It is useless not to seek, not to want, for when you cease to seek you start to find, and when you cease to want, then life begins to ram her fish and chips down your gullet until you puke, and then the puke down your gullet until you puke the puke, and then the puked puke until you begin to like it.— Samuel Beckett
Joyful Beckett quotations
The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new.
I don't think there's been any writer like Samuel Beckett.
He's unique. He was a most charming man and I used to send him my plays.
As Beckett said, it's not enough to die, one has to be forgotten as well.
Gertrude Stein, all courage and will, is a soldier of minimalism.
Her work, unlike the resonating silences in the art of Samuel Beckett, embodies in its loquacity and verbosity the curious paradox of the minimalist form. This art of the nuance in repetition and placement she shares with the orchestral compositions of Philip Glass.
[Contemporary writer] could be a kind of [Samuel] Beckett who would not be felt to be totally committed to despair.
I admire [Samuel] Beckett, but I am totally against him. He seeks no improvement.
I belong to that generation who, as students, had before their eyes, and were limited by, a horizon consisting of Marxism, phenomenology and existentialism. For me the break was first Beckett's Waiting for Godot, a breathtaking performance.
It's so nice to know where you're going, in the early stages.
It almost rids you of the wish to go there.
Nothing is funnier than unhappiness.
He [Samuel Beckett] is great, a very great writer.
Any modern writer is bound to be influenced by [James] Joyce. Of course, by Beckett as well.
The conversation with the dead is one of the great pleasures of life.
Somebody who is sitting reading Chekhov, Beckett, reading Toni Morrison - you are not in any way dead, in many ways you are intensely alive.
Each writer is born with a repertory company in his head.
Shakespeare has perhaps twenty players, and Tennessee Williams has about five, and Samuel Beckett one - and maybe a clone of that one. I have ten or so, and that's a lot. As you get older, you become more skillful at casting them.
According to Beckett's or Kafka's law, there is immobility beyond movement: beyond standing up, there is sitting down, and beyond sitting down, lying down, beyond which one finally dissipates.
Beckett had an unerring light on things, which I much appreciated.
Artemis: "Right, brothers. Onward. Imagine yourself seated at a cafe in Montmartre." Myles: "In Paris." Artemis: "Yes, Paris. And try as you will, you cannot attract the waiter's attention. What do you do?" Beckett: "Umm...tell Butler to jump-jump-jump on his head?" Myles: "I agree with simple-toon." Artemis: "No! You simply raise one finger and say clearly 'ici, garcon.'" Beckett: "Itchy what?
Beckett does not believe in God, though he seems to imply that God has committed an unforgivable sin by not existing.
Where do I begin? I loved working with Kate Hepburn, which was one of the highlights of my life; Working with Richard Burton in Beckett was another great joy.
The one living playwright I admire without any reservation whatsoever is Samuel Beckett. I have funny feelings about almost all the others.
Read the great stuff, but read the stuff that isn't so great, too.
Great stuff is very discouraging. If you read only Beckett and Chekhov, you'll go away and only deliver telegrams for Western Union.
I am not interested in living in a city where there isn't a production by Samuel Beckett running.
People ask me all the time, "What are your influences? Are you trying to do Beckett?" It's like, "No, I'm trying to do me." Whatever that is. I don't know what that is, but that's the basis. I'm trying to be true and I'm trying to be honest.
When I was a very young student I loved and admired the work of Sam Beckett, who is famously pessimistic, and whose writing is an extraordinary examination of emptiness. I wanted to be like Beckett. I don't have the same attitude toward the world, I'm naturally optimistic, and so of course I could never be like Beckett. You can't force yourself to become like someone you admire.
The first play I saw was a Samuel Beckett play which was great.
I would say recently I've gotten back to perusing [Samuel] Beckett's novels.
Listening to the way Donald Trump speaks without saying anything has made me think about language.
I don't know if [Samuel] Beckett is something you ever bring to the beach - get out of the water, towel off, and start reading some of "The Unnamable." Although, because it's the kind of book you can open to any page and start reading, it is beach reading in that way.
At Princeton I wrote my junior paper on Virginia Woolf, and for my senior thesis I wrote on Samuel Beckett. I wrote some about "Between the Acts" and "Mrs. Dalloway'' but mostly about "To the Lighthouse." With Beckett I focused, perversely, on his novels, "Molloy," "Malone Dies," and "The Unnamable." That's when I decided I should never write again.
Samuel Beckett once said, "Every word is like an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness." ...On the other hand, he SAID it.
Samuel Beckett's 'Waiting for Godot,' billed as 'the laugh sensation of two continents,' made its American debut at the Coconut Grove Playhouse, in Miami, Florida, in 1956. My father, Bert Lahr, was playing Estragon, one of the two bowler-hatted tramps who pass the time in a lunar landscape as they wait in vain for the arrival of a Mr. Godot.
I went and saw him [ John Hurt ] here in L.
A.He did a one-man Beckett show of Krapp's Last Tape. I went back and saw him afterwards, and what an actor he is. He is so gifted.
Food is a necessary component to life.
People can live without Renoir, Mozart, Gaudi, Beckett, but they cannot live without food.
The Australian Gerald Murnane, a genius on the level of Beckett, is known in Australia and Sweden but almost nowhere else. And I loved Reality Hunger, David Shields' recent novel take on the art of the novel.
Poets think in short lines. Unless you're Samuel Beckett, Twitter might be more difficult for novelists.
Throughout the 1960s and 1970s devoted Beckett readers greeted each successively shorter volume from the master with a mixture of awe and apprehensiveness; it was like watching a great mathematician wielding an infinitesimal calculus, his equations approaching nearer and still nearer to the null point.
[Abbas Kiarostami] is a great artist and a poet.
I sometimes think that if Samuel Beckett made films, he'd make them like Kiarostami makes them.
Kamby Bolongo Mean River is an original and fearless fiction. It bears genetic traces of Beckett and Stein, but Robert Lopez's powerful cadences and bleak, joyful wit are all his own.
Ben Marcus has created an innovative and unflinching portrait of the turmoil of the human condition, providing the reader a most rare gift: something truly new. Notable American Women contains strains of Donald Antrim and Samuel Beckett but is beholden to neither; it is a brave, original book.
In Kamby Bolongo Mean River damage and delusion walk hand in hand, and everything we think we know is gradually called into question. Reading like a cross between Samuel Beckett's 'The Calmative' and Gordon Lish's Dear Mr. Capote, Robert Lopez's new novel gets under your skin and latches on.
When the animal becomes human, the effect is pleasingly benign and we laugh outloud, "Okay come clean now. This isn't really about hunting, is it?" But when the human becomes animal, the effect is disgusting, and if we laugh at all, then it is what Beckett calls the "mirthless laugh", which laughs at that which is unhappy.
My favourite writer is Beckett and I keep going back to wallow in his work like a deep pool of dark humour or like an oxygen tank when you can't breath in a world consumed by piety, hypocrisy and self-satisfaction.
Samuel Beckett is the person that I read the most of - certainly the person whose books I own the most of. Probably 800 or 900, maybe 1,000 books of just Samuel Beckett. By him, about him, in different languages, etc. etc. Notebooks of his, letters of his that I own, personal letters - not to me, but I bought a bunch of correspondence of his. I love his humor, and I'm always blown away by his syntax and his ideas. So I keep reading those.
Unfortunately, I'm not a history buff. I don't read biographies, except of some of those writers whom I've collected over the years - particularly Samuel Beckett and Henry Miller, people like Charles Bukowski and John Fante and David Foster Wallace.
I have 800 books of just Samuel Beckett's work, tons of his correspondence, personal letters that he wrote. I have copies of plays he used when he directed, so all of his handwritten notes are in the corners of the page.
These are your beautiful days, Julia Beckett," he promised softly.
Ibsen, Chekhov, Shakespeare, and Beckett to me are the most revolutionary.