And finally, if readers only had time to read one book by Samuel Beckett, what would you suggest and why?
At the moment I seem to be going through a phase of interest in late works, works produced after those on which a reputation will rest. Whoever’s – Beckett’s or anyone’s. I like the kinds of sudden, unexpected veering turns in late works that nevertheless occur within a highly coherent system. Is that too abstract? Like in some of Bob Dylan’s witty late songs, where a self-consciously sentimental or traditional-style chorus suddenly anchors an otherwise disjointed narrative, or perhaps in the flashes of a certain shade of red in Lucian Freud. So along these lines maybe Company, where misty recollected sometimes semi-autobiographical scenes appear and dissipate again. Just that moment of the narrator suddenly standing still in the middle of a field, which I write about a bit in my book, is masterful. Beckett can really break your heart with just a description of someone standing, or of moving their hand up to their head as they sit in a chair in the short piece ‘Still’.