Quotations From SAMUEL BECKETT


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  • I shall state silences more competently than ever a better man spangled the butterflies of vertigo.
    Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), Irish dramatist, novelist. Belacqua, in Dream of Fair to Middling Women (written 1932, published 1992).
  • To find a form that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now.
    Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), Irish dramatist, novelist. Quoted in Deirdre Bair, Samuel Beckett, a Biography, ch. 21 (1978). Conversation with John Driver, 1961.
  • I want very much to be back in the caul, on my back in the dark forever.
    Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), Irish dramatist, novelist. First published in 1934. Belacqua, in More Pricks than Kicks, p. 29, Grove Press (1970).

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  • What is this love that more than all the cursed deadly or any other of its great movers so moves the soul and soul what is this soul that more than by any of its great movers is by love so moved?
    Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), Irish dramatist, novelist. Words in "Words and Music," one of the dramatic pieces in Cascando, p. 25, Grove Press (1968). "The cursed deadly" refers to the seven deadly sins.

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  • Friendship, according to Proust, is the negation of that irremediable solitude to which every human being is condemned.
    Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), Irish dramatist, novelist. First published in 1931. Proust, p. 46, Grove Press (1957).

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  • Sloth is all passions the most powerful.
    Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), Irish dramatist, novelist. Words in "Words and Music," one of the dramatic pieces in Cascando, p. 23, Grove Press (1968).
  • That penny farthing hell you call your mind
    Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), Irish dramatist, novelist. Woman's voice, in "Eh Joe," one of the dramatic pieces in Cascando, p. 37, Grove Press (1968).
  • They give birth astride of a grave, the light gleams an instant, then it's night once more.
    Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), Irish dramatist, novelist. Pozzo, in Waiting for Godot, p. 57a, Grove Press (1954). "They" refers to women who become mothers.

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  • An imaginative adventure does not enjoy the same corsets as reportage.
    Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), Irish dramatist, novelist. "An Imaginative Work!" p. 81, Dublin Magazine, xi, n.s. (July-Sept., 1936).
  • The tears of the world are a constant quality. For each one who begins to weep, somewhere else another stops. The same is true of the laugh.
    Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), Irish dramatist, novelist. Pozzo, in Waiting for Godot, act 1.

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