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….
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.”
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.
The article you used wonders what they talked about (“wrestling?”), & I remembered reading that “years later, when recounting his conversations with Beckett (which he did often), André the Giant revealed that they rarely talked about anything besides cricket.”
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.
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.