits in their robes; next, Caleken Frica, stark staring naked, jotting notes for period dialogue with a cauter dipped in cocoa round the riddle of her navel minnehaha minnehaha; next, a honeymoon unicorn, brow-beating his half-hunter; next, a Yogi milkman, singeing his beard with a standard candle, a contortionist leprechaun riding in his brain (abdominal); next, the sisters Debauch and Death, holding their noses. So they passed by and passed away, those mentioned and one or two more, the second after the first, the third after the second, and so forth in order, until the last — a fully grown androgyne of tempestuous loveliness — after the rest, and after the last a spacious nothing.


Enlightenment Devices

From Mercier and Camier by Samuel Beckett:

The century was two months old.
Look at it now.
A silence ensued which Camier was the first to violate.
Well, he said, do we put it up now or wait for the weather to worsen?
Mercier scrutinised the inscrutable sky.
Go take a look, he said, and see what you think.
Camier again gained the corner of the street. On his return he said:
There is perhaps a little light below the verge. Would you have me go up on the roof?
Mercier concentrated. Finally he exclaimed, impulsively:
Let us put it up and pray for the best.
But Camier could not put it up.
Give it here to me, said Mercier.
But Mercier had no better success. He brandished it above his head, but controlled himself in time.
What have we done to God? he said.
Denied him, said Camier.
Don’t tell me he is all that rancorous, said Mercier.
Camier took the umbrella and vanished up the stairs.

From In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust:

And, seeing upon the water, where it reflected the wall, a pallid smile responding to the smiling sky, I cried aloud in my enthusiasm, brandishing my furled umbrella: “Damn, damn, damn, damn!”

From “Watt”

By Samuel Beckett.

Watt’s way of advancing due east, for example, was to turn his bust as far as possible towards the north and at the same time to fling out his right leg as far as possible towards the south, and then to turn his bust as far as possible towards the south, and at the same time fling out his left leg as far as possible to north, and then again to turn his bust as far as possible towards the south … and so on, over and over again, many many times, until he reached his destination, and could sit down.