By Frederik N. Smith
Beckett's Eighteenth Century is the 1st book-length research of Samuel Beckett's affinity with the British eighteenth century and of the impression of its writers on his paintings. studying speedy, Pope, Defoe, Fielding, Sterne, Johnson, grey, and different writers of this era, this research demonstrates how he used to be not just prompted through them, yet translates them for us in relatively a contemporary approach.
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Additional resources for Beckett's Eighteenth Century
Of course the poetic lines of the original hardly match the present situation; the “lass” here is Murphy, now only a corpse. And notice that in this passage the perfect rose of the poem becomes a thorny rose, as the original sentiments are completely reversed. Is the coroner in fact misremembering the lines? Or is it possible that Beckett has himself misremembered? Or (perhaps most likely) does he know full well what the original is but elects to toy with the quotation? ” 55 And as P. J. Murphy says of Beckett’s quoting of Keats in the unpublished text “The Voice”, he is “quoting by heart, in both the emotional and mnemonic senses of the word.
In the Journal to Stella, after all, he reports that he visited Bedlam, and 200 years later, Beckett, when he was preparing to write Murphy, managed through his psychiatrist and friend Geoffrey Thompson to arrange a tour of Bethlehem Royal Hospital in London. 26 “There were not many patients about as Murphy followed Bom through the wards,” the narrator tells us: But those that he did see were not at all the terrifying monsters that might have been imagined from Ticklepenny’s account. Melancholics, motionless and brooding, holding their heads or bellies according to type.
Joyce appears to have recognized an affinity between his young friend and their Irish forefather. ” Complimenting Beckett, Joyce seems to suggest that his friend knows how to manipulate the language as well as Swift, combining academic proprieties with everyday Irish speech. “He can cantab as chipper as any oxon I ever mooed with,” says Joyce. ” But is he not teasing Beckett for being too much of a follower of Swift? ” 7 Beckett was especially attracted to Swift’s life. In a 5 January  letter to Thomas MacGreevy he mentions a rainy bicycle ride out to the Portrane Lunatic Asylum north of Dublin (one of two mental institutions in the metropolitan area) and his conversation with a local resident about the ruin of a nearby old tower: “That’s where Dane Swift came to his motte” he said.
Beckett's Eighteenth Century by Frederik N. Smith