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Monday, January 23, 2006


Beckett fact no. 27.

Cascando is a radio play Beckett wrote in 1962 in collaboration with Romanian composer Marcel Mihailovici, not to be confused with the early poem of the same name ('the hours after you are gone are so leaden...').

You can listen to a recording of it (and of seven other Beckett radio plays) here:

His original title for the play had been Calando, until French radio producers pointed out to him that calendos is a slang word for cheese. A calendeau is a Christmas log, which might also have been confusing.

Unless of course the play had featured the Gorgonzola-loving Belacqua. Handed an insufficiently rotten piece of the stuff by a Dublin grocer he finds only a 'faint fragrance of corruption':

What good was that? He didn't want fragrance, he wasn't a bloody gourmet, he wanted a good stench. What he was wanted was a good green stenching rotten lump of Gorgonzola cheese, alive, and by God he would have it.

There's some cheese in the La Fontaine fable of the 'catawumpus' mentioned in Dream, but whether it's Gorgonzola or not I couldn't say.

The mouse gets away in the end, you'll be happy to learn.

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