Thursday, August 10, 2006

The New Yorker: The Critics: Books

The New Yorker: The Critics: Books:
"Beckett was still living at home, lethargic and unhappy, when his father died, in 1933. The next four years were largely divided between the family estate and London, where he submitted to the care of the British psychoanalyst W. R. Bion. In both locations, Beckett suffered from night terrors—he would wake in the dark with a racing heart, in a sort of frozen panic—and from a fearsome array of psychosomatic ailments, including stomach trouble, pleurisy, and recurrent cysts on the neck and anus. The insomniac dread of Beckett’s narrators (“I’m too frightened this evening to listen to myself rot. . . . So I’ll tell myself a story”), as well as their revulsion at the human body, probably owes something to the memory of these afflictions."

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