“Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

321-21

On. Say on. Be said on. Somehow on. Till nohow on. Said nohow on.

322-26

Say for be said. Missaid. From now say for missaid.

322-07

Say a body. Where none. No mind. Where none. That at least. A place. Where none. For the body. To be in. Move in. Out of. Back into. No. No out. No back. Only in. Stay in. On in. Still.

322-02

All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

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Samuel Beckett: Worstward Ho | It all started with a visit to Hamburger Kunsthalle. They had a small but inspiring exhibition entitled “Fail Better”. A short introduction to the show quoted Beckett. The words “Try again. Fail again. Fail better” have been with me since, and I soon found out that they come from one of his last texts, Worstward Ho.

Enters the philologist: What’s the context of this line? What is Beckett’s text all about? I read the text, or, frankly, the first half of it. It intrigued me the way good poetry does. At a point I paid attention to the pictures it evokes. Could I  actually make any such pictures?

Which was when I stopped reading any further. Instead, I went back to reading the first couple of pages again and again, looking for cues that triggered certain images. With them in mind, I set out for a walk in the nearby meadows scattered with apple trees. I took my camera. I made these pictures.

This is part one of five.

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11 thoughts on ““Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

  1. Touch2Touch

    Inspiration comes from whence it will.
    “Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
    What would my life have been like if that idea had entered it when I was young? Maybe it ends up like that anyway —
    Your images are indeed inspired. And each so different from the other — I look forward to the unfolding of the other four parts —

    Reply
    1. tms Post author

      Judith, thanks for visiting again – and I think agree with you: I can’t remind myself of these lines too often….

    1. tms Post author

      Still chewing, too, and I am not yet through with the text… A few more chapters are already scheduled. Thanks for the encouragement, Chris!

    2. Chris Breebaart

      It is about living life and taking action; by doing and trying and failing and doing trying failing one learns? Cant wait for the follow!

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