Random Notes

Because what happens never happens…

September 22, 2008

Paul Auster kicks off The New York Trilogy saying, “In the good mystery there is nothing wasted, no sentence, no word that is not significant.  And even if it is not significant, it has the potential to be so—which amounts to the same thing.”  So we’d better pay close attention. Having just finished Beckett’s Murphy […]

Drum of words…

September 18, 2008

Before I get to Paul Auster’s New York Trilogy, I thought I’d share this bit of early Auster.  Published in 1979 in a little volume of poetry called Facing the Music, this poem, might have been an out-take of a long-lost notebook of Samuel Beckett’s.  Turns out that Auster is the editor of the recent […]


I’d like to quote the final chapter of Murphy in its entirety.  But I guess that’d be nuts.  And you wouldn’t really read it, would you?   It is in these final few pages that Beckett finally comes around to writing seriously about the image that got him started on the book in the first place—kites […]

War of the words

Murphy isn’t as poetic as, say, Molloy.  I was a bit disappointed to discover that.  There is little of the bleakness (other than maybe the down and outness of Murphy’s London), the romantic gloom of blasted heaths, rainy ditches and lonesome trees on country roads.  It’s a comedy, so I tried to relax, not sweat […]

Beckett as beach read

September 17, 2008

Did you know that scholars, rummaging around in the papers of Beckett’s dusty Paris estate, recently discovered what might be a long-lost play?  A long suspected, lost masterwork.  It consists of 23 blank pages that magnificently capture the starkness and emptiness of modern life.  The first page, alone, scholars say, is genius.  It’s true.  I […]