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I had hopes of a Swift poem mais . . ” However, although it can hardly be considered the “Swift poem” he originally had in mind, the autobiographical poem “Sanies I,” written at Easter 1933, deals with this same journey out to Donabate. Beckett peddles his bicycle – called a Swift! – around the countryside: “cinched to death in a filthy slicker / flinging the proud Swift forward / breasting the swell of Sturmers. . ”9 In a poem thick with wordplay, “proud Swift” seems to pun on Jonathan Swift and the persona of the Dean not uncommon in the thirties.

Swift,” and (I would guess) the Dean’s remains in such close proximity must have made him seem quite immediate. Joyce appears to have recognized an affinity between his young friend and their Irish forefather. ” Complimenting Beckett, Joyce seems to suggest that his friend knows how to manipulate the language as well as Swift, combining academic proprieties with everyday Irish speech. “He can cantab as chipper as any oxon I ever mooed with,” says Joyce. ” But is he not teasing Beckett for being too much of a follower of Swift?

34). It is clear that Beckett knew his Swift intimately, not only the major works but also the private, posthumously published Journal. In Beckett’s first published novel Murphy (written in 1934–37 and published in 1938), there is one explicit allusion to Gulliver’s Travels and another rather buried reference to The Drapier’s Letters, which the author had first studied at Trinity College about ten years earlier: “Feeling just the same old Wood’s halfpenny in the regulation shirt and suit. . ”16 In addition, there are a few possible verbal echoes of the Tale: “knotty points” (p.

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