The Letters and Poems of Samuel Beckett

14muldoon-blog427Paul Muldoon at The New York Times:

The contradictory nature of Beckett is everywhere in evidence here. On one hand there’s the fastidiousness about the “leaves too many.” On the other is the fierce self-deprecation and disengagement, whereby “Watt” is “my regrettable novel,” ” ‘Godot’ was written either between ‘Molloy’ and ‘Malone’ or between ‘Malone’ and ‘L’Innommable,’ I can’t remember,” and, about his radio play “Embers,” “Hate the sight of it in both ­languages.”

This last occurs in a letter of Dec. 1, 1959, to Barbara Bray, the BBC drama producer who oversaw the 1958 version of “All That Fall,” Beckett’s first radio play. The editing of this third volume of “The Letters of Samuel Beckett” is no less exemplary than that with which we’ve come to be familiar from the first and second, but the entry on Bray in the “Profiles” section is a masterpiece of tact and tacitness:

“Few people can have come so close to SB. Lively, inventive and with a strong literary sensibility, she was the ideal person to help him through his characteristic lack of confidence about the new medium — not least because she saw at once that it was perhaps, of all the media, the one best suited to his gifts.

more here.