Beckett in Conversation, “yet again” / Rencontres avec Beckett, “encore”

Inexhaustible Beckett: even as his oeuvre continues to mark today’s literary, dramatic and other arts, the man and artist remain alive in the memories of those who knew him personally. Collected here are conversations with the author recalled by translators, scholars, artists, and theatre and media practitioners drawing on unpublished notes of meetings and uncollected (mostly) correspondence with him. Through the varied lenses of their reminiscences, readers will appreciate Beckett’s remarkable art of letter writing, his conversation punctuated by pregnant pauses, his exceptional humor and talent for friendship, and his punctilious concern for the translations, interpretations, and performance of his works. The readers of this volume will come to share the exhilaration the encounters with Beckett produced in the writers of these memoirs.

Inépuisable Beckett… Non seulement son œuvre reste vivante et laisse son empreinte dans la littérature, le théâtre et les arts actuels, mais sa personnalité d’homme et d’artiste continue à marquer ceux qui l’ont connu personnellement. Ce sont les témoignages de plusieurs d’entre eux que nous reproduisons ici. A travers leurs diverses perspectives, le lecteur pourra apprécier cet art épistolaire propre à Beckett, celui de sa conversation ponctuée de silences lourds de sens, son humour exceptionnel ainsi que son talent pour l’amitié, autant que la rigueur pointilleuse qu’il apportait aux traductions, interprétations et mises en scène de ses œuvres. Nous espérons que les lecteurs de ce volume pourront partager l’enchantement ressenti par les auteurs de ces mémoires lors de leurs rencontres avec Beckett.
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Biographical Note

Angela Moorjani, Professor Emerita, University of Maryland-UMBC, coeditor in chief of Samuel Beckett Today/Aujourd’hui, 2009-2016; books on Beckett and the psychoaesthetics of mourning in literature and the arts.

Danièle de Ruyter, Associate Professor (retired), Leiden University, and member of the editorial board of Samuel Beckett Today/Aujourd’hui until 2016; publications on theatre, Francophone literature, and authors bridging two cultures.

Sjef Houppermans, Associate Professor Emeritus, Leiden University, and editor in chief of Samuel Beckett Today/Aujourd’hui; books published on Roussel, Beckett, Proust, Ollier, Robbe-Grillet, Camus.

Review Quotes

Rhys Tranter has interviewed coeditor Angela Moorjani on this collection which recounts Samuel Beckett’s meetings with scholars, translators, and theatre practitioners (July 2017): https://rhystranter.com/2017/07/12/samuel-beckett-conversation/

Table of contents

Contributors / Auteurs

Introduction
Angela Moorjani and Danièle de Ruyter

Academic Translators Reflecting



Happy Years: Translating Beckett with Beckett
Erika Tophoven

Reminiscences of a Late Friendship
Antonia Rodríguez-Gago

Academics Reminiscing



My Conversations with Samuel Beckett
John Fletcher

Recollecting Sam-ness and Watt-ness
Angela Moorjani

The Many-Body Problem
Kishin Moorjani

Partially Purged in Montparnasse
John Pilling

On Meeting Samuel Beckett
John O’Brien

Memories of Meeting Beckett
Linda Ben-Zvi

“For the usual, at the usual”: Meeting Beckett in the Fourteenth Arrondissement
Gerry Dukes

Rencontre avec Samuel Beckett
Ahmad Kamyabi Mask

Artists and Theatre-, Television-, Radio Practitioners Remembering



Remembering (Almost Not Meeting) Beckett
Peter Gidal

“Come back soon!”
Anne Madden le Brocquy

Quelqu’ un de tellement discret
Bernadette Le Saché

Beckett Listens: Sound Production for the 1977 Geistertrio
Konrad Körte

Bothering Him with My Questions …
Marek Kędzierski

“From one world to another”: Beckett’s Radio Plays
Everett C. Frost

Addendum



Un après-midi avec Samuel Beckett
Nadia Kamel