Reading Beckett’s biography

I started off reading James Knowlson’s Damned to Fame, a biography on the life of Samuel Beckett, like a textbook – fishing for details with an eye to catch dates and places. More than 700 pages later, as the bibliography looms, it feels as though I’m peering into a mirror held up to my life, and I cannot go on. Can barely go on. The things one held, things at some point lost, things once hoped for.

It is a tribute to Knowlson’s writing, who blends a spectacular palette of narratives into one – a life – to reflect a story that, at some point, we recognise ourselves in.

Advertisements

Writing the thesis

One difficulty in writing the PhD thesis is reading your own work after a couple of days, and realising how much you’ve changed in that short span of time. And your writing changes with you. So looking back at last week’s draft often means making changes – sometimes drastic ones – in order to move ahead.

One thing I’ve learnt: Be fearless in making cuts.