Jean-Philippe Toussaint at Gulf Coast Online

May 5th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

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Jean-Philippe Toussaint’s brief essay “For Samuel Beckett” is available online as a complement to Gulf Coast‘s Winter 2015 issue. Here’s an excerpt:

In the early ’80s, I wrote Samuel Beckett a letter. I explained that I was trying to write, adding that he was probably often sought out by strangers, and so rather than asking him to read my work, suggested instead we play a game of correspondence chess with, at stake, a play I’d written. If I won, he’d read it and give me his opinion. If he won, I’d read over my own play at my leisure. I closed my letter with these words: “Just in case, 1. e4.” By return post, Samuel Beckett replied, “Black resigns. Send the play. Sincerely. Samuel Beckett.”

JEAN-PHILIPPE TOUSSAINT (1957 Р) is a Belgian writer and filmmaker whose books have been translated into more than twenty languages. The author of nine novels, he is the winner of numerous literary prizes, including the Prix M̩dicis in 2005 for his novel Running Away, and the Prix D̩cembre in 2009 for The Truth about Marie, the two middle books of the Marie tetralogy. These essays are taken from the collection Urgency and Patience, forthcoming next spring from Dalkey Archive Press.


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