Endspiel by Samuel Beckett
A very silly title to a very silly post. To maintain some clarification, I do not wish I were Beckett. I only admire him for being an example that not everything the same can also be good. I do not believe Beckett to be the intellectual and/or difficult writer that so many claim of him – or that so many academics have given him. I think he’s a great example of purity and simpleness and how the two make for beautiful art… Or something like that. But before I continue with Beckett…
I still do not claim to believe in ”writer’s block”. But this morning, while working on a story, I realized that I had reached a dead end. I started writing it about two weeks ago and have since had two misleading breaks that have caused great pain in maintaining the focus, the concentration, the gist of the story. After the second break – this past weekend – I found that I had simply lost touch with what was streaming out of me only a few days prior. It’s sad, really, especially when one looks at such an unsuccessful (worts)writer as myself. Oh. The thousands of words I have obviously wasted. So much potential gone astray, one could say. Others would say: ”fuck it”, just get on with it all the same. Yet, how does a ”writer” explain to those who don’t write what it means to lose the connection, the trust, the fluidity of thecreative process? If only I had the courage to end it all – this writing madness. But I won’t give up. Especially when I think of all the grasshoppers for whom I’m providing such an example – you know, of how not to write. This grand trip we are taking together dear worst-reader, the places we are seeing, e.g. the corners of our rooms with too many cobwebs or the cracks in the tiles of our terraces, these places where our eyes gather and see what needs to be seen – the emptiness, the nothingness – is what keeps us going. Is it not?
Or knowing that we will at least dream of trying to achieve what the greats have done before us. I speak, no less, of he who haunts me (us?): Sam Beckett. The genius and purity, simpleness, precision of pen. I’m only barely worthy to read and own a few of his books or to have had the privilege of seeing some of his theater on varying stages.
(Image of book.)
I know. Though shallt not want. And at this point it doesn’t really matter. I only own a few books. Most of my books are just plain old paperbacks bought used – because I hate hardcover books and paperbacks were (at the time) easier to travel with. I also own a few – I guess you could call them – collector edition books. One of my favorite books is a special printed edition of Endgame from the September 26, 1967, Berlin premier that was directed by Sam Beckett himself. The publisher of the book is Suhrkamp. The cast of the play is as follows:
- Nell (left can): Gudrun Genest
- Nagg (right can): Werner Stock
- Hamm (dude with glasses): Ernst Schröder
- Clov (dude kinda bent over): Horst Bollmann
The thing that’s cool about this book is that when you unfold it you get the feeling your in the audience. It’s printed in hard cover A4 landscape. The cover has a pic of Sam Beckett directing, see above. The title is:
Samuel Beckett inszeniert das ”Endspiel”
The inner cover has a few pics of the actors from the inszenierung and when you open it completely the whole book resembles a fold-out, maybe pop-up theater stage. When all the folds/covers are opened the left and right folds have pictures of curtains on them. The inside of the main cover has pictures of a ceiling with strobe lights. As you flip through the pages the text of the play is printed on the top page and a picture of the corresponding scene is printed on the next page below in black &white. At the end of the play there is a rehearsal journal, or diary, that contains the daily happenings, including what Mr. Beckett was doing, where he sat in rehearsals, what he drank, etc. The journal begins on Friday, August 18, 1967, with: ”Im Hof des Schiller-Theaters…”
Yes. What a lovely book to own.
Rant and dream on.