Thursday, June 9, 2011

"Fail better"

From This Space, on the misappropriation of Beckett's 'fail better'

'Try again. Fail again. Fail better', surely the most misread sequence in all of Beckett. He would have been horrified to see it appropriated as a catch-all stoic maxim (e.g. 'OK, you're destined to fail, but never mind, keep trying, keep failing in such a way that your failures come closer to success'). Beckett would have poured scorn on this sort of chocolate-box philosophy. The intended meaning is, directly and literally, 'fail more fully, more catastrophically. Absolutize your failure.' 

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