Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Unknown American Source of Beckett's Fiction

Tuesday afternoon Oct 20

found this terrific link between Kenneth Burke’s novel and Beckett’s Unnamable--in The Believer from 2006  

"Towards a Better Life is the longest piece in this collection, a sort of one-sided epistolary novel with a flamboyantly solipsistic narrator. Ostensibly, the story is about the narrator’s relationship with the ex-friend to whom the epistles are addressed, but the discourse seldom escapes the confines of his own mind; instead of relying upon external images or events to explain his emotional state, the narrator writes in carefully balanced aphorism and analysis, something like Samuel Beckett’s The Unnamable from the point of view of Jane Austen."    by  Dan Johnson 


Katherine Anne Porter took a few copies of Burke’s new novel to Paris to have Sylvia Beach sell them in Shakespeare and Company.  Beckett bought a copy there perhaps five or six years later.  

This last is my invention but I did check the timelines and I think it quite possible.  It is so wonderful I just know it must be true.  Or at least "true."  Remember,  as Chinua Achebe says, all stores are true. 

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