Monday 25 November 2013

Beckett reading Watt

Another Beckett blog - you'll be wanting your money back. I have no idea how or where or when it was made (perhaps in 1965), but as far as I know it's the only known recording of the author reading from his great novel Watt, written in Rousillon during the Occupation and published in 1953. It may be the only known recording of Beckett reading his own work full stop.

It's a real find. Listen here.

Below are the first two pages of the first of the Watt notebooks, signed and marked 'Watt I,' with the following note: 'Watt was written in France during the war 1940-45 and published in 1953 by the Olympia Press.' On an inserted sheet, Beckett has written, 'Begun evening of Tuesday 11/2/41'.

When will a bright publisher consider a volume of Beckett's doodles?

Here's an extract from the novel, perfect for a Monday morning:

The Tuesday scowls, the Wednesday growls, the Thursday curses, the Friday howls, the Saturday snores, the Sunday yawns, the Monday morns, the Monday morns. The whacks, the moans, the cracks, the groans, the welts, the squeaks, the belts, the shrieks, the pricks, the prayers, the kicks, the tears, the skelps, and the yelps. 

Perhaps this week's blogs should all be about Beckettt. We shall see.

Extracts © The Estate of Samuel Beckett

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