Samuel Beckett sitting in the study of his apartment in Paris. Photograph by Henri-Cartier Bresson

'Where would I go, if I could go, who would I be, if I could be, what would I say, if I had a voice, who says this, saying it's me? Answer simply, someone answer simply.'

Samuel Beckett, Texts for Nothing
I continue to wind my way through Paul Auster's novels, poetry and criticism and find that he's series editor of the Grove Centenary edition of Samuel Beckett's works. There are definite links between Auster and Beckett, not only thematically but stylistically as well. But picking up one of the four Beckett tomes this afternoon made me remember what's truly great about him. For a moment I forget Auster and glance over these new bright pages.

I charge the book to my library card and count the minutes to lunch. At one o'clock, prompt, I tuck it into my knapsack and head out into the daylight. Finding a comfortable spot in the dirt under a tree, I kick off my boots and spend the entire hour reading - dipping into short stories that run and move more like prose poems than structured narrative. I love the simple, pared-down austere approach he brings to each thing that he writes; Beckett has a bare bones minimalism that communicates a limit. He's a master of restraint, and somehow manages to say very much with very little.

I started today's entry with a Beckett quote that I love, taken from Texts for Nothing. I'll fizzle out with another, taken from Fizzle 5: Still. Beckett's first line is a beautiful way to start, and a fitting way to finish:

'Bright at last close of a dark day the sun shines out at last and goes down.'