After seeing a great performance of Samuel Beckett shorts last night in Cambridge, I wanted to share this video of a Beckett tribute from one of his biggest supporters — the playwright and poet Harold Pinter — in the hopes that his voice might take root in a few new minds.
Less than two months after Samuel Beckett’s death on 22 December 1989 Harold Pinter recorded this memoir of Beckett under the title “A Wake for Sam.” Pinter shares his memories of his first meeting with Beckett, reads a short appreciation, and finally recites the conclusion of The Unnamable.
Beckett once wrote to the younger Harold Pinter, “If you insist on finding form [in my plays] I’ll describe it for you. I was in hospital once. There was a man in another ward, dying of throat cancer. In the silences I could hear his screams continually. That’s the only kind of form my work has.”
If we think of this existence of the individual as a larger or smaller room, it appears evident that most people learn to know only a corner of their room, a place by the window, a strip of floor on which they walk up and down.
~Rainer Maria Rilke
Ego is like a room of your own…with the temperature and the smells and the music that you like…But the more you think that way, the more you try to get life to come out so that it will always suit you, the more your fear of other people and what’s outside your room grows. Rather than becoming more relaxed you start pulling down the shades and locking the door…The more you try to get it your way, the less you feel at home. ~Pema Chodron
Everyone carries a room about inside him. This fact can even be proved by means of the sense of hearing. If someone walks fast and one pricks up one’s ears and listens, say in the night, when everything round about is quiet, one hears, for instance, the rattling of a mirror not quite firmly fastened to the wall.
Dear incomprehension, it’s thanks to you I’ll be myself, in the end. ~Beckett
More Beckett on the web:
- Harold Pinter performing in Krapp’s Last Tape in a Royal Court Theatre Production from 2006.
- The Onion piece about a lost Beckett play.
- A film featuring Buster Keaton written by Beckett