Samuel Beckett: Poems, Short Fiction, Criticism, Vol. 4

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9780802118202: Samuel Beckett: Poems, Short Fiction, Criticism, Vol. 4

Edited by Paul Auster, this four–volume hardcover set of Beckett's canon has been designed by award-winner Laura Lindgren. Available individually, as well as in a boxed set, these books are specially bound with covers featuring images central to Beckett's works. Typographical errors that remained uncorrected in the various prior editions have now been corrected in consultation with Beckett scholars C. J. Ackerley and S. E. Gontarski.

"[Beckett] settled on philosophical comedy as the medium for his uniquely anguished, arrogant, self-doubting, scrupulous temperament. In the popular mind his name is associated with the mysterious Godot who may or may not come but for whom we wait anyhow. In this he seemed to define the mood of an age. But his range is wider than that, and his achievement far greater. Beckett was an artist possessed by a vision of life without consolation or dignity or promise of grace, in the face of which our only duty is not to lie to ourselves. It was a vision to which he gave expression in language of a virile strength and intellectual subtlety that marks him as one of the great prose stylists of the twentieth century." — J. M. Coetzee, from his Introduction

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About the Author:

Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), one of the leading literary and dramatic figures of the twentieth century, was born in Foxrock, Ireland and attended Trinity University in Dublin. In 1928, he visited Paris for the first time and fell in with a number of avant-garde writers and artists, including James Joyce. In 1937, he settled in Paris permanently. Beckett wrote in both English and French, though his best-known works are mostly in the latter language. A prolific writer of novels, short stories, and poetry, he is remembered principally for his works for the theater, which belong to the tradition of the Theater of the Absurd and are characterized by their minimalist approach, stripping drama to its barest elements. In 1969, Beckett was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and commended for having 'transformed the destitution of man into his exaltation.' Beckett died in Paris in 1989.

Review:

"Starting out as an uneasy Joycean and an even more uneasy Proustian, Beckett eventually settled on philosophical comedy as the medium for his uniquely anguished, arrogant, self-doubting, scrupulous temperament. In the popular mind his name is associated with the mysterious Godot who may or may not come but for whom we wait anyhow, passing the time as best we can. In this he seemed to define the mood of an age. But his range is wider than that, and his achievement far greater. Beckett was an artist possessed by a vision of life without consolation or dignity or promise of grace, in the face of which our only duty--inexplicable and futile, but a dury nonetheless--is not to lie to ourselves. It was a vision to which he gave expression in language of a virile strength and intellectual subtlety that marks him as one of the great prose stylists of the twentieth century."

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