Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Sunshine Sketches of a Little Frown?

In preparation for Samuel Beckett's upcoming 100th birthday, I am reading his authorized biography, the unfortunately titled Damned to Fame, by James Knowlson. Today, I stumbled across the interesting fact that Beckett was a big fan of Stephen Leacock as a schoolboy. Writes Knowlson:
Leacock's playful wit, somewhat unsubtle games with the reader, amusing parodies, wordplay and interest in unusual words would certainly have appealed to two bright adolescents. But, again with the invaluable benefit of hindsight, intriguing parallels emerge between Leacock's humorous, extravagant toying with logic and reason and Beckett's later novels, Murphy and Watt.

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