Beckett’s Friendship

By: André Bernold

Publication Date: November 2015


Meeting in the cafés and streets of Paris, with  conversations noted and hesitancies observed, the gradual exfoliation of a personality is revealed across the last decade of Beckett’s life as one intellectual appraises another. This is a charming and  sympathetic study by André Bernold of one of literature’s most opaque writers and of his interests in music, philosophy, visual arts and the spoken arts. In shedding sympathetic light on a famously private Irishman abroad, these verbal exposures complement John Minihan’s contemporaneous and intimate black-and-white photographs, taken in the same environs.

‘Despite  his deep  sense  of privacy,  Beckett’s  persona has  been  so widely  written  about that  it has  become unavoidably mixed  up  in our  imagination with  what  Bernold  calls his “creatures”. Whether or not  Barthes  and  Foucault were  right to dismiss  the  figure of the  author, when confronted with  Vladimir  wincing or Krapp  hunched over  his tape  recorder or Molloy  resting on his bicycle, one’s  mind  always  seems  to turn  to the  “gentle  mask”  placed over  the  “severe ossature” that  has  been  immortalized in John Minihan’s  photographs, surely  among  the  most iconic  images  of the  twentieth century. We  simply  cannot help  it.’ (From the  translator’s preface.)

“You have to be quite a Beckett nut to enjoy it, but even if you’re not, you may well know someone who is.” —The Irish Times

“In the end, the book works because it is itself the enactment of a Beckettian situation: that of two protagonists, somehow mutually annihilating their ability to express themselves.” – The Guardian


Born 1958 in Alsace and a graduate of École Normale Supérieure, André Bernold is author of a study of the critic Deleuze and of a memoir, Broken Silk. He teaches in the USA.

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Weight 0.25 kg
Dimensions 154 × 236 mm
Publication Date

November 2015



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