Exploring Literary Dublin

Colm Tóibín at The Guardian:

The street between Nora’s hotel and Oscar Wilde’s house is called Clare Street. Beckett’s father ran his quantity surveying business from No 6 but there is no plaque here. When their father died in 1933, Beckett’s brother took over the business while Beckett, who was idling at the time, took the attic room. Like all idlers, he made many promises; in this case, both to himself and to his mother. He promised himself that he would write and he promised his mother that he would give language lessons. But he did nothing much. It would look good on a plaque: “This is where Samuel Beckett did nothing much.”

Like Wilde and Yeats, Beckett belonged to that group of Protestant geniuses who thought they should write down their thoughts just as their landowning and powerful and money owning colleagues were clearing out of Ireland or learning to keep quiet.

more here.

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