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review 2017-05-20 18:38
Three Times Beckett
Warten Auf Godot / Endspiel / Glückliche Tage - Samuel Beckett,Erika Tophoven,Elmar Tophoven

I was curious about Beckett and I was especially curious about his play Waiting for Godot. This is because whenever I have heard about it, people were either really enthusiastic or really bitchy about it. So I just did, what everyone should do in this situation – I made up my own mind.


Waiting for Godot
I like this play.
Although there is not much action going on, a lot is actually happening in this play. It is amazingly sad, funny, beautiful, depressing, cruel and touching at the same time. The relationship between Estragon and Wladimir is just incredible. And Godot? I have no idea, who or what Godot is and neither had Beckett. But is this really important? For all it’s worth, I do not think that it matters at all.


I also like this play.
Again, it is sad and beautiful at the same time. If I had to establish a central theme, it would be the power of human relationships. Beckett shows, that no matter how sick you are of someone else and how much you may despise one another, sometimes you are so dependent on each other, that – for good or worse – you simply cannot leave.


Happy Days
I do not like (to read) this play.
There are two types of plays - plays written to be read and plays written to be staged. Happy Days is definitely the latter. Although it is quite short, it is extremely exhausting to read due to the fact that it is basically an ongoing monologue, constantly interrupted by stage directions (which you can skip, but then it is even weirder or which you cannot skip, but then they are just annoying and interrupting the non-existent flow of the text).

I salute to every actress to take on this roll, I imagine, this is incredibly hard to play, but, honestly, reading it is a sheer nightmare.

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review 2016-03-07 19:52
How It Is - Samuel Beckett

Back when I was getting my Literature degree, I loved when a class read Beckett. His work is the best kind to discuss and intensely analyze. Unfortunately, as I just learned, it's not nearly as interesting to read in isolation. I imagine I would have rated this much higher if the circumstances of reading it (in a group, namely) had been different.

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review 2016-01-08 00:00
En attendant Godot - Samuel Beckett
En attendant Godot - Samuel Beckett

La lecture de cette oeuvre c'est un plaisir confus, une désorientation littéraire totale. Protagonistes anti-héros et absurdes, frustrant comme l'attente est divertissante.


3 ☆

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review 2015-11-05 07:00
The Purgatory of Life Before Death: Endgame by Samuel Beckett
Endgame - Samuel Beckett
Fin de partie (Broché) - Samuel Beckett

So far my experience with what is called the Theatre of the Absurd has been very limited and not particularly enchanting. Therefore it was daring of me to pick of all things a play by the 1969 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), for the Back to the Classics Challenge 2015 on Books and Chocolate for which I signed up with my main book blog Edith’s Miscellany. I must admit that reading his famous Endgame from 1957 hasn’t been a mere pleasure for me. As a matter of fact, absurdity not only confuses me as much as ever, but it also annoys me terribly although in general I like the symbolic and thought-provoking.


Quite expectedly, the play left me at a loss at first. Not being a chess player, I didn’t even grasp the title’s reference to the final moves of a game that in fact is already decided. For the rest, the story took a while to sink in and to allow me to see some of its hidden meaning. The scene, as the author meant it to be, is scarce and bleak from beginning to end consisting only of an almost empty room with two windows on the back wall that are so high up that it requires a ladder to look out. In an in-depth analysis of the play I read that it’s an assertion to the human skull, but reading the book it didn’t occur to me although it might be rather obvious when seen on stage. In the room there are two ashbins and, on a chair in its exact centre, sits Hamm as if he were just a piece of furniture, not one of the protagonists. Apart from Hamm only three characters ever appear on stage, namely the other protagonist called Cloy and Hamm’s ancient parents Nagg and Nell “living” each in an ashbin where they sleep and nibble a biscuit occasionally. The world of all four is one without hope nor meaning, a purgatory scattered with allusions to the inferno of Dante’s Divine Comedy. All they ever “do” is wait for death to bring them the long yearned for salvation. The play focuses on the relationship of Hamm and Cloy which is one of mutual dependence. Blind and paralysed Hamm clearly represents the thinking and inventive mind that is helpless without the five senses and muscle control of which Cloy is an allegory since he is the one who can perceive the outside world and move about in it. Nonetheless, Cloy depends on Hamm because without his key he has no access to food and is doomed to starve. Nagg and Nell, on the other hand, stand for the memory of the past that many of us tend to treat like rubbish. Their role in the play is secondary, though, because they only appear when Hamm calls for them.


There isn’t much of a real plot in Endgame because the play revolves around the characters whose actions are often repetitive and – absurd. Surely, it’s a play that needs to be read and seen on stage, but I’m not much of a theatre-goer. Writing this review, however, helped me to understand the idea behind the play and to appreciate its complex symbolism. It’s clearly a work of genius… and therefore not easily accessible.


Endgame - Samuel Beckett 


* * * * * 


http://karensbooksandchocolate.blogspot.com/2014/12/announcing-back-to-classics-challenge.htmlThis review is a contribution to the
Back to the Classics Challenge 2015

namely to the category Classic Play.


»»» see my post for this challenge on Edith's Miscellany with the complete reading list.


http://readnobels.blogspot.com/ &


to the perpetual Read the Nobels challenge.
For more information and a complete list of books that I already reviewed for it »»» please read my challenge post on Edith's Miscellany!


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text 2015-07-31 16:00
Fabulous Finds Friday: July 31, 2015: Random Free Books Edition
A Reader's Guide to Samuel Beckett (Reader's Guides) - Hugh Kenner
Collected Poems - Philip Larkin,Anthony Thwaite
Selected Poems and Prose of Paul Celan - Paul Celan,John Felstiner
Henry Reed: Collected Poems - Henry Reed,Jon Stallworthy
The Poems of J. V. Cunningham - J V Cunn... The Poems of J. V. Cunningham - J V Cunningham
Splitting and Binding - Pattiann Rogers
The Female Narrator in the British Novel: Hidden Agendas - Lisa Sternlieb
The Romance of the Rose - Guillaume de Lorris,Jean de Meun,Frances Horgan
Early Poems - Ezra Pound
It Was a Dark and Stormy Night: The Best (?) from the Bulwer-Lytton Contest -

I work for a company that produces academic content, so we have a pretty substantial reference library. They just announced that they are clearing out their unused and out-of-date materials, so I picked up a nice hefty stack of FREE BOOKS! I focused on grabbing as much poetry as I could, since it is something I've been meaning to tackle a lot more.

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