Item #SB025 Catastrophe et autres dramaticules (Cette fois, Solo, Berceuse, Impromptu d'Ohio). Samuel Beckett.

Catastrophe et autres dramaticules (Cette fois, Solo, Berceuse, Impromptu d'Ohio)

Price: $750.00

Original Wraps. Paris: Les Éditions de Minuit, 1982. First Edition. Fine.

First edition, first printing. Presentation copy, signed and inscribed by Beckett to Mel Gussow on title page: "For Mel Gussow / With all good wishes / Sam Beckett / 24.6.83." Publisher's original white wrappers, front wrapper and spine lettered in blue and black. About fine, with just some light toning to spine and edges. Overall, an excellent association copy, from Mel Gussow's personal library. In Catastrophe, an imperious director and his assistant prepare a man, who stands on an 18" black block with his eyes looking down, for the last scene of a dramatic performance. After making dehumanizing adjustments to the man's appearance, like stripping him down to his pajamas, they do a run through of the scene, which ends with the director exclaiming "There's our catastrophe! In the bag." They do one more run through, but this time the man raises his eyes defiantly to the crowd. Catastrophe, often interpreted as a commentary on totalitarianism, was dedicated by Beckett to imprisoned Czech playwright, Václav Havel. The play was filmed as part of the Beckett on Film project (2002), directed by David Mamet and starring Harold Pinter as the Director. Mel Gussow (1933 - 2005) was an American theater and movie critic who contributed more than 4,000 articles and reviews to the New York Times over a span of 35 years. Gussow first met Beckett in 1978, and the two continued to meet and converse informally on life and art about once a year for the next 10 years until Beckett's death in 1989 (their final meeting was at Beckett's French nursing home where he later passed away). Gussow drew from these meetings to write his book, Conversations with and about Beckett (1996) - one in a series of four "Conversation" books, the others featuring conversations with playwrights Arthur Miller, Harold Pinter, and Tom Stoppard. Gussow's Beckett book is particularly illuminating given that the enigmatic playwright famously declined to do interviews for most of his lifetime. Gussow also wrote Beckett's NYT obituary in 1989, titled "Samuel Beckett is Dead at 83; His 'Godot' Changed Theater." Item #SB025