From Publishers Weekly
Samuel Beckett (1906-1989) wrote that we are all "born astride the grave." Now on the centenary of the absurd dramatist and writer's birth, noted Beckett scholar and biographer Knowlson and his wife offer a valuable literary memorial. As the title suggests, the book is a collection of the notoriously private Beckett's reminiscences about his life and remembrances of Beckett from scholars and those who knew, worked or were impacted by him. The abundant glimpses Beckett provides are remarkable for their openness as much as their scarcity: these pieces, drawn from Knowlson's interview transcripts, haven't appeared elsewhere and cover topics like his friendship with painter Jack Yeats ("I think he thought he was the only painter.") and his doomed teaching career ("I didn't intend to be a writer. That only came later when I found out that I was no good at all at teaching."). Childhood friends, family members and a who's who of literary and theater heavyweights-Edward Albee, J.M. Coetzee, Jessica Tandy, Martin Esslin, Ruby Cohn, Billie Whitelaw-contribute memories, stories or essays. Organized chronologically, the anthology includes a chapter on Beckett as a theater director and an appendix containing notes on Beckett's lectures on Racine during his stint at Trinity College. Formatted like George Plimpton's biographies of Edie Sedgwick and Truman Capote or Legs McNeil's oral histories of punk and porn, Knowlson's Beckett tribute straddles the absurdist's immortality.
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About the Author
is also the author of Damned to Fame: The Life of Samuel Beckett
among many others. He is the Professor Emeritus at the University of Reading, and, in 2011, he was awarded the title of Officier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques
for “his eminent career devoted to an understanding of European theatre, specifically for his numerous publications on the life and work of the Nobel prize–winner Samuel Beckett, a friend of many years standing, and for his interviews and broadcasts on French radio and television, which have helped to promote the diffusion of the French language and French culture," according to the President of France. He resides in Reading, England.Elizabeth Knowlson
lectured in French at the University of Glasgow from 1961 to 1969. After having three children, she resumed her university career as an administrator at the Centre for Applied Language Studies at the University of Reading. She left her post in order to aid her husband with his biography of Beckett and his later books and essays.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.