| the ledge files
the ledge - nl - uk
publisher: Minuit, Paris, 1947 (published in 1951)
publisher: Querido, Amsterdam, 1959
translation: Samuel Beckett
refered to by:
City of Glass
|The trilogy has always been considered the central work of Samuel Beckett's fiction; the three novels that have been most admired and have received the greatest amount of critical comment, just as 'Waiting for Godot' - written in the same period of concentrated creativity between 1947 and 1949 - is central to Beckett's drama.
After Proust's great many-volumed novel, Joyce's 'Ulysses' and the masterworks of Kafka, it dominates 20th century literature, and much as Beckett's pre-war fiction and the late minimalist novellas are admired, it is on the trilogy that the author's reputation will chiefly depend.
'Molloy' was a new departure for Samuel Beckett; written in the first person, it consists of two monologues - that of Molloy on his odyssey towards his mother, lost in town and country and finally emerging from the forest; and that of Moran, a private detective who is sent to find him. The two narrowly miss each other, but the contast between their characters and the similarity in their decline provide much humour and give the reader ground to speculate towards the understanding
| both of the grimness and the comedy of the human situation.
'Malone Dies' pictures the decrepit Malone, also bedridden, filling his mind and his remaining time with memories, stories and bitter comment, while waiting for the 'throes'. The novel disintegrates as the protagonist does.
'The Unnamable' seems to contain and encompass its predecessors and the characters of earlier Beckett novels. Its power of language and breadth of imagination make it a tour de force that recalls Dante as it moves into an ever greater void of despair and panic - a metaphysical work that must take its place among the very greatest works of literature.
The dramatic power of 'The Unnamable' has been proved by the successful endeavours of those actors who have succeeded in bringing it - and earlier parts of the tilogy - to life on stage and on the radio. Patrick Magee, Jack Magowran, Jack Emery, Barry McGovern and Max Wall are only a few of the actors who have specialised in Beckett's work and have become closely associated with all or parts of the trilogy .
|BOOKS BY SAMUEL BECKETT:|
Part III of Beckett's Trilogy. A man without an identity tries to find out who he is.
Written circa 1943, published 1953
Insofar as it has a plot, Watt does for the most part concern a man named Watt, who travels to the manor of Mr Knott and there works for him, engaged in the most mechanical yet convoluted tasks, before leaving and (perhaps) ultimately being institutionalized.
Part II of the Trilogy. The decrepit Malone, bedridden, fills his mind and his remaining time with memories, stories and bitter comment, while waiting for the 'throes'. The novel disintegrates as the protagonist does.
1947 (published in 1951)
Part I of a trilogy of novels. Written in the first person, Molloy consists of two monologues - that of Molloy on his odyssey towards his mother, lost in town and country and finally emerging from the forest; and that of Moran, a private detective who is sent to find him.
A very long poem. Iin which the protagonist, Rene Descartes, waits for his morning omelet of well-aged eggs, while meditating on the obscurity of theological mysteries, the passage of time, and the approach of death.
|More Pricks Than Kicks|
A collection of stories about Belacqua, a student in Dublin in the 1920 - his adventures, encounters and amours.
Short play. That Time intercuts three monologues from three separate periods of time in the experience of one character.
Murphy, a work-shy Irishman in London, loved by a prostitute, concerns himself with getting wiser and achieving peace of mind.
|Dream of Fair to Middling Women|
1932 (first published in 1992)
Samuel Beckett's first novel written in Paris in 1932 and rejected by publishers at the time for its eccentricity. The hero, Belacqua, a near enough alter-ego for the author, is a student in Dublin with a messy love-life and a colorful series of girlfriends.
|Waiting for Godot|
Beckett's first stage play portrays two men, down on their luck and trapped in an endless waiting for the arrival of a mysterious personage named Godot, while disputing the appointed place and hour of his coming.
|Krapp's Last Tape|
Play. An old man records his comments as he listens to a tape recording of his own observations on how life felt when he was 39.
|How it Is|
A novel conceived in terms of the human voice, at the end of its tether, swimming through a sea of mud that is threatening to engulf the swimmer - a powerful metaphor of the human condition which Beckett has dramatised many times.
Play in one act. Outside lies a world of death. Inside the room the blind, impervious Hamm sits in a wheelchair while his lame servant, Clov, scuttles about obeying his orders. Each depends fractiously on the other.
Play in two acts. A woman imprisoned in a mound of earth and a man compelled to remain in her presence rationalize their 'happy' existence together.
This short play features an actress seated on stage with just her mouth spot-lit. The mouth delivers a long stream of consciousness. One critic said, 'If Molly Bloom's famous monologue is an affirmation of life and assertion of female identity, Not I is its opposite.'
Short play. An elderly man is plagued by sleeplessness and haunted by the memory of a tragic loss. The story of this loss, and of his life following, is the subject of a worn book read aloud by 'Reader' to the silent 'Listener'.
|Ill Seen Ill Said|
This novella focuses attention on an old woman in a cabin who is part of the objects, landscape, rhythms, and movements of an incomprehensible universe.
Prose. A old man lying on his back alone in the dark is spoken to by a ghostly, unrelenting voice he can neither verify nor name.
The most condensed of all Beckett's prose works, this short parable describes life coming into being and the whole impossible process of creation.
In this text - the author's final prose work - the narrator finds the ability, although unable to move from his room, to do so, and to go out and return.
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