Stimulate your infant’s intellectual development with Beckett for Babies, an introduction to some of the most important – and most difficult – literature of the twentieth century. If it is never too early to read to your baby, it is never too early to prepare her for graduate school.
Back before Luke was born, I was shopping around this board book featuring photographs of perplexed babies juxtaposed with quotes from the works of Samuel Beckett. There were no takers. (That's my little brother Den up there. Hi Den! Den has a lot more hair now.)
Beckett's work is bleak yet comic, much like parenting; on the whole it attempts to sort out such knotty problems as "the absurdity of existence" and "the mystery of the self." These are, of course, precisely the problems that infants and toddlers (not to mention their parents) struggle with on a daily basis. Beckett was deeply influenced by a strained relationship with his own mother who, early on in his literary career, enthusiastically encouraged him to get a "real" job.
I don't have a "real" job, either.
In an even more startling coincidence, I was born in 1969, the year Samuel Beckett won
the Nobel Prize for Literature.
So was my old high school friend, Todd Durling. He put together these mock-ups for me. That's him as a baby right up there, looking a little disappointed.
While Beckett didn’t even bother to show up to collect his prize – he sent his secretary instead – Todd and I made a point of attending our own births, because we knew how important it would be to our parents to have us there at such a major event in their lives.