Growing up in the Beckett era - a god-daughter's memories
Published: 23 Aug 2012 13:000 comments
Alba and her mother, a good friend of Beckett's, will attend the Happy Days International Beckett Festival on Saturday and Sunday and read extracts from their own books.
As a young child Alba, by her own admission, did not fully grasp just how influential her parents' close friend was on the literary and arts world.
But now fully aware of her god-father's talent, she says she will take great pride in playing her part at the world's first ever multi-arts festival celebrating his work.
Her memoir,'Major/Minor', published last year, documents what life was like growing up in Paris in the 1980s.
In it she recounts how as a teenager, she didn't fully appreciate who her god-father was to the world.
"As a child I was more interested in actors and rock stars than writers," she explains.
"He used to come over for dinner.
"He was a very good friend of my father's. My father was a painter, my mother was a poet, so it was a very artistic relationship that they shared with Beckett. They would show each other their work, especially my father and Beckett.
"I would play the piano together with him. He would listen to a lot of music with my father and sometimes come in and listen to it too."
Alba started writing as a teenager and began sending some of her work to Beckett for his feedback.
"He would write back when he thought it was good and if he didn't like it he didn't write at all!" she says.
It was only at the age of 16 or 17 in school that she really discovered Beckett's catalogue of work.
"I remember we had coffee together when I was around 22, we had a proper conversation. I'm really glad we did that," says Alba, "He listened very carefully and talked about books, his experiences during the war and writing. I know I'm lucky I got to know him as I did."
Alba says her interest in Beckett now is purely a personal one.
"I'm not at all a Beckett expert. I know a lot of people who are coming to the festival are proper fans. I know his work a bit but I am not a total Beckett expert. I'm very pleased to be part of the festival of course. My mother wrote about him too. Her book, 'How it Was', is about his relationship with my father. It's a much more in-depth study because she was able to enjoy the friendship which lasted about 35 years."
Alba and her mother, Anne, will arrive in Enniskillen on Saturday.
It will be the first time she has ever stepped foot in Ireland.
"I'm very much looking forward to it. Beckett was a very inspiring man. Even when I was young, I felt that there was something very special about him -- he had a certain aura.
"But he was a shy man, very reserved. He didn't deal with publicity very well. I'm sure though, that he would be very pleased to know about the festival. He would have really appreciated it."
Commentscomments powered by Disqus
Get more stories from our Roundup section
21 Apr 2014 13:00 • Rodney Edwards
THE work of Enniskillen’s two main church leaders, the Very Rev. Kenneth Hall and Monsignor Peter O’Reilly, has received a warm acknowledgement from yet another head of state.
21 Apr 2014 09:00 • Editorial Department
“WE are not against a community centre, we just don’t want it on our doorstep.”
20 Apr 2014 19:00
Clogher Valley coach David Black has vowed to make up for their All Ireland Junior Cup Final defeat by winning the Ulster Towns’ Cup for their supporters when they take on Donaghadee at Ravenhill on Easter Monday.
20 Apr 2014 15:00 • Julie Kenwell
THE family of Bellanaleck toddler, Alfie Keys are nervously looking ahead to this September.
20 Apr 2014 13:00 • Editorial Department
Extreme risks have been identified by the Western Trust which could “compromise client safety” or even lead to “injury or death of patients or staff”.
20 Apr 2014 09:00 • Editorial Department
Tempo Primary’s long serving caretaker - whose family has a long connection with the Fermanagh school - was paid a warm tribute at the start of the school’s Easter Holidays.
19 Apr 2014 21:00 • Brian Donaldson
The countdown to the first election for seats on the new Fermanagh and Omagh District Council on May 22 has begun with the first candidates nominating at Enniskillen Townhall this week.
19 Apr 2014 17:10
Ballinamallard took another step closer to safety as they claimed a share of the spoils at home to Ballymena today.
19 Apr 2014 15:00 • Meadhbh Monahan
Founder of Frack Free Sussex and Britain and Ireland Frack Free, Vanessa Vine visited Enniskillen last Saturday to discuss the local anti-fracking campaign.
19 Apr 2014 13:00 • Editorial Department
A boxing champion shied away from a fight with a man over twice his age only to become embroiled in a road rage incident.
19 Apr 2014 11:00 • Editorial Department
The forty-eight former Fivemiletown milk suppliers have been assured that Fivemiletown and Brookeborough Co-operative and Agricultural Dairy Society (the Society) is debt free and that they will “continue to be paid”.
19 Apr 2014 09:00 • Rodney Edwards
ULSTER Unionist MLA Tom Elliott has joined his party colleagues in voting against the Local Government Bill, the legislation that sets out the powers of the new Super Councils. Mr. Elliott spoke of his concern around community planning ahead of the amalgamation which will see 26 Councils merge into 11, including the amalgamation of Fermanagh District Council and Omagh District Council
19 Apr 2014 08:30
Police can confirm that a male motorcyclist has died following a two vehicle road traffic collision on the Belfast Road in Fivemiletown last night, Friday 18 April.
18 Apr 2014 22:00 • Rodney Edwards
A MAJOR survey into the Orange Order in Fermanagh has found that 92.8 per cent of people who took part in the project believe Catholics are “suspicious” of the organisation.
18 Apr 2014 19:00
By 5pm on Saturday April 26 all the decisions will be made in the Danske Bank Premiership and Championship One. The destination of the title will be decided and who is going down or which teams are facing a play off will be known.
18 Apr 2014 17:00 • Rodney Edwards
ENTERPRISE Minister Arlene Foster says she cannot support the view of local political representatives, including her DUP colleague Maurice Morrow, that the Aventas Group in Derrylin must remain exclusively locally owned.
18 Apr 2014 15:00 • Editorial Department
Charlie Lawson @charlie_lawson1 I’m reliably informed that my alter ego and constant companion is to return, so he is. Must contact The Home Secretary to confirm.
18 Apr 2014 13:00 • Editorial Department
“I am not powerless, I will fight this,” declares Stormont Minister Arlene Foster as she reflects on the fall-out over the proposal by the Western Education and Library Board to amalgamate Portora Royal School with Collegiate Grammar School.
18 Apr 2014 11:00 • Lily Dane
This image “Miss Derryclavin” Selected was featured in The Impartial Reporter on April 16, 1964.
18 Apr 2014 08:30
MOURNERS at the funeral of Brookeborough man Kenneth Andrews who died unexpectedly last week were told that the 47-year-old had been fighting a private battle with depression.