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Thread: What is the Word By Samuel Beckett

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    Registered User linz's Avatar
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    What is the Word By Samuel Beckett

    I have recently begun to show the Theological aspect of Beckett's literature and I have come across his last work which is a short crafty poem. In the Gospel of John, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God." Similarly Christ once said that "The spirit of God is within you." If you were to juxtapose 'God' with 'What', and he were as Christ said 'within you'; Maybe you would get something like this?

    What is the Word

    By Samuel Beckett


    folly -
    folly for to -
    for to -
    what is the word -
    folly from this -
    all this -
    folly from all this -
    given -
    folly given all this -
    seeing -
    folly seeing all this -
    this -
    what is the word -
    this this -
    this this here -
    all this this here -
    folly given all this -
    seeing -
    folly seeing all this this here -
    for to -
    what is the word -
    see -
    glimpse -
    seem to glimpse -
    need to seem to glimpse -
    folly for to need to seem to glimpse -
    what -
    what is the word -
    and where -
    folly for to need to seem to glimpse what where -
    where -
    what is the word -
    there -
    over there -
    away over there -
    afar -
    afar away over there -
    afaint -
    afaint afar away over there what -
    what -
    what is the word -
    seeing all this -
    all this this -
    all this this here -
    folly for to see what -
    glimpse -
    seem to glimpse -
    need to seem to glimpse -
    afaint afar away over there what -
    folly for to need to seem to glimpse afaint afar away over there what -
    what -
    what is the word -


    what is the word
    "Why describe the hole, I mean it is a hole; So why describe it?" - Anonymous

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    Registered User quasimodo1's Avatar
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    To linz: Have you read "the Trilogy" by S. Beckett. It consists of three novels..."Molloy", "Mallone", and "the Unnamable" quasimodo1

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    Registered User linz's Avatar
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    I've read them all, but not in order, and not at the same time.
    "Why describe the hole, I mean it is a hole; So why describe it?" - Anonymous

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    I don’t think it’s difficult to identify that there is religious basis to this poem. Beckett, through his poem’s progression, is showing that in the beginning “the word,” in itself, is “the word.” It has no definable qualities. “The word” cannot be labeled as another word, or cannot connote a meaning more than literal. There was only one word, hence “the.” Yet we do not know what that word is.

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    Registered User linz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ktd222 View Post
    I don’t think it’s difficult to identify that there is religious basis to this poem. Beckett, through his poem’s progression, is showing that in the beginning “the word,” in itself, is “the word.” It has no definable qualities. “The word” cannot be labeled as another word, or cannot connote a meaning more than literal. There was only one word, hence “the.” Yet we do not know what that word is.
    Very good, I couldn't see that 'the word' is itself 'the word'. I'm not that knowledgeable of the properties of poetry.
    "Why describe the hole, I mean it is a hole; So why describe it?" - Anonymous

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    Quote Originally Posted by linz View Post
    I'm not that knowledgeable of the properties of poetry.
    It's nothing special...just comes from experience. Glad I helped

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    Pièce de Résistance Scheherazade's Avatar
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    The fact that a piece of literature has religious connotations or references does not necessarily mean that it can be classified as 'Religious Text'.

    Therefore, this thread has been moved to the Poetry section of the Forum.
    ~
    "It is not that I am mad; it is only that my head is different from yours.”
    ~


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    Registered User quasimodo1's Avatar
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    Beckett again attacks or confronts our assumptions about language, his own assumptions as well. On at least three levels, he forces understanding of what is to him by now...tiresome language. "...folly for to need to seem to glimpse". Words begin our folly, as does needing to seem, as does needing to seem to glimpse. Like you are not working but it is important to look like you are. This is the word. And yet he is a master of it. He won the nobel prize for "describing best the desperation of modern man".

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    Registered User linz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quasimodo1 View Post
    Beckett again attacks or confronts our assumptions about language, his own assumptions as well. On at least three levels, he forces understanding of what is to him by now...tiresome language. "...folly for to need to seem to glimpse". Words begin our folly, as does needing to seem, as does needing to seem to glimpse. Like you are not working but it is important to look like you are. This is the word. And yet he is a master of it. He won the nobel prize for "describing best the desperation of modern man".
    He was marvelous!
    "Why describe the hole, I mean it is a hole; So why describe it?" - Anonymous

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    Registered User quasimodo1's Avatar
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    To Linz:

    Eureka, a true Beckett fan. You must tell me what your first reaction to the novel "Murphy" was?
    Last edited by quasimodo1; 06-12-2007 at 05:13 PM. Reason: error

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    Registered User linz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quasimodo1 View Post
    Eureka, a true Beckett fan. You must tell me what your first reaction to the novel "Murphy" was?
    I only read the very first parts of the work. I remember the man who could start and stop his heart at will, the fly placed in the tea, and of course Murphy binding himself. The cool thing that makes me believe I'm a natural Beckett fan, is that I had a idea of it being, in Beckett's own mind, his first mature prose, only to find out, The Unnameable believe they are all there from Murphy on, as does Moran! W O W ! ! !
    "Why describe the hole, I mean it is a hole; So why describe it?" - Anonymous

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    Beckett was Calvinist in background. He never lost those dark questions that trouble us poor Calvinists. Our atheist friends are always making fun of our inability to solve them in satisfyingly watertight ways. Beckett had that philosophical background but no apparent faith to sustain him. He couldn't escape from a constant desire to work at those ideas. Strangely I just brought home today the three novels in one volume. A great but often troubling writer. I couldn't stand his plays when young but he has grown on me.

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    Registered User quasimodo1's Avatar
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    To ennison: Please show your source on Samuel Beckett being a Calvinist. quasimodo1

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