Happy birthday, Samuel Beckett! Here are some quotes from his writing.
“Birth was the death of him.”
“Words are the clothes thoughts wear.”
“I have always been amazed at my contemporaries’ lack of finesse, I whose soul writhed from morning to night, in the mere quest of itself.”
“To restore silence is the role of objects.”
“The fact is, it seems, that the most you can hope is to be a little less, in the end, the creature you were in the beginning, and the middle.”
“In me there have always been two fools, among others, one asking nothing better than to stay where he is and the other imagining that life might be slightly less horrible a little further on.”
“We are all born mad. Some remain so.”
“Dear incomprehension, it’s thanks to you I’ll be myself, in the end.”
“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
“There’s man all over for you, blaming on his boots the fault of his feet.”
“I can’t go on. I’ll go on.”
“Any fool can turn a blind eye but who knows what the ostrich sees in the sand.”
“[N]o need of a story, a story is not compulsory, just a life, that’s the mistake I made, one of the mistakes, to have wanted a story for myself, whereas life alone is enough.”
“Yes, in my life, since we must call it so, there were three things, the inability to speak, the inability to be silent, and solitude, that’s what I’ve had to make the best of.”
John Madera's fiction may be found in Conjunctions, Opium Magazine, The &Now Awards 2: The Best Innovative Writing, and many other journals. His criticism may be found in American Book Review, Bookforum, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Rain Taxi: Review of Books, The Believer, The Brooklyn Rail, and many other venues. Recipient of an M.F.A. in Literary Arts from Brown University, John Madera lives in New York City, where he runs Rhizomatic and manages and edits Big Other.