January 4th, 2012 / 10:29 pm

Can anyone verify, preferably from a source other than the internet, that Samuel Beckett drove a young André the Giant to school?


  1. ravi

      I believe it was actually a tandem bicycle they rode to the school.

  2. Brooks Sterritt

      Thank you for that, haha. I picture Dre in the rear for stability.

  3. Wastrel
  4. Brooks Sterritt

      Wow, much obliged. Seemed sort of apocryphal but I really wanted it to be true.

  5. Scottmcclanahan

      I’m almost positive it’s mentioned in the Knowlson bio Damned to Fame.

  6. Brooks Sterritt

      Thanks. I’ve been wanting to read that for a while but don’t have a copy. “Search inside” on amazon shows no mention of Andre (real or stage names) in the index, but many mentions of Beckett’s cottage at Ussy-sur-Marne. I’ll check the library or maybe just bite the bullet and get a copy….

  7. Wdoakneal

      I think I remember reading something about it in Anthony Cronin’s biography of him, The Last Modernist. Which is pretty good even if this shit ain’t true.

  8. deadgod

      That blogicle links to the wiki for “Andre the Giant”, where I couldn’t find a mention of Cary Elwes’s “video diary” that Menick quotes.

      However, look, in that wiki, at Early Life — and especially the link at footnote 11:  http://historicalmeetups.com/post/1524567373/samuel-beckett-playwright-novelist-nobel .  (The 1473 (+?) “notes” form a posthumously written Beckett piece.)

      I can confirm, from my own imagination, that when the young Andre complained that the other kids were mercilessly French towards him and he didn’t know how he could “go on”, Beckett’s customarily tonic salve was, “‘I can’t go on, blah blah’–bah, fuck those fucking kids the fuck up, son.”

  9. Ester

      It’s mentioned as a fact in the British TV show QI (hosted by Stephen Fry) and they have serious fact checking. Is that proof? Nope. But it’s the best I can do. Of course, for the sheer bizarre poetry of it, I so want to believe it’s true.

  10. Brooks Sterritt

      though i expect Andre would clean most merciless kids’ clocks

  11. reynard

      i’ve told that story to people

  12. shaun gannon

      dammit thats what i wanted to say

  13. SFBAY
  14. Montesquiou
  15. Mark Doten

      imagining the narrator of one of the late, “closed space” fictions getting super pissed cos Andre is hogging all the goddamn closed space. 

  16. Scottmcclanahan

      Brooks, I think I’m wrong.   I got up this morning and looked through my copy of the Knowlson bio and couldn’t find it.   Actually, I think I first heard it mentioned on the A&E program Biography on Andre the Giant.   You could probably find it on youtube.

  17. alex crowley

      Brooks, you’re thinking of Billy Crystal and Gheorghe Muresan.

  18. deadgod

      sleeper hold

      garbage-can bearhug

  19. Brooks Sterritt

      No worries, Scott. Reading through the bio’s index reminded me I need that thing (the Andre the Giant reference being somewhat secondary, ha). Knowlson’s bio seems like THE bio of Beckett.

  20. Neel

      I’ve told that story to people.

  21. Cvan

      Well, Flann O’Brien always claimed it was true…and he never ever never told tales.

  22. kevo

      i lived in paris in the 80’s, along with my brother. the brother had bad teeth problems and couldn’t face a french dentist as he didn’t have the lingo. his boss eventually got him an (hard to get) appointment with an english guy who moonlighted as illustrator for beckett covers. sure enough, when the brother, in great pain, entered the waiting room, there sat sam. they exchanged nods and waited. when the assistant called for beckett, he looked at the brother and said Go ahead son. the brother said No, you go. Beckett said No, you go. this continued for a minute, then the brother tood, shook his hand, and went.