Archive of ‘ericascott’ category

Fail Better?!

In Worstward Ho!, Samuel Beckett writes the following:

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

What does Beckett say about “failure“? And why does it matter? You might also discuss form here. Why would one of the world’s great writers (poet/novelist/playwright/essayist), use such “simple” structures? How does the sentence structure perhaps affect how we read this? Would the impact be different if it were written in a DC, IC form?  How so? How would it change if he used question marks after the first two sentences? And exclamation points afterward

Beckett is telling the reader that it is okay to fail. If you do fail you try again, but this time you “fail better”. Each time you fail you learn something, thus, getting that much closer to the end goal. The use of simple structures initially makes the text easier to read. With longer sentences containing multiple IC’s and DC’s can result in a distracted reader. Also — the short sentences provide emphasis on the words. The significants is greater than it would be using long sentences.

Using a question mark would cause the reader to ask themselves, when have I tried and failed? Instead, the reader automatically resonates with the statement. “Ever tried. Ever failed.” Of course I have, thinks the reader. There is no question or distraction of thought.

Using an exclamation point would be very aggressive. The reader would almost feel attacked and taken back. The use of a period simply states the subject allowing the reader to relate.