Dream of Fair to Middling Women by Samuel Beckett

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Samuel Beckett's "high energy and boisterously libidinous" (Booklist) first novel--a wonderfully savory introduction to the Nobel Prize-winning author during this centenary year.

Written in the summer of 1932, when the 26-year-old Beckett was poor and struggling, Dream of Fair to middling Women offers a rare and revealing portrait of the artist as a young man. Later on, Beckett would call the novel "the chest into which I threw all my wild thoughts." When he submitted it to several publishers, all of them found it too literary, too scandalous, or too risky, and it was never published during his lifetime. In the novel, Belacqua--a young version of Molloy, whose love is divided between two women, Smeraldina-Rima and the Alba--"wrestles with his lusts and learning across vocabularies and continents, before a final `relapse into Dublin'" (The New Yorker). Youthfully exuberant and visibly influenced by Joyce, Dream of Fair to middling Women is a work of extraordinary virtuosity. Beckett delights in the wordplay and sheer joy of language that mark his later work. Above all, the story brims with the black humor that, like brief stabs of sunlight, pierces the darkness of his vision.


About Samuel Beckett

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Samuel Beckett was born in Ireland in 1906. His plays Waiting for Godot and Endgame revolutionized modern theater, and his trilogy-Molloy, Mallone Dies, and The Unnamable-ranks among the major works of twentieth-century fiction. He died in Paris in 1989.
Published January 1, 1992 by Nada. 241 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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The experience of my reader shall be between the phrases, in the silence communicated by the intervals, not the terms of the statement...'' To be sure, glorious plums pop up: ``The night firmament is abstract density of music, symphony without end, illumination without end, yet emptier, more spar...

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London Review of Books

It is this tension – Beckett with his agenda and Beckett becoming too distracted by the world to put his agenda into operation – that fills his work between Murphy and the later prose pieces.

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