Godot’s Godlessness

Rob Weinert-Kendt praises it:

Beckett’s is not the blithe, hyper-confident, 21st-century atheism of Richard Dawkins, or the bland, self-satisfied scientism that constitutes a kind of default worldview in the educated West. It is instead the 20th century’s wounded, elegiac brand of letting-go-of-God—the entirely comprehensible incomprehension of intellectuals who felt poised between the Stygian maw of the Holocaust and the real probability of nuclear annihilation. For all its impish gallows humor, “Waiting for Godot” has, to my ears at least, an unmistakably valedictory timbre; it sounds like the lament of a one-time believer who once took the promise of faith seriously, or at the very least understood its high stakes. Put another way: Beckett’s is a voice that anyone conversant in the stark desert landscape of the Bible—anyone who has, so to speak, sat picking scabs with Job or eaten locusts with John the Baptist—will recognize in a heartbeat.

(Video: scene from Act 1 of a 1987 performance of Waiting for Godot)