Drama

About Beckett. The Playwright and the Work by John Fletcher

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 crammed 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 level, 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 e-book is incomparable.

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Extra resources for About Beckett. The Playwright and the Work

Sample text

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).

The country was liberated before this could be accomplished, but Pelorson was compromised, so when he embarked on a career as a literary journalist after the war, he wrote under the name ‘Georges Belmont’. When I asked Beckett if Georges Belmont, the author of newspaper articles about his work (including, as we shall see, a review of the London première of the French Endgame), and Georges Pelorson the college friend and co-author of Le Kid (of which more below) were one and the same person, he said they were, but that there was no need for me to mention the fact in the bibliography I was preparing.

Like Molière in the seventeenth century and Ibsen in the nineteenth, he perceived instinctively the way things were going and helped them along. Such prescience involves technical innovation, certainly, but is not limited to it. That is why Beckett is greater than other influential twentieth-century dramatists such as the Italian Luigi Pirandello (1867–1936) or the German Bertolt Brecht (1898–1956), both of whom were in some respects more inventive theatrically than he was. His importance is, in fact, more akin to Molière’s.

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