Sunday, June 19, 2011

Samuel Beckett's Graveyard-Loving Character

Dublin-born Samuel Beckett
In a Samuel Beckett short story called "First Love" the narrator speaks of what attracts him to graveyards: The smell of the corpses, distinctly perceptible under those of grass and humus mingled, I do not find unpleasant, a trifle on the sweet side perhaps, a trifle heady, but how infinitely preferable to what the living emit ... And when my father's remains join in, however modestly, I can almost shed a tear. The living wash in vain, in vain perfume themselves, they stink. Yes, as a place for an outing, when out I must, leave me my graveyards and keep -- you -- to your public parks and beauty spots. My sandwich, my banana, tastes sweeter when I'm sitting on a tomb, and when the time comes to piss again, as it so often does, I have my pick.


  1. Oh, Sam, I do doth agree with ye!!!

    Only a few days back I was knitting beside the graveyard of St Matthew's Church, Windsor (New South Wales..not England!)

    Edward Miles is one of a number of First Fleeters buried at St Matthews. Transported on the Scarborough, he married convict Susannah Smith in 1803. Farmers in the Windsor area, both were buried here. Fellow first fleeter James Freeman, a labourer, died a pauper at Windsor on 28 January 1830, aged 67. Freeman escaped a death sentence for stealing flour by agreeing to be the colony's first public hangman. His grave is unmarked....

    A cold day...a longish walk from the Sainte Genevieve-des-Bois train station to the Russian cemetery...took me AGES to find it..'n the sunshine...THIS:

    Such a glow..I sat, ate some chocolate, knocked on the mosaic..said my thanks..for the joy of the dance..for all that practice ...those leaps...

    Sam...I understand you 'n graveyards...