02 April 2010

Beckoning Beckett

Marvelous story in the latest Oldie

Phoebe Winch telling of lunch with Sam Beckett in 1955 as he waited for 'Godot'. Literally.

It had received good reviews from Tynan and Hobson and SB was over to see the play's transfer to the Criterion.

" ... thin, even gaunt ... ate very sparingly and drank little.

He spoke of Paris in the 1930s when, as well as being close friends with James Joyce, he was also his assistant.

Joyce used to dictate to Beckett.

"We were working on what became Finnegan's Wake, and there was a knock on the door. I didn't hear it, so when Joyce said 'Come in' I wrote down "Come in".

I never took it out. It made as much sense as anything else.

I like to imagine earnest literary students writing theses on the meaning and implications of that "Come in" in the book."

I tell you - I just burst out laughing. Such a relief to know I've not lost all sense of humour.

"It made as much sense as anything else."

That deserves to be in every dictionary of quotations, along with Mandy Rice-Davies and "Well he would, wouldn't he?"

Pupil: "Well, sir, it made as much sense as anything else."

Master: "Whaat, boy? I'll have none of your infernal cheek!"

"Just quoting Beckett, sir."

Actually, even mentioning Beckett would have got your hide tanned in my day and ├ęcole.

I suppose that, too, made as much sense as anything else in those days.

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