Samuel Beckett

Corpsey

call me big papa
I also think it's worth saying that nobody should be expected to read 'The Wasteland', e.g., 'cold', without any knowledge of what he was attempting to do and what sources he's using — and to understand it or even to persist with it. (Luka will disagree.)

The Norton Critical Edition of The Wasteland is invaluable.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
It's the kind of thing I want to understand though and that keeps me plugging away.
I think Ulysses has hundred page sections like this which are intolerably dull to read (I only think it cos I didn't get to those bits).

I don't think he did it purposelessly, or perversely, but from the reader's POV it can be hard going.

Not read Portrait for many years but I imagine he puts in a lot of that heavy aesthetic theory to somewhat ironise his younger self - as he does in the Stephen Dedalus chapters in 'Ulysses'. It helps to read the early 'Protesus' stream of Stephen's consciousness to recognise that this is the mind of somebody who has read a lot of books but is fundamentally psychologically immature and chaotic. Cos if you read it thinking I have to understand everything he refers to here you're going to have to do a lot of secondary reading, which is perhaps not the point...
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
Yeah, I got the impression he was supposed to be a bit of a Will Hunting: library for a brain with little in the way of genuine experience.
 

luka

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Staff member
I also think it's worth saying that nobody should be expected to read 'The Wasteland', e.g., 'cold', without any knowledge of what he was attempting to do and what sources he's using — and to understand it or even to persist with it. (Luka will disagree.)

The Norton Critical Edition of The Wasteland is invaluable.
I do think this completely batty. Like insisting on reading a guidebook cover to cover before visiting Slough. Who cares?
 

luka

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The good thing with Naked Lunch is it's designed to be read in bits so you can flip through it, pick it up whenever and don't have to feel obligated to go cover to cover if it becomes a bit much.
It's not designed at all.
 

luka

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Joyce is another one who it's helpful to get into via the earlier more accessible stuff - Dubliners and (less accessible but still fairly straightforward) Portrait of the Artist.
Don't bother with anything earlier than The Wake imo
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
It's not designed at all.
Shut up, you cleft. Yes, it is. He said so himself.

"You can cut into Naked Lunch at any intersection point... I have written many prefaces. They atrophy and amputate spontaneous... "
 

luka

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Staff member
Shut up, you cleft. Yes, it is. He said so himself.

"You can cut into Naked Lunch at any intersection point... I have written many prefaces. They atrophy and amputate spontaneous... "
It's not designed. That is a feature of its lack of design.
 

luka

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It's written in the same way my stuff is written. It's a series of short 'bits' written over a certain time period, squished together willy nilly and the order which occurs comes from the perverse will of the cosmos not the conscious intervention of the so-called author. Fact!
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
I do think this completely batty. Like insisting on reading a guidebook cover to cover before visiting Slough. Who cares?
I agree re: going in cold, but people do actually want to read The Waste Land. Nobody wants to visit Slough.
 

luka

Active member
Staff member
Because it is not written as a coherent consistent narrative beginning middle end naturally it follows that you can 'cut-in' at any point.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
No. I'm still awake. And I actually feel surprisingly fired up. I think just being awake in the day gives you a bit more energy, even if you're knackered.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
I do think this completely batty. Like insisting on reading a guidebook cover to cover before visiting Slough. Who cares?
"This is your one chance to have a first reading without any opinions and observations cluttering your mind (including your own). Leave the guides alone."
 
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