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John Calder at Textualities (via Lee):


I feel that Beckett's thinking has been misrepresented. That's one reason I wrote The Philosophy of Samuel Beckett. At one Beckett conference in America I mentioned Beckett's view, expressed in Worstword Ho, that one reason for human existence is that pain should exist. And one professor actually said, 'I can't teach that to my students, I'd lose my job!' There may be many people who believe that while pain surrounds us all the time it is somehow constructive to try to ignore it. Beckett doesn't. His thinking is very close to Schopenhauer's in this, although I think by the time he discovered him he'd already come to the same conclusions. Schopenhauer thinks that everything is caused by a kind of Will: Nature has a Will that for him is evil, the cause of suffering. Standard religions - not so much Hinduism or Buddhism - of course, deny this. Beckett asks deeply searching questions about conventional beliefs. Why should a god want to be worshipped, admired, praised? All we're doing is replacing a parental figure with a god: Please, daddy, give me this.

Readers Comments

  1. Well if we choose to have an infantile concept of God, then that is necessarily an infantile concept. Buddhism & Hinduism were earlier mentioned in the same paragraph where the famous phrase "Tat tvam asi" occurs- Thou art that. The point being that one's consciousness & that of the divine is indivisible, the imagining of a separation is delusion. This being the point of all mysticism. Utterly different than the childish cowering beneath an evil Nature that necessarily occurs within the Manichaean view apparently praised by Calder. Neurotic attitude to life justifying itself as wisdom.

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