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Watt (Beckett, Samuel)
Watt (Beckett, Samuel)
von Samuel Beckett
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 12,66

4.0 von 5 Sternen The Occupation novel, 29. April 1998
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Watt (Beckett, Samuel) (Taschenbuch)
"Watt" is probably the most difficult text of Beckett's to get through-the apparent banality of plot and theme, the confusion of voice and later of language(by Watt at least, if not the reader), the rhythmic yet maddening combinatory inventories of personal posessions (a hallmark of "Molloy" in the trilogy to come) that comprises much of the dense often paragraphless prose, the fundamental personality-lessness of the titualar character, the novels appendix that hints at what might have been included but was not(except, of course, as an appendix, which ultimately includes it), all make the experience of Watt at times incredibly trying to get through. But it has beautiful, wise, and enigmatic passages enough to goad continued reading. Written while Beckett was active in the French Resistance during WWII, often while in hiding or on the run and always at night, the peculiarly drawn out trivialities of the life of the servant Watt become zen reflections on a life that cannot be lived with introspection, for that might yield the madness that is for this reader suggested by the seeming (if shadowy and vague) incarceration of Watt and Sam the narrator. Beckett is often accused of being too negative in his art, of aligning himself with the dread of the existentialists who shared his experience and context in midcentury France. I find that Beckett's dread is not some heroic answer to a banal and futile existence, but the only honest response one can have to an acknowledgement of "existence-in-itself"(whatever that means):to record a life of unknowing, to fail to represent it faithfully, to record the tension between the necessity of the record and its failure to be faithfully displayed, all with the "mirthless laugh...,the saluting of the highest joke,...the laugh that laughs--silence please--at that which is unhappy"(Watt,p.48). Desparate expression, with only the will to laugh, if lacking the joke.


Murphy (Beckett, Samuel)
Murphy (Beckett, Samuel)
von Samuel Beckett
  Taschenbuch

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5.0 von 5 Sternen A masterpiece, 22. März 1998
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Murphy (Beckett, Samuel) (Taschenbuch)
Not as powerful as the fiction he would write in the next decade in France, but funny. The self-conscious narration resembles some of the humor of Watt(in the footnotes and the appendix), but as it's chief expressive voice. Beckett tries to write about philosophy, probably why this is the least philosophically expressive novel of them all. There is actually a story here, farcical as it is. Probably the first reader-participation novel written(you gotta play chess). Hints of what was to come, but mostly in retrospect. Murphy is a fun read, it's almost a shame it was written by the author of Waiting for Godot, Molloy, Endgame, Stories & Texts for Nothing, footfalls: it doesn't come close to the complexities expressed in those works, probably because it follows Joyce, and tries.


The Complete Short Prose of Samuel Beckett, 1929-1989 (Beckett, Samuel)
The Complete Short Prose of Samuel Beckett, 1929-1989 (Beckett, Samuel)
von S. E. Gontarski
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 14,99

5.0 von 5 Sternen The forgotten master of short prose, 22. März 1998
Essential for anyone interested in 20th century prose. Complements the holes in language the novels & plays sought to expose. Beckett knew everything there is to know about form. These shorts move between poetry and prose. See especially the series "First Love", "The Expelled", "The Calmative", "The End"- the bridge from Watt to Molloy. The blackened page of Beckett's paragraph-less mummur is not for everyone, but once you hear his rhythm, it is not easily forgotten.


The Castle of Crossed Destinies (Harvest/HBJ Book)
The Castle of Crossed Destinies (Harvest/HBJ Book)
von Italo Calvino
  Taschenbuch
Preis: EUR 15,65

5.0 von 5 Sternen Shifting identities, 5. März 1998
Of the four books I have read by Calvino(all to be highly recommended for anyone who does not wish to be allowed to read passively, and who also is looking for something that will "delight in the re-reading", as well as the surprise in the new), "Castle" most adopts a particular structure to present a tale of shifting identities, as do his other novels. Knowledge of the Canterbury Tales is helpful, but Calvino makes sure it sits in the background and does not dominate his readings. I use "readings", if you must know, because this is the strucutre of the novel-a series of tarot card readings of a group of travelers who stop in this castle. The stories are wonderful, in the proud Italian tradition of Boccacio, Petrarch, and Chauser(who learned all he could fropm his Italian masters), and his modern master Borges, and the framing device, is interesting and used subtly and skillfully. If you don't have questions about the nature of narratives and fictions, and about the way those answers implicate how a human subject understands reality or comes to it, "Castle" may not be for you, as you may get bogged down in it's introverted labyrinthine reflections. If Borges' metaphysical fariy tales are your cup of tea, it here runneth over.


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