Thanks, dirac, for starting this thread. It would be wonderful to hear BT'rs responses to -- and experiences with -- Beckett.
Anthony Lane's long review in The New Yorker is here:
Lane makes it clear that this is not an easy read -- it's 780 pages long -- but worth reading nonetheless. I loved this sentence:
More and more my language appears to me like a veil which one has to tear apart in order to get to those things (or the nothingness) lying behind it." 1937
For those who have access to the print edition of the Times Literary Supplement (March 13), there is a lead review by Gabriel Josipovici. (Fantastic full-page cover photo of Beckett, too, taken at a rehearsal of Waiting for Godot, Paris, 1961.) Josipovici, unlike Lane, includes a good deal about Beckett's response to other writers and to the visual arts.
I first hear of Beckett by accident. In the mid-60s, I moved to the West Village to go to school. I was just a block and a half from the Cherry Lane Theater where they were playing Krapp's Last Tape and Happy Days. It was one of those "we're not in Kansas anymore" experiences.
I've always adored his theater work ... but his prose, not so much. It will be fun to try out the letters.