Tuesday, October 20, 2009

He Was the Man For His Time and Place.

I wrote a rather nostalgic piece on The Rumpus cataloging my lethargy towards e-books. In it, I mention Larry Shainberg (author of Crust) telling me a story about being with Samuel Beckett when he received his author-copies of one of his books. As I was writing the piece, I asked Larry to tell me the story again and this is what he wrote:
"I've forgotten which of Beckett's books I told you about. It was one he published when about 78 years old. After a cast party for the London production of Endgame (the one I wrote about, for which he invited me to watch rehearsals), I walked him -- across Hyde Park -- back to his hotel because he was a bit drunk and I was worried to see he'd make it. At the front desk, they presented him with a hand-delivered copy, the first he'd seen, and as we rode up in the elevator together (I wasn't about to leave him before he got to his room), he showed off the book to me as if it were his first... "'What do you think? Nice cover, isn't it?'"

"His enthusiasm, I should say, was in no way unusual. In general, he always seemed like a beginner in his work."

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