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Saturday, February 11, 2006


Beckett fact no. 40.

Ten Dante references in Beckett.

1) 'Tel Bocca dans la glace' in the 1974 poem hors crâne seul dedans.
2) Malacoda the farting devil, in the elegy for Beckett's father of that name.
3) The end of the Inferno-echoing Text for Nothing 9: 'pass out, and see the beauty of the skies, and see that stars again'.
4) Dante: attacker of 'world's Portadownians' and manufacturer of caps to 'fit the collective noodle of the monodialectical arcadians whose fury is precipitated by a failure to discover "innoce-free" in the concise Oxford Dictionary' ('Dante ... Bruno . Vico .. Joyce').
5) The soothsayers from Inferno XX mentioned by Dan Rooney in All That Fall, their faces turned 'arsy-versy' that their tears might water their backsides.
6) 'There all sigh I was, I was': the animator's memory of the Purgatorio in Rough for Radio II.
7) Qui vive la pietà quand'è ben morta: an Infernal pun remembered by Belacqua (Purgatorio IV) in 'Dante and the Lobster'.
8) 'And on to hell out of there when was that... that last time straight off the ferry': crossing the river Styx in That Time. Or according to Keir Elam, at least, that's what it is.
9) 'The spots were Cain and his truss of thorns, dispossessed [...] seared with the first stigma of God's pity, that an outcast might not die quickly': 'Dante and the Lobster' again.
10) Winnie's 'sweet old style', remembering Dante's dolce stil nuovo.

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