Samuel Beckett by Samuel Beckett
The Complete Short Prose, 1929-1989

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Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett is one of the most profoundly original writers of our century. He gives expression to the anguish and isolation of the individual consciousness with a purity and minimalism that have altered the shape of world literature. A tremendously influential poet and dramatist, Beckett spoke of his prose fiction as the "important writing, " the medium in which his ideas are most powerfully distilled. Here, for the first time, his short prose is gathered in a definitive, complete volume by leading Beckett scholar S. E. Gontarski. In the introduction, Gontarski discusses Beckett's creative roots in the tradition of Irish storytelling and the perpetual evolution of his writing as he "pushed beyond recognizable external reality and discrete, recognizable literary characters, replacing them with something like naked consciousness or pure being." From the 1929 "Assumption, " published in transition magazine when Beckett was twenty-three, to the aptly named "Stirrings Still, " written whe he was eighty-two, and including a new translation of "The Image" as well as the newly translated and previously unpublished "The Cliff, " Gontarski has arranged Beckett's work into a smooth chronology that suggests, as he puts it, "Beckett's own view of his art, that it is all part of a continuous process, a series."

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Published April 1, 1996 by Grove Pr. 294 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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 By gathering Beckett's scattered short pieces, Gontarski has created a volume that few may choose to read whole, but that all with an interest in Beckett will welcome.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Samuel Beckett: The Complete ...

The New York Times

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Samuel Beckett, that most taciturn and private of 20th-century writers, turns out to have been one of the century’s great correspondents.

Mar 05 2009 | Read Full Review of Samuel Beckett: The Complete ...

Publishers Weekly

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In counterpoint to Beckett's plays, novels and poems is the equally brilliant shorter prose--the stories, soliloquies and depersonalized monologues he wrote throughout his career. Here, collected and

Apr 29 1996 | Read Full Review of Samuel Beckett: The Complete ...

The Washington Post

While young Sam grouses about the "usual drink & futility" or complains that Proust is "strangely uneven," his editors crisply inform us that Beckett owned the 1926 Salani edition of Dante, that "bougie" is an old French word for catheter, that Bernardo Bibbiena's "La Calandra" was "perhaps the m...

Apr 02 2009 | Read Full Review of Samuel Beckett: The Complete ...

The Telegraph

While Beckett tended to view his works as unfortunate .

Jan 09 2012 | Read Full Review of Samuel Beckett: The Complete ...

Arts Fuse

Beckett’s story takes place after its protagonist’s death, a character who died two stories earlier in the collection, More Pricks Than Kicks — for which this eleventh story, requested late by the publisher, is — in Beckett’s words — “a fag piece.” Beckett’s writing impulse was clearly spent when...

Jun 23 2014 | Read Full Review of Samuel Beckett: The Complete ...

Boston Review

So obscure are most of the references that Nixon, a meticulous editor, has appended to the forty-one pages of the published text fifty-six pages of notes that attempt to untangle Beckett’s mess of learning, including scraps of St. Augustine, Thomas a Kempis, Sergei Eisenstein, Hamlet, the Bible, ...

Jul 08 2014 | Read Full Review of Samuel Beckett: The Complete ...

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