barcelona review #15

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Samuel Beckett QuizThe Barcelona Review
Beckett Quiz



December 22, 1999 marks the tenth anniversary of the death of Samuel Beckett. To pay tribute, we offer our present quiz and a chance to win a book.

E-mail your answers to

The winner will receive a book of choice of any Beckett work or any book of Beckett criticism or biography. We will continue to receive answers until December 31st. If there is more than one correct submission, the winner will be selected from a draw. All winners' names will be listed.


Waiting for Godot cover1. If Waiting for Godot is a play "in which nothing happens, twice", in which play does something happen, twice? Happy Days

2. Contrasting his writing with Joyce’s, Beckett suggested that Joyce differed from him in being a:

      a) didgeridoo
      b) trombone
      c) harp
      d) synthesizer

3. What doctrine of the independence of mind and body expounded by a 17th-c. Flemish philosopher troubles Murphy and Watt?

      a) Rosicrucianism
      a) Jansenism
      c) Occasionalism
      d) Absurdism

4. In what did Beckett beat Solzhenitsyn by 12 months?
Being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

5. After being The Butcher Boy, The Navigator and The General, who was still silent in 1965? Buster Keaton

6. By whom was the Resistance cell in Occupied France in which Beckett was active infiltrated and betrayed to the Gestapo?

      a) a prostitute
      b) an art critic
      c) a priest
      d) a pork butcher

7. What was significant about Beckett’s encounter with a pimp in Paris in January 1938? The pimp stabbed him.

8. What did Beckett describe as "the most distasteful job I ever took on"?Ends and Odds - cover

      a) acting as amanuensis to Joyce
      b) being a hospital orderly
      c) selling encyclopaedias
      d) translation

9. If one Hammer, how many nails?

10. Which 3rd-c- French saint provides a link between Beckett and Johnny Cash?

11. "white world, bitter cold, ghastly scene, old men, great …":

      a) coats
      b) silence
      c) trouble
      d) expectations

12. Who soaps, thoroughly rinses and dries what or whom before the embers?

      a) sucky Moll; hairy Mac
      b) Fox; a mole
      c) Bolton; Holloway
      d) Pim; Bom

13. Who asks "Dung? What would we want with dung, at our time of life?"?

14. Belacqua’s lunch of choice?

Cover to Murphy15. What were the two chimpanzees doing in the photograph Beckett wanted to use on the cover of Murphy?

      a) masturbating
      b) playing chess
      c) scratching
      d) thinking

16. Which of Becket’s works takes its title from a late poem by Yeats?

17. A novel by which 19th-c. English "Christian Socialist" did Beckett allude to in the title of one of his texts?

18. Who, in Beckett terms, is the odd one out?

      a) Lenny Bruce
      b) Max Wall
      c) Peter Sellers
      d) Buster Keaton

Three Occasional Pieces19. To whose painting of two men looking at the moon did Beckett ascribe the inspiration for Waiting for Godot?

      a) Francis Bacon
      b) Edvard Munch
      c) Bram van Vekde
      d) Caspar David Friedrich

20. To whom does Beckett refer in a preface as a "garrulous old dowager"?

      a) Peggy Guggenheim
      b) his mother May
      c) Marcel Proust
      d) Oscar Wilde


Two fine Beckett sites:
The Samuel Beckett On-line Resources and Links Page
The Samuel Beckett Endpage
© 1999 The Barcelona Review
Quiz composed for TBR by Graham Thomson.
This quiz may not be archived or distributed further without the Barcelona Review's express permission. Please see our conditions of use.
navigation:                     barcelona review #15             November  1999 to January 2000
-Fiction Ian Wild - The Woman Who Swallowed The Book of Kells
Gotzy - Gotzy's Story
Greg Chandler - The Ghost of Sharon Tate
Alice Mullen - Glo-bug
Javier Marķas - Fewer Scruples
-Essay Barbara Lefcowitz -Swans, Tricksters, The Letter 'S'
-Quiz Samuel Beckett- win a book
Answers to last issue's Nabokov quiz
-Regular Features Book Reviews
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