I am Mathilde Guérin Guillermo, author of Beckett’s Fizzles: Physical Suffering in Intermedial Adaptations. My initial idea for this research project was to explore the staging of a disabled body from Beckett’s prose. The combination of the Fizzles and intermedial adaptation was an exciting area of inquiry for me, but I also wanted to look at the connection with Beckett’s personal experience of sickness and loss, as well as the suffering brought by historical events he faced.
The commemorative plaque on House 39
This project led me to study materials I would not have engaged with otherwise. The Library offered a large range of books and articles, which helped me to enhance my knowledge of embodiment from philosophical, sociological and artistic perspectives. I also enjoyed reading Beckett’s letters, particularly the ones from 1966 to 1989, which I included in my research. I engaged in depth with scholarship, and I took notes for the long term. This authentic research process allowed me to gain a critical perspective on Beckett’s writings and some adaptations of his texts.
The Berkeley Library
The research process was quite motivating for me, and I felt like investing more time into this project than I would usually do, because I was passionate about the work. It took a long time to process the ideas, concepts and theories that I encountered, to create the zine, but I was able to thread together a wide range and variety of materials. The main issues that I faced were therefore managing my time and articulating my thoughts in a limited number of words, but I also learnt from those challenges how to better organise my next research projects.
I hope my research will inspire readers to discover the intermedial artist that Beckett is, as well as his biography. The zine format enabled us to take a more creative approach to learning and communicating, so I wish readers enjoy reading our zines as much as we enjoyed creating them, and maybe some of them will borrow a copy of the Fizzles or book a theatre ticket…