Sunday, April 19, 2009

Impact and Interpretations

Casebook on Waiting for Godot 

Book Twelve

This book is separated into two parts- the "Impact" the play has had on dramatists and the "Interpretations" (existentialism, biblical, mythical) that many scholars have had based on the play. It dates back to Paris 1953, London 1955, Dublin 1955, Miami 1956, NY 1956 and was published by Grove Press in 1967. It is a collection of the impact, reviews, reflections and interpretations. Although, the reviews were from various Europeans and American journalists, the one that stood out the most for me was by Norman Mailer. In his review, he apologized for at first writing a negative article about the play and after giving it some serious thought, he wanted to write a positive review. The whole casebook begs to have the question who is Godot answered and my favorite attempt to solve the mystery was by Beckett himself. When asked Who is Godot? and What the mysterious Godot symbolized? he responded: "If I knew what Godot was, I would have said so."

Review from Amazon:
...of this excellent compilation when writing my senior thesis and directing Godot in 1988. Cohn collects some of the most cogent, insightful and stimulating readings on this seminal work of twentieth century theatre. If you involved in a production of Godot and want to gain insight into the layers of meaning and musicality of the text, or if you simply love Beckett and want to read some very exciting and non-pedantic writing about his magnum opus, this book is a great find.