“All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), Worstward Ho
As you might imagine, Worstward Ho, Beckett’s last but one novella and published in 1983, was a parody of Charles Kingsley’s Westward Ho! I find the words quoted above to be an excellent piece of advice lest we hold ourselves back by not being perfect. Striving for perfection is good; beating ourselves about the head for not achieving such simply brings us low, unable to do anything. Perfection is unattainable.
Caricature by Edmund S. Valtman from 1969 of Samuel Beckett, courtesy of Wikimedia.
Playwright Samuel Beckett is not to everyone’s taste. Indeed, when I was at drama school in the mid-70s, you were considered persona non grata if you expressed a distaste for either Beckett or Harold Pinter. That’s a slight exaggeration but I did find that others were aghast that I liked neither Beckett nor Pinter. It was not until I saw a production of Happy Days that I began to see what all the fuss was about. I continue to resist the work of Pinter!
Take care and keep laughing!
- Actress does Beckett at record speed (bbc.co.uk)
- In Memoriam of Samuel Beckett (and Raymond Federman): The Laugh that Laughs at the Laugh (lethatechnique.wordpress.com)