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Quotations From SAMUEL BECKETT


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  • Watt had watched people smile and thought he understood how it was done.
    Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), Irish dramatist, novelist. First published in 1953. The narrator, in Watt, p. 25, Grove Press (1959).

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  • You are not satisfied unless form is so strictly divorced from content that you can comprehend the one without almost without bothering to read the other.
    Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), Irish dramatist, novelist. First published in 1929. in "Dante ... Bruno. Vico ... Joyce," an essay in Our Examination Round his Factification for Incamination of Work in Progress, p. 13, Faber and Faber (1972). By "you" Beckett means the reading public.
  • Union ... brothers ... Marx ... capital ... bread and butter ... love. It was all Greek to me.
    Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), Irish dramatist, novelist. First published in 1967. The narrator, in "The End" (in Stories and Texts for Nothing), p. 66, Grove Press (1968).

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  • The screaming silence of no's knife in yes's wound.
    Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), Irish dramatist, novelist. First published in 1967. The narrator, in Stories and Texts for Nothing 13, p. 139, Grove Press (1968).

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  • All poetry, as discriminated from the various paradigms of prosody, is prayer.
    Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), Irish dramatist, novelist. "Humanistic Quietism," p. 79, Dublin Magazine, ix, n.s. (July-Sept., 1934).

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  • The words too, slow, slow, the subject dies before it comes to the verb, words are stopping too.
    Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), Irish dramatist, novelist. First published in 1967. The narrator, in Stories and Texts for Nothing 2, p. 82, Grove Press (1968).
  • With what words shall I name my unnamable words?
    Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), Irish dramatist, novelist. First published in 1967. The narrator, in Stories and Texts for Nothing 6, p. 105, Grove Press (1968).
  • There is at least this to be said for mind, that it can dispel mind.
    Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), Irish dramatist, novelist. "Macgreevy on Yeats," p. 2, Irish Times, August 4, 1945.
  • There I sat, in the biting wind, wishing she were gone.
    Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), Irish dramatist, novelist. First edition, 1958. Krapp, in Krapp's Last Tape, p. 19, Grove Press (1960). Krapp is speaking of his dying mother.

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  • How all becomes clear and simple when one opens an eye on the within, having of course previously exposed it to the without, in order to benefit by the contrast.
    Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), Irish dramatist, novelist. First published in 1958. The narrator, in The Unnamable, p. 77, Grove Press (1970).
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