Quotations From SAMUEL BECKETT


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  • I've just been listening to that stupid bastard I took myself for thirty years ago, hard to believe I was ever as bad as that.
    Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), Irish dramatist, novelist. First edition, 1958. Krapp, in Krapp's Last Tape, p. 24, Grove Press (1960).

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  • Clear to me at last that the dark I have always struggled to keep under is in reality my most—
    Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), Irish dramatist, novelist. First edition, 1958. Krapp, in Krapp's Last Tape, p. 21, Grove Press (1960). Krapp is playing back a tape recording he made some years ago; the quoted sentence is interrupted when he angrily turns off the tape machine.

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  • The only thing you must never speak of is your happiness.
    Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), Irish dramatist, novelist. First published in 1953. Malone, in Malone Dies, p. 100, Grove Press (1970).

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  • Watt's concern, deep as it appeared, was not after all what the figure was, in reality, but with what the figure appeared to be, in reality.
    Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), Irish dramatist, novelist. First published in 1953. The narrator, in Watt, p. 227, Grove Press (1959).
  • Oh cursed corset! If I could let it out, without indecent exposure.
    Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), Irish dramatist, novelist. First edition, 1958. Mrs. Rooney, in "All That Fall," reprinted in Krapp's Last Tape, p. 43, Grove Press (1960).
  • I, of whom I know nothing, I know my eyes are open, because of the tears that pour from them unceasingly.
    Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), Irish dramatist, novelist. First published in 1958. The narrator, in The Unnamable, p. 22, Grove Press (1970).
  • There's man all over for you, blaming on his boots the faults of his feet.
    Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), Irish dramatist, novelist. Vladimir, in Waiting for Godot, p. 8, Grove Press (1954).
  • It is suicide to be abroad. But what is it to be at home, Mr. Tyler, what is it to be at home? A lingering dissolution.
    Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), Irish dramatist, novelist. First edition, 1958. Mrs. Rooney, in "All That Fall," reprinted in Krapp's Last Tape, p. 39, Grove Press (1960).

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  • What is more true than anything else? To swim is true and to sink is true. One cannot speak any more of being, one must speak only of the mess.
    Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), Irish dramatist, novelist. Tom F. Driver, "Beckett by the Medeleine" [interview], p. 23, Columbia University Forum IV (Summer, 1961).
  • I tell you nothing is known, cried Mr Nixon. Nothing.
    Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), Irish dramatist, novelist, and F. First published in 1953. Mr Nixon, in Watt, p. 21, Grove Press (1959).
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