Bill Prosser
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Nothings in particular

Samuel Beckitt's explicit imperative concerning nothing echoes troubles over nothing that had persisted until after the Renaissance, with Descartes, for instance, believing that a perfect vacuum was impossible. The manuscript of his play that came to nothing, Human Wishes, contains his highest concentration of doodled faces and figures, some seventy-seven of them across two consecutive versa pages. Beckett's doodles clearly have nothing to hide. Complete in themselves, they want for nothing, have nothing to prove, nothing to declare, nothing better to do, and strictly in the wider scheme of spontaneous drawings are nothing special, nothing to write home about. For those still tempted to speculate on avoiding the viruses and booby-traps that every attempt at detailed psychological analysis contains, nothing is more appropriate than Beckett's cautionary advice to Billie Whitelaw: 'If in doubt - do nothing'.

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Beckett and nothing

Trying to understand Beckett



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