By Cohn, Ruby; Beckett, Samuel
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Additional info for A Beckett canon
Fiction involved the Smeraldina, in love with Belacqua. The Smeraldina’s Billet-Doux Self-contained, the story at once adheres to and mocks the old form of epistolary ‹ction. Even older is the literary depiction of a woman as lusty and vulgar, in the mode of Chaucer’s Wife of Bath. Beckett is therefore quite traditional in his epistolary portrait—and laboriously comic in its execution. Analyzing the story, Anthony Farrow calls attention to the literary quality of the lady’s love: “Whatever her inclinations towards a more conventional form of bliss with Belacqua in the ›esh, the Smeraldina .
A typescript, rejected in 1934 by the Chicago-based Poetry, is the earliest extant version—now at ICU. It is the ‹fth poem in Echo’s Bones, and Beckett annotated it in the copy at HRC: “Cassel revisited” (sic). It was reprinted in transition (June 1936) and is found in Poems. In the Beckett Circle (spring 1998) John Pilling traces the poem’s origin to Jean Beck’s La Musique des Troubadours, not to the German beer about which Beckett told Harvey. 33 a beckett canon: 1932–33 munder’ ends with the scribe Habbakuk noting the bawd’s ‘dissolution’” (195).
A variant version of “Sanies II” is in the Leventhal papers at HRC. I follow Knowlson and Pilling in rejecting Beckett’s own dating of the poem in 1929 (as annotated in his copy of Echo’s Bones at HRC). The poem’s theme and imagery are consonant with the Dream material of 1932. “Sanies II” was ‹rst published as the seventh poem in Echo’s Bones (1935) and is available in Poems. 35 a beckett canon: 1932–33 “Spring Song” Of Beckett’s erudite verse, this is perhaps the most obscure. It is, however, clear that the 118-line poem, in thirteen uneven stanzas, does not herald a joyful spring.
A Beckett canon by Cohn, Ruby; Beckett, Samuel