I CAN'T GO ON, I'LL GO ON: A Selection from Samuel Beckett's Work by Samuel Beckett

I CAN'T GO ON, I'LL GO ON: A Selection from Samuel Beckett's Work

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Anyone who has sat through Freshman English in recent years has probably read Waiting for Godot, but those who stop there are missing some of the funniest, most brilliant writing around; this selection of Beckett's fiction, verse, critical writings, and dramatic works (including Godot) is an ideal way to recoup. In his highly readable introduction, Seaver recounts his own discovery of Beckett's writing as a student and fledgling magazine editor in Paris in the early Fifties. He also describes Beckett's frustrating efforts at getting his work into print and gaining artistic recognition (he was 47 when Godot finally made his reputation). Beckett has been analyzed and interpreted to death, and so it is especially refreshing that Seaver chooses to emphasize his humor and his accessibility; despite his prodigious erudition (which has made him a graduate student's delight) the best way to approach Beckett is with no critical guidance--as Seaver. points out, there are enough levels of meaning to keep everyone happy. Thus, the short introductions to each selection illuminate without intruding or trying to impose meanings. Of special note is a previously unpublished short play written in 1975 entitled That Time. It is haunting, poetic, and evocative, seemingly reversing the trend toward the void that has characterized much of Beckett's later work. For the newcomer, this volume is an excellent introduction; for those denied the joy of first discovery, it is a chance to rediscover, to clear away the accumulated layers of exegesis and take a fresh look.

Pub Date: Oct. 11th, 1976
Publisher: Ed. & Introd. by Richard W. Seaver Grove