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Watch a New Virtual Reality Production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet: A Modern Take on a Classic Play

Often compared to The Tempest, Samuel Beckett's Endgame may have as much of Shakespeare’s Hamlet in it, though the author was unwilling to acknowledge the influence to Theodor Adorno. Beckett's central character, the blind, aged Hamm, spends all of his time in a throne haranguing the other three, in a gloomy place, The New York Times’ Brooks Atkinson wrote, “somewhere between life and death.” Hamm might have been the Danish prince grown old and bitter, left with nothing but what Beckett ...
Tags: Google, Technology, Youtube, College, Boston, Theatre, New York Times, Literature, Pbs, Shakespeare, Hamlet, New York Public Library, Samuel Beckett, HARRIS, Facebook Twitter, Beckett

The Books That Samuel Beckett Read and Really Liked (1941-1956)

Samuel Beckett, Pic, 1" by Roger Pic. Via Wikimedia Commons Clad in a black turtleneck and with a shock of white hair, Samuel Beckett was a gaunt, gloomy high priest of modernism. After the 1955 premiere of Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot (watch him stage a performance here), Kenneth Tynan quipped, ''It has no plot, no climax, no denouement; no beginning, no middle and no end.'' From there, Beckett’s work only got more austere, bleak and despairing. His 1969 play Breath, for instance,...
Tags: Google, Books, Yahoo, College, Los Angeles, Literature, Around The World, Albert Camus, Samuel Beckett, Agatha Christie, Christie, Facebook Twitter, Beckett, Hollywood Reporter, Theodor Fontane, Suzanne

Eleven Rules for Writing from Eight Contemporary Playwrights 

Chances are most of us won’t be immediately familiar with the eight mostly British playwrights reflecting on their process in the National Theatre’s video, above. That’s a good thing. It's easier to choose which pieces of inspiring, occasionally conflicting writing advice to follow when the scale's not weighted down by the thumb of celebrity. (Though rest assured that there’s no shortage of people who do know their work, if the National Theater is placing them in the hot seat.) It’s ...
Tags: Google, Writing, College, Theatre, Creativity, National Theatre, Samuel Beckett, Facebook Twitter, August Wilson, National Theater, Constantin Stanislavski

The Museum of Failure: A Living Shrine to New Coke, the Ford Edsel, Google Glass & Other Epic Corporate Fails

All successful products are alike; every unsuccessful product is unsuccessful in its own way. Or so a modern-day Tolstoy might find himself inspired to write after a visit to the Museum of Failure, a movable feast of flops which began last year in Helsingborg, Sweden and has now opened its doors on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. The Donald Trump board game, Apple's Newton, Nokia's N-Gage, Ford's Edsel, Colgate Beef Lasagne, Harley-Davidson Cologne, New Coke, Google Glass: these and oth...
Tags: Apple, Google, Business, Design, College, America, Los Angeles, West, Ford, Donald Trump, Seoul, Samuel Beckett, Tolstoy, Thomas Edison, Facebook Twitter, Hollywood Boulevard

What Is a Life-Changing Realization You Wish You’d Had Sooner in Life?

The calendar date may be arbitrary, a quirk of history that could have been otherwise—but it’s no coincidence, I think, that New Year’s produces a reflective mood, a time of looking both backward and forward, especially in those parts of the world currently held in winter’s chill and dark, awaiting the thaw of spring. The turn of the Gregorian calendar seems to beg us to produce some sober wisdom amidst the revelry of the holidays: to account for what we’ve learned, ruminate on intention...
Tags: Google, College, Life, Samuel Beckett, Rod Stewart, Facebook Twitter, Durham NC, Josh Jones, Steve Cutts

“Try Again. Fail Again. Fail Better”: How Samuel Beckett Created the Unlikely Mantra That Inspires Entrepreneurs Today

Image by the Bibliothèque nationale de France, via Wikimedia Commons To what writer, besides Ayn Rand, do the business-minded techies and tech-minded businessmen of 21st-century Silicon Valley look for their inspiration? The name of Samuel Beckett may not, at first, strike you as an obvious answer — unless, of course, you know the origin of the phrase "Fail better." It appears five times in Beckett's 1983 story "Worstward Ho," the first of which goes like this:  "Ever tried. Ever failed. No mat...
Tags: Google, Facebook, College, France, Life, Literature, Silicon Valley, Seoul, Samuel Beckett, Che Guevara, Werner Herzog, Facebook Twitter, Beckett, Charles Bukowski, Ned Beauman, Colin Marshall

Why Incompetent People Think They’re Amazing: An Animated Lesson from David Dunning (of the Famous “Dunning-Kruger Effect”)

The business world has long had special jargon for the Kafkaesque incompetence bedeviling the ranks of upper management. There is “the Peter principle,” first described in a satirical book of the same name in 1968. More recently, we have the positive notion of “failing upward.” The concept has inspired a mantra, “fail harder, fail faster,” as well as popular books like The Gift of Failure. Famed research professor, author, and TED talker Brené Brown has called TED “the failure conference...
Tags: Psychology, Google, Business, College, John Cleese, Michigan, Samuel Beckett, TED Talks, Peter, Brene Brown, Facebook Twitter, Josh Jones, Kruger, Cleese, Dunning, Justin Kruger

An Animated Introduction to Samuel Beckett, Absurdist Playwright, Novelist & Poet

Though he’s best known for his spare, absurdist tragicomedy, Waiting for Godot, playwright, poet, and novelist Samuel Beckett wrote what might be his most-quoted line at the end of The Unnamable, the third book in a hypnotic trilogy that begins with Molloy and continues with Malone Dies: “I can’t go on, I’ll go on.” These novels, and the original Godot, were all written in French, then translated into English by Beckett himself. But Beckett was an Irish writer, who—like his contemporary,...
Tags: Google, College, New York Times, Literature, Samuel Beckett, James Joyce, Alain De Botton, Molloy, Marcel Proust, Facebook Twitter, Beckett, Malone, de Botton, Durham NC Follow, Daughter Lucia Was Treated for Schizophrenia, Joyce Beckett

The MoMA Teaches You How to Paint Like Pollock, Rothko, de Kooning & Other Abstract Painters: Free Course Begins on May 22

Some may find her insufferable, but most readers adore her: the insouciant little pig Olivia—New Yorker, art lover, and Caldecott Medal winner—has forever embedded herself in children’s literary culture as an archetype of childhood curiosity and self-confidence, especially in scenes like that of the first book of the series, in which the fearless piglet produces her own drip painting on the wall of the family’s Upper East Side apartment after puzzling over Jackson Pollock’s work at the M...
Tags: Google, Art, New York, College, Upper East Side, Cia, Museum of Modern Art, Samuel Beckett, MOOCs, Gertrude Stein, Coursera, Jackson Pollock, Willem De Kooning, Moma, Olivia, Martin

Watch Wagner’s Ring Cycle: A Complete 15-Hour Performance Is Now Free Online Thanks to the BBC

The word “Wagnerian” as a synonym for operatic bombast may have fallen out of favor in recent years, as has the reputation of German composer Richard Wagner. He has been regarded as “the most repugnant of musical nationalists,” writes David P. Goldman at Tablet—a sentiment widely shared given Wagner’s permanent association with Nazism. His music has long been banned in Israel, though “every so often a prominent musician makes a point of sneaking Wagner into a public concert.” And just as philoso...
Tags: Google, College, Israel, Bbc, Hitler, Opera, Samuel Beckett, Leeds, Tolkien, Francis Ford Coppola, Facebook Twitter, Wagner, J R R Tolkien, Josh Jones, Siegfried, Richard Wagner

The Theater Dictionary: A Free Video Guide to Theatre Lingo

It’s 11 o’clock. Do you know where your showstoppers are? Or, more to the point, do you know why a musical-comedy writing team seeks to orient its showstopping number at “eleven o’clock”? The Theater Development Fund’s Theatre Dictionary is an ongoing attempt to define and document theater terms for both the rabble and any budding practitioners who’ve yet to master the lingo. Each term is accompanied by a loopy slapdash skit. Not all of the performers exhibit the pedigree Veronica J. Ku...
Tags: Google, College, New York City, Theatre, Samuel Beckett, English Language, Facebook Twitter, TDF, Ayun Halliday, Language Lessons

A Lccokrkow Garneo: All 245,000 Frames of Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange Randomized.

Watch with caution if you’re sensitive to flashing lights and fast moving images. Stanley Kubrick films take a while to unpack. Watch his A Clockwork Orange once, you’ll see one thing. Watch it again, you’ll notice details you didn’t get the first time. Ditto the third time, and beyond. Think you know A Clockwork Orange backwards and forwards? Good. Now check out A Lccokrkow Garneo, which takes all 245,000 frames of the 1971 dystopian film and randomizes them. You might see somethin...
Tags: Google, Facebook, Film, College, Stanley Kubrick, Kubrick, Samuel Beckett, Random, Charlie Rose, Facebook Twitter, Facebook and Twitter

Some of Buster Keaton’s Great, Death-Defying Stunts Captured in Animated Gifs

In the days of silent comedy, jokes by necessity consisted of physical routines. Charlie Chaplin’s mournful expressions, slumped shoulders, and funny walks immediately come to mind, as well as his slapstick bits and pratfalls. Just as memorable are the daredevil, death-defying stunts of Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton, who competed with each other throughout their careers. The stonefaced Keaton “suffered most when the talkies arrived,” notes Jana Prikryl in The New York Review of Books, and “ne...
Tags: Google, New York, Film, College, Orson Welles, Fox, Roger Ebert, Wes Anderson, Bill Murray, Jackie Chan, Samuel Beckett, Charlie Chaplin, Keaton, Facebook Twitter, Lloyd, Buster Keaton

Marshall McLuhan, W.H. Auden & Buckminster Fuller Debate the Virtues of Modern Technology & Media (1971)

45 years ago, four eminences took the stage at the University of Toronto: Irish actor Jack MacGowran, best known for his interpretations of Samuel Beckett; English poet and dramatist W.H. Auden; American architect and theorist of humanity’s way of life Buckminster Fuller; and Canadian literary scholar turned media technology oracle Marshall McLuhan. Now only did all four men come from different countries, they came from very different points on the intellectual and cultural map. The CBC ...
Tags: Google, Art, Television, College, Theatre, Los Angeles, Radio, Britain, Seoul, Samuel Beckett, University of Toronto, Cbc, Facebook Twitter, Los Angeles Review of Books, Marshall McLuhan, Fuller

Hear Waiting for Godot, the Acclaimed 1956 Production Starring The Wizard of Oz’s Bert Lahr

Image by Fewskulchor, via Wikimedia Commons You may not know the name Bert Lahr, but you know his most beloved role: the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz. And while you may not have an intimate familiarity with Waiting for Godot, either Samuel Beckett’s script or any of the countless subtle variations in its productions on stage, you certainly know that it has challenged many an actor looking to shore up his avant-garde credentials. Lahr turns out to have stood at the vanguard of this phenome...
Tags: Google, Spotify, Europe, New York, College, Theatre, America, Los Angeles, Broadway, Miami, Seoul, Samuel Beckett, Facebook Twitter, Beckett, Los Angeles Review of Books, Lahr

“Charlie Rose” by Samuel Beckett: Watch Charlie Rose Meet Charlie Rose in a Comical Piece of Absurdist Theater

New York City couldn’t get enough of Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart when they appeared together in a celebrated 2013 revival of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. Five years earlier, another high profile gent took a stab at the notoriously avant-garde playwright, and while the Internet took note, the same New Yorkers who were destined to go ga ga for the adorable bowler hatted Brits barely batted a collective eye. Why was that? Perhaps it’s because the earlier project had a decidedly mor...
Tags: Google, Comedy, New York, Television, College, New York City, Theatre, Broadway, Literature, Patrick Stewart, Samuel Beckett, Ian Mckellan, Charlie Rose, Rose, Conan O'brien, Stewart

When James Joyce & Marcel Proust Met in 1922, and Totally Bored Each Other

When we invoke the names of famous artists of the past, we refer to their most hallowed work—Orson Welles simultaneously means Citizen Kane, for example, or War of the Worlds, and H.G. Wells means The Time Machine or…  War of the Words. It happens that when these two artists got together in 1940, they found that their worlds, which had already met in Welles’ notorious broadcast, had quite a lot to say to each other, genially trading stories, ideas, and mutual admiration. Another historic meetin...
Tags: Google, College, Orson Welles, Williams, Literature, Jackson, Samuel Beckett, James Joyce, Time Machine, Proust, Kane, Ford Madox Ford, Marcel Proust, Dickens, Facebook Twitter, Welles

February - 2019
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