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Beckett Brunch 2021 Takes on Impact of Borders on Beckett’s work

22 April 2021 - The Beckett Brunch 2021 in collaboration with the Trinity Long Room Hub is welcoming Beckett enthusiasts, students, academics, practitioners, and literature-loving foodies to its first online Brunch from Dublin this Saturday, 24th of April.

This Franco-Irish event was inaugurated in 2010 at the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris, with the aim of starting new cross-disciplinary and cross-generational conversations about Beckett and his work. Over the past decade it has brought people together in a shared love of drinking coffee, eating croissants, and talking about Beckett.

The Brunch is being led by postgraduate members of the Centre for Beckett Studies, Céline Thobois and Megane Mazé, and its Paris-based founder Dúnlaith Bird.

This year, the theme of the Beckett Brunch is ‘Cross-Border Beckett / Beckett par-delà les  frontières.’ Born in Dublin in 1906, the young Beckett was educated between 1920 and 1923 in Enniskillen (County Fermanagh). Beckett then went to Trinity College Dublin from 1923–1927, where he studied modern languages and passed the Foundation Scholarship examination in 1926. His final results upon graduation earned him the Gold Medal. His tutor was the renowned Berkeley scholar A. A. Luce.

In his early adult life, he lived in London and travelled regularly to Germany, before settling down in Paris in 1937.

The organisers have identified borders as having significant resonance in current contexts:

“Crossing geographical borders was a regular experience for the writer; it is not surprising that borders recur in Beckett’s oeuvre. In the current political context, reading, acting, staging, or adapting Beckett’s texts can provide an opportunity to think our world anew. We hope that this gathering around a key European artist will offer an opportunity discuss physical and metaphorical borders in Beckett’s work, as well as in our contemporary society.”

The fact that the Brunch is taking place this year on the 24th April, the 105th anniversary of the Easter Rising and in advance of the upcoming centenary of the partition of Ireland will no doubt be a topic for discussion within the panels. Ireland was indeed partitioned during Beckett’s second year at the Portora Royal School in Eniskillen. As Knowlson comments in Damned to Fame (London: Bloomsbury, 1996), for Beckett “passing across the border at the beginning and end of each term, seeing British troops stationed nearby, and then returning to the capital of a new country that was in the process of forming itself must have had some impact on his developing political awareness."

The programme for the Brunch will feature Beckett experts, teachers, students, and artists, and will also involve audience’s contributions, comments and questions. The opening address will be given by Patricia O’Brien, Ambassador of Ireland to France, and by Vincent Guérend, Ambassador of France to Ireland.

From Trinity College Dublin, Professor Nicholas Johnson (Centre for Beckett Studies and School of Creative Arts), Professor Ann Devitt (School of Education) and Dr Gareth Young (Computer Science) will present a panel on ‘Teaching Beckett with Virtual Reality’. Dr Julie Bates, Assistant Professor in English and co-director of the Trinity Centre for Beckett Studies will be chairing the second session on ‘Beckett Across Education’. Dr Sarah Jane Scaife is Assistant Professor in Drama at Trinity College Dublin and will be speaking in the third session of the day on ‘Beckett Across Performance’ and with an artistic roundtable. ’…out…into this world…’.

Céline Thobois, Early Career Researcher at the Trinity Long Room Hub will present a talk looking at bilingual readings of Beckett beyond the classroom (Lectures bilingues de Beckett au-delà de la classe) with Megane Mazé, PhD Student at the Université d’Orléans and T.A. in the Department of French at TCD.

The full program is available on the Beckett Brunch Facebook page and Twitter Account, here.

This online event is presented by the Trinity Centre for Beckett Studies with partnerships from the Trinity Long Room Hub, the Department of French, the Department of Drama, and the School of English, as well as the Université Sorbonne Paris Nord. Additional support is generously provided by the Embassy of France in Ireland, the Alliance Française in Dublin, the Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris, and At It Again!

This event is entirely free, but registration is mandatory. However, if you wish to make a donation to the Trinity Centre for Beckett Studies to support its ongoing public programming and future events, you have the option to do so on the booking page. Please register here.

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