I have always found it difficult to read Beckett’s prose. But I remember reading Godot with a real sense of amazement and laughter. However, having read ‘The End’, ‘The Expelled’, ‘The Calmative’ and ‘First Love’ yesterday I became aware of how object heavy his work is and how the need for tactility is so much part of Beckett and how this relates to place and the need for roots, ideas that are at the heart of Camus. Also the search for the father is told with psychological urgency (again Camus). These were all things I tried to achieve in In the Same Space. I am now not sure if the idea of carrying objects (stones etc. in my case a small tile) in coat pockets for their palliative/‘calmative’ use came form Beckett. I thought I got the idea from Orwell. Somehow these two authors seem linked to me. There is something of the repulsive bodily functions and disease that the two are interested in.
There are pictures of the two authors one at Eton the other at Trinity (I think) in sports photographs. I have been thinking for the last few days what they would be like in a cricket team. I think they would both be seamers both relatively fast, Beckett quicker though, all spit and hair cream (probably would rub some shit juice on the ball it he thought it would help it to swing on a dry and windless Cape Town afternoon) and probably pretty foul-mouthed too. Orwell, well he would be slower and would get more bounce at times on certain wickets, good line and length type stuff, courteous to the umpires he would have little engagement with the batsman other than a ‘morning’ and a ‘well-played’ after bowling the man middle-stump so as not to allow the hurt of failure to weigh too heavily on his victim. I think Beckett would be a bit like Mornantau Hayward and Orwell a little like Andy Caddick (both in looks as well). Both pretty useless with the bat – although I believe Beckett was decent but for me the jury is out, temperament would be an issue. Orwell would often be trapped LBW on the crease falling over his front leg, Beckett more often than not caught at deep-square-leg most notably while trying to block out the last sixteen balls of a test match against Australia. Both would have pretty good throwing arms – almost certainly a sign of frequent masturbation which would also explain their poor batting as a result of failing eyesight.