18.7.12

Colm Tóibín on Samuel Beckett and his mother

Dan Barrett on New Ways to Kill Your Mother
Colm Tóibín, New Ways to Kill Your Mother
In Dan Barrett's (Pop Matters) review of Colm Tóibín's recent work, New Ways to Kill Your Mother, he draws attention to the essay on Beckett and the uneasy relationship with his mother, May:
Another character who will stick in my memory is Samuel Beckett. Toibin writes about Beckett when he was in his early adulthood, and suffering under the oppressive influence of a rather provincial, rather narrow-minded mother. What to do with young Samuel Beckett? He was listless, rude, and self-loathing. He spent a great deal of time sleeping and loitering in the National Gallery. He claimed that he struggled to produce a single sentence; he thought of his work as “turds”.

Learning this, it’s gratifying to think about what this young man eventually did with his life, and it’s an inspiring story for any writer in his 20s (or 30s, or even 40s) who is panicking about the struggle to “find a voice”. This struggle is as old as time. Just because you’re taking long naps and feeling desperate today, it doesn’t follow that you won’t one day produce a Happy Days, or a Waiting for Godot. [Read More]
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