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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Beckett on Jack Yeats

Interesting comment from Beckett in a tribute to painter Jack Yeats (brother of the poet) on the occasion of an exhibition of his works in Paris, 1954:

L'artiste qui joue son être est de nulle part. Et il n'a pas de frères. [The artist who risks his being does not belong anywhere. And he has no brothers.] (Tr. George Craig; modified R.McN.)

This may or may not be a rearticulation of a concept he may have encountered in Baudelaire, that he, SB, imitated consciously or unconsciously; it's said that when writers lift materially unconsciously that they plagiarize, unwittingly, like thieves in the night and congratulate themselves on their originality, Baudelaire's comment having been:

"To be great is to be unique."

Photographer unknown.

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