By John Fletcher
In About Beckett Emeritus Professor John Fletcher has compiled a radical and available quantity that explains why Beckett's paintings is so major and enduring. Professor Fletcher first met Beckett in 1961 and his publication is stuffed not just with insights into the paintings but in addition interviews with Beckett and first-hand tales and observations by way of those that helped to place his paintings at the degree, together with Dame Peggy Ashcroft, Roger Blin, Peter corridor, Max Wall and George Devine. As an creation to Beckett and his paintings, Professor Fletcher's publication is incomparable.
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Additional info for About Beckett. The Playwright and the Work
Some of the other features (ritual and fairy tale, mask and dance, stylization and formalization, relativity and flux), though equally important, need not detain us: they all derive essentially from the major traits that I have identified. Many of these aspects can, naturally enough, be observed operating in parallel in other performing arts in this century, such as the ballet, the cinema or, more recently, television. , and which can also be found in Tom Stoppard’s Postmodern revision of Hamlet, first performed in 1967, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.
The years that followed his abrupt departure from academe were lonely and often unhappy, but they were not wasted. Beckett travelled widely in Europe – in Germany in particular – making himself an expert in the visual arts (he later used his connoisseurship to champion neglected painters whom he had befriended, such as Henri Hayden and Bram van Velde) and in the major European languages and literatures. He even lived for a time in London, in Chelsea, where he set his first major novel, Murphy, published in 1938.
1962), we return by another route to that essential tragicomedy which, as we have seen, is so inseparable from Modernism. Equally characteristic is an attitude to the theatrical space that either divides it somewhere across the middle, or throws the barrier around the playhouse altogether. Drama before Modernism sought to foster the illusion that the audience was eavesdropping, that a ‘fourth wall’ had fallen away unbeknown to the characters and that the spectators were looking straight in. Ibsen does not disdain this trick, since trick is what it is: The Wild Duck begins in the most conventional manner imaginable, with the family servant explaining to the hired waiter the situation from which the drama is to spring (similar to what, in classical theatre, was known as the exposition, a function normally carried out in the prologue).