By DWIGHT GARNER writing in the New York Times, March 5, 2009
It would hardly seem possible were the evidence not right here: Samuel Beckett, that most taciturn and private of 20th-century writers — the man who said “every word is like an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness” — was in fact one of the century’s great correspondents.
Samuel Beckett in an undated photograph.
THE LETTERS OF SAMUEL BECKETT
Volume 1, 1929-1940
Edited by Martha Dow Fehsenfeld and Lois More Overbeck
Illustrated. 782 pages. Cambridge University Press. US$50
Letters made Beckett feel in touch with the larger world. He answered “in polite and timely fashion practically every letter that was addressed to him,” the editors write. His tended to close with “Yours ever” or “Beautiful Greetings” or “God love thee.” Then, simply, “Sam.”