Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Beginnings and Early Writings

Manuscripts | Publications

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figure 31

“Cascando” in The Dublin Magazine, Vol. XI, No. 4, New Series, October-December 1936.

Beckett later used the title of this poem for a radio play first published in 1963.

 

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First edition of Authors Take Sides on the Spanish War (London: Left Review, 1937). From the Library of Evelyn Waugh.

In Paris in June 1937, Louis Aragon, W. H. Auden, Nancy Cunard, Heinrich Mann, Pablo Neruda, Stephen Spender, Tristan Tzara, and five others signed their names to a printed broadside titled “The Question.” It was addressed to the “Writers and Poets of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales” and asked: “Are you for, or against, the legal Government and the People of Republican Spain?”

The writers addressed were asked for “a statement in not more than 6 lines.” Some complied with, many exceeded, the limit. Beckett’s statement was the briefest: “¡UPTHEREPUBLIC!”

 

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Notebook compiled by Nancy Cunard relating to the broadside “The Question: Addressed to the Writers of Great Britain.”

The notebook includes the original maquette of the broadside, a proof of the broadside in its final form, and related documents. These include thirteen letters from various writers—among them, Rebecca West, W. H. Auden, Rose Macaulay, and E.M. Forster—in reply to the questionnaire. These replies are the only survivors of the 150 to 200 originally received by Cunard. The remainder was lost during World War II when the German army ransacked her house at Réanville in Normandy.

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