Tuesday, January 04, 2011

from the archives 

A6, Seawhite of Brighton sketchbook, begun Friday 13th June 1997.

Ooh, now, here's a thing...

I long believed that, as suggested above, "There's nothing so funny as human suffering" was, indeed, a quote from Samuel Beckett. However, in these modern days of internettedness when all things are easily checkable I cannot now find any supporting evidence for this belief. Can anyone help me out? Did Beckett really say it (and if so, where)? Did someone else say it and at some point my wonky brain has misattributed it? Did Beckett (or someone else) say something similar but not quite that?

Or have I just made the whole thing up myself and blamed a dead Irishman so as not to appear misanthropic myself?


Images, as usual, will enlargify if clicked upon.

Mr Jonathan Reeve helpfully contacted me (as he was unable to leave a comment here due to technical issues) with the following:

From http://www.themodernword.com/beckett/beckett_quotes.html

NELL: One mustn't laugh at those things, Nagg. Why must you always laugh at them?

NAGG: Not so loud!

NELL (without lowering her voice): Nothing is funnier than unhappiness, I grant you that. But-

NAGG (shocked): Oh!

NELL: Yes, yes, it's the most comic thing in the world. And we laugh, we laugh, with a will, in the beginning. But it's always the same thing. Yes, it's like the funny story we have heard too often, we still find it funny, but we don't laugh any more.


Which seems to be the closest anyone can find (the excellent Ms Bridget Hannigan also informed me of the key line from the above via Twitter). Thanks for that Jonathan (and Bridge). Excellent detective work and much appreciated.

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