A correspondence between Anthony Burgess and Samuel Beckett

Samuel Beckett

Dear Mr Burgess-

How can you write so fast?

Samuel Beckett.





Anthony Burgess    1000 words of fair copy a day, seven days a week, dear boy.   Chilled gin in the afternoons helps oil the wheels.

Samuel Beckett   10 words every other week, fuelled by 3 bottles of Jamesons'.   I could weep.

Anthony Burgess   Ah but your Nobel Prize for literature in 1969 must have bought you a few drinks. I didn't even get close to the Booker prize with (frankly) one of my better efforts.
That bastard Greene stole my drinking vouchers.
O well, tant fucking pis, as dear old Jim Joyce would have said, if he could stand up at le fin de la jour.

Samuel Beckett    After the Nobel, my consumption of Jamesons' reached 3.5 bottles.  Result: disaster.

Anthony Burgess   BTW I was rather proud of the Joycean omnilingual gag in the above post, with the post-pissed conflict of agreements (see pis).
Am I in danger of becoming a bit of a linguistic bore, or do you like my books?

Samuel Beckett   Your joke drew from me a rare wan smile. I have read your work. I am jealous. There is so much.  You are so alive.

Anthony Burgess   Not now, I'm afraid,  dear boy.