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Thursday, April 13, 2006

Samuel Beckett's Birthday. The NYTimes says, "The average educated person typically owns the paperback of "Waiting for Godot" plus a select handful of the numerous other 50-to-60-page volumes, set in large type, that Grove Press issued over the years." I wonder if that is true. I have a fair size Beckett shelf, since I was a teenage existentialist and all-- but it seems to me that having a copy of "The Unnamable" is more a badge of the pretentious than of being an average educated person.

Interestingly, today is also the birthday of Eudora Welty (thanks to wood s lot for the tip). Welty is one of those writers that I feel like I should know better. If I'd taken a different path and ended up teaching English, I suspect that I'd have worked my way around to teaching a Welty class by now, but I lack the ambition to undertake a survey of her writing on my own just now. It is a funny contrast between Beckett and Welty-- Beckett is very much associated in my mind with a particular kind of Irishness, but his writing takes place in a sort of no place-- it is all surfaces, without internal location. Welty, on the other hand, although thought of as a regional sort of author, is nevertheless concerned on the interior of her characters.

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