Sunday, April 30, 2006

Collected Works of Samuel Beckett, Grove 2006

Wow. That about sums this bit of book-fetishist-eye-candy. Handsome in that welcome-to-the-canon sort of blue-backed, hard-bound, conservative way. With introductions by series editor Paul Auster, and a host of other boys--Rushdie, Coetzee, Albee, Toiban--introducing the volumes themselves: two for novels, one for the plays, and one with poetry, short fiction and criticism. Well, is it criticism really? Perhaps if one squints. Interesting to be sure, but criticism? And who has read Beckett's poetry? The same person who read Auster's poetry no doubt. Not I. But now I can, at my leisure. Here was the first lovely surprise:

Serena II

this clonic earth

see-saw she is blurred in sleep
she is fat half dead the rest is free-wheeling
part the black shag the pelt
is ashen woad
snarl and howl in the wood wake all the birds
hound the harlots out of the ferns
this damfool twilight threshing in the brake
bleating to be bloodied
this crapulent hush
tears its heart out

and so on...(Reminded me of Dennis Lee's Un, which I am a big fan of.) The novels, the fiction, the PLAYS!!! I'm so excited. Now all I need is the 4 volume Beckett on Film, and I will have satisfied my Beckett archiving lust. (Who am I kidding...) One minor flaw: where are the women, Mr. Auster? Why not an introduction by Lydia Davis, Mr. Auster? It's so irritating over and over to see this broad gender blindness. The other night at the Three Penny Opera for instance, of the 10 orchestra musicians was there one woman? Nope. Course not. Not a one.

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