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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Don't Tell Me!

Beckett fact no. 37.

In Waiting for Godot Estragon tries to tell Vladimir his dream and Vladimir refuses to listen, eventually shouting 'DON'T TELL ME!'

One possible source for this is a passage from Mrs Piozzi's Anecdotes of Dr Johnson copied out twice by Beckett in the notebooks for his abortive Human Wishes. Dr Johnson urges Mrs Thrale to make her ten-year-old son to confess his dreams, since for his part 'the first corruption that entered my heart was communicated in a dream'. Mrs Thrale asks 'What was it, Sir' and Johnson replies "'Do not ask me" [...] with much violence, & walked away in apparent agitation.'

Beckett to Joseph Hone in 1937: 'He must have had the vision of positive annihilation. Of how many can as much be said.'

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