Beckett in Black and Red: The Translations for Nancy Cunard's Negro (1934)

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Samuel Beckett, Alan Warren Friedman
University Press of Kentucky, 2000 - Literary Criticism - 207 pages
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" In 1934, Nancy Cunard published Negro: An Anthology, which brought together more than two hundred contributions, serving as a plea for racial justice, an exposA(c) of black oppression, and a hymn to black achievement and endurance. The anthology stands as a virtual ethnography of 1930s racial, historic, artistic, political, and economic culture. Samuel Beckett, a close friend of the flamboyant and unconventional Cunard, translated nineteen of the contributions for Negro, constituting Beckett's largest single prose publication. Beckett traditionally has been viewed as an apolitical postmodernist rather than as a willing and major participant in Negro's racial, political, and aesthetic agenda. In Beckett in Black and Red, Friedman reevaluates Beckett's contribution to the project, reconciling the humanism of his life and work and valuing him as a man deeply engaged with the greatest public issues of his time. Cunard believed racial justice and equality could be achieved only through Communism, and thus ""black"" and ""red"" were inextricably linked in her vision. Beckett's contribution to Negro demonstrates his support for Cunard's interest in surrealism as well as her political causes, including international republicanism and anti-fascism. Only in recent years have Cunard's ideas begun to receive serious consideration. Beckett in Black and Red radically revalues Cunard and reconceives Beckett. His work in Negro shows a commitment to cultural and individual equality and worth that Beckett consistently demonstrated throughout his life, both in personal relationships and in his writing.

 

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Contents

V
4
VI
11
VII
13
VIII
17
IX
27
X
29
XI
34
XII
41
XX
99
XXI
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XXII
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XXIII
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XXIV
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XXV
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XXVI
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XXVII
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XIII
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XIV
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XV
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XVI
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XVII
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XVIII
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XIX
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XXVIII
179
XXIX
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XXX
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XXXI
192
XXXII
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XXXIII
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Page 1 - It was necessary to make this book — and I think in this manner, an Anthology of some one hundred and fifty voices of both races — for the recording of the struggles and achievements, the persecutions and the revolts against them of the Negro peoples.
Page xxv - They have no style, they write without style, do they not, they give you the phrase, the sparkle, the precious margaret. Perhaps only the French can do it. Perhaps only the French language can give you the thing you want.
Page xxvi - I realised that Joyce had gone as far as one could in the direction of knowing more, [being] in control of one's material.
Page 1 - But the more vital of the Negro race have realised that it is Communism alone which throws down the barriers of race as finally as it wipes out class distinctions

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