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Sunday, October 5, 2014

Honig / Lorca / Beckett

I found this quote yesterday, but I didn't realize how significant it was until I woke up today and thought of it before I got out of bed:
In one scene [of Lorca's El público] a desperate, virulent exchange between a Figure of the Vine and a Figure of Bells reminds one strongly of Beckett's later play, Waiting for Godot, which it surpasses in power.
E. Honig, García Lorca, vi.
Wow, just wow. This was written in 1961. The premiere of Godot was '53.

This happens to me a lot. I just read things without paying much attention, and then the next day I realize what I should have been paying attention to.

Honig was a prominent poet, translator, and Brown University Professor. He had serious chops as a Hispanist, with a book on Calderón, for example.


Vance Maverick said...

Is the point simply that this captures a moment in the reception history of Godot, when it was widely known and admired but not yet canonical?

Jonathan said...

I think Godot was canonical already; this happened quickly. My point is that this is one of the earliest mentions of Lorca's still unpublished play in English, and already compares it to Beckett. The comparison itself is startlingly original, for such an early date.

I know this is significant but I still have to figure out exactly how to frame it in an argument in some chapter or another of my book, or for a separate article on Beckett/ Lorca.

Andrew Shields said...

Would you agree with me that "reminds one strongly" is a pretty weak way to make the connection that Honig wants to make?