Beckett’s Friendship by Andre Bernold

By Andre Bernold

An enthralling and sympathetic research of 1 of literature's such a lot opaque writers and of his pursuits in tune, philosophy, visible arts and the spoken arts.

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There was nothing more to be done. We would stay there for a bit longer and then we would part cheerfully, for our boredom was of no importance, not even for him, not even for me; and once back on the street, the whole thing would already be consigned to oblivion. He had hardly any interest in himself: from this stemmed his elegance. I can still see the strange elegance of his walk – uneven, determined, as if impeded by something. ]3 He would move slowly, with a careful and obstinate slowness, taking little steps, probably busy actually counting them one by one, bolt upright but with eyes cast down, limping very slightly on his left foot, which I felt he only set down with great care, a little crookedly.

I don’t know. A card by return post gave day, time, and place for a meeting. This was the first interview; it lasts exactly one hour in near total silence. I don’t remember a single word. We sat opposite each other, royally mute. I believe I remember that we were hunched forward a bit, so as to examine the deep breathing of this silence. A lot has been said about Beckett’s silences. For me, they were entirely normal. They came from a man who did not have much to add to what he had already expressed in his books.

2 However, it was obviously not a question of making conversation. We did not discuss, other than briefly, practical questions or those relating to technical aporias. So what about keeping each other company? That would have been fine, but of company, he had less need than I, and in friendship things must be equal. As a result, we did engage in conversation all the same, but in a special way. We would spend our time sending each other signals, both from afar and close at hand. What did we mean by this?

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