Sunday, January 4, 2009

Aimless Reading: The B's, Part 7.2

Originally uploaded by Michael_Kelleher
Beckett, Samuel

The first book in Beckett's trilogy, Molloy is the only one I have actually read. I was about to write from memory that the book consists entirely of two paragraphs -- but looking at the physical book (purchased at 7th St. Books in NYC) I discover once again that my memory is not very accurate. There is a very, very long second paragraph, but it does not extend the entire length of the book. I sometimes wonder if I have ever even done the things I think I have done, known the people I think I have known, lived in the places I think I have lived, or if I have forgotten everything and made up the rest in order to please myself (and others).

I underlined the following in the second paragraph:

It is in the tranquility of decomposition that I remember the long confused emotion which was my life, and that I judge it, as it is said that god will judge me, and with no less impertinence. To decompose is to live too, I know, I know, don't torment me, but one sometimes forgets. And of that life too I shall tell you perhaps one day, the day I know that when I thought I knew I was merely existing and that passion without form or stations will have devoured me down to the rotting flesh itself and that when I know that I know nothing, am only crying out as I have always cried out, more or less piercingly, more or less openly. Let me cry out then, it's said to be good for you. Yes, let me cry out, this time, then another time perhaps, then perhaps a last time.


Gary said...

I have the same problems with memory, especially regarding books. Things that I hold as incontrovertible truths based on having a firm sense of having read about it such and such a day, turn out, when I finally get up to check the books I remember reading about them in, to be phantasms of my own making, based on god only knows what.

It's scary, but at least I know it isn't age, because I've been having bogus memories about books and what I read in them, how they were structured, etc., etc., my whole life.

Michael Kelleher, Buffalo, NY said...

It's definitely not age. The only thing that comes with age is the accumulated weight of everything one has forgotten, everything one has made up.

Heavy, man.

Chris said...

As I recall, it's only broken into additional paragraphs in English to conform to the standards of having each new line of dialogue be on a new paragraph. The French version is in two paragraphs, one for each of the narrators.

Michael Kelleher, Buffalo, NY said...

Hey Chris!

Wow, maybe I remember the French text even though I have never read it!