October 26, 2011

Beckett’s Postwar Reading List


The Letters of Samuel Beckett, Volume 2 was released last month; the book reveals what the famous author was reading from 1941 to 1956, along with notes about the novels and essays he sent to various correspondents throughout the years. It shows Mr. Beckett at his best: lively, witty, and enamored with the absurd.

The Stranger by Albert Camus:

“Try and read it, I think it is important.”

Lautreamont and Sade by Maurice Blanchot:

“What emerges from it though is a truly gigantic Sade, jealous of Satan and of his eternal torments, and confronting nature more than with humankind.”

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger:

“I liked it very much indeed, more than anything for a long time.”

Mosquitoes by William Faulkner:

“With a preface by Queneau that would make an ostrich puke.”

Cambridge’s blog provides more examples of the Irish writer’s reading habits, along with laconic comments about the books from the man himself.