Writer’s Desk: Write to Write

In 1953, writer Aidan Higgins sent Samuel Beckett one of his short stories, hoping for some feedback. Beckett sent a long, constructive, and very generous critique.

As part of his response, Beckett included this aside:

Work, work, writing for nothing and yourself, don’t make the silly mistake we all make of publishing too soon.

Publishing too soon might seem like a small price to pay for getting one’s work out there—what struggling writer would complain? But Beckett’s advice is solid, nonetheless: Best to first be satisfied with what you’ve written before you send it out into the world.

Readers’ Corner: Samuel Beckett’s Boat

beckett1Well, not literally. A cursory glance at Samuel Beckett’s biography does not indicate any particular love for sea or boats, though there is an annual Beckett festival in Enniskillen where at least one performance can only be reached by boat.

But never mind, because even though Beckett was no great joiner or lover of institutions, the Irish government has gone ahead and named a warship (OPV, or offshore patrol vessel, technically) after the author of Waiting for Godot.

According to the Irish Times, the LE Samuel Beckett was completed in April and was commissioned at a special ceremony in Dublin in May. It will eventually be joined by a second patrol vessel, the LE James Joyce. Hopefully the two can prowl the Irish Sea together in elegant futility, crews pensively pondering the waves and composing quatrains in dead languages…