By John Fletcher

In About Beckett Emeritus Professor John Fletcher has compiled an intensive and obtainable quantity that explains why Beckett's paintings is so major and enduring. Professor Fletcher first met Beckett in 1961 and his booklet is crammed not just with insights into the paintings but in addition interviews with Beckett and first-hand tales and observations by means 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 advent to Beckett and his paintings, Professor Fletcher's booklet is incomparable.

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26). ’ is a not-untypical line from the play – masks a complex power struggle between different members of the same family that leads the wife of one of them to desert her husband and accept the role of call girl in their employ. ’) to realism in the last episode, in which a particularly brutal killing is enacted before our very eyes. The language here, as Martin Esslin would say, is transcended by the action, and the mythic quality of the most everyday utterances brought astonishingly to life.

In Ibsen’s The Wild Duck this spectacle is that of Hjalmar’s pretended ‘nobility in the presence of death’, which we, like one of the other characters, Dr Relling, know to be a sham, because within a year he will be holding forth with maudlin eloquence upon young Hedvig’s suicide. It is also the spectacle of those clownish intellectuals in their down-at-heel togs playing histrionically to the gallery as they fill in the empty time waiting for Godot. In both cases the tone is ambiguous: Hjalmar’s situation is heartbreaking, and Estragon’s is desperate; but the manner in which these situations are presented is enough to make them comical.

Endgame, on the other hand, was a radically experimental work by any standard.

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