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"Molloy" is Samuel Beckett's best-known novel, and his first published work to be written in French, ushering in a period of concentrated creativity in the late 1940s which included the companion novels "Malone Dies" and "The Unnamable". The narrative of Molloy, old and ill, remembering and forgetting, scarcely human, begets a parallel tale of the spinsterish Moran, a private detective sent in search of him, whose own deterioration during the quest joins in with the catalogue of Molloy's woes. "Molloy" brings a world into existence with finicking certainties, at the tip of whoever is holding the pencil, and trades larger uncertainties with the reader. Then I went back into the house and wrote, It is midnight. The rain is beating on the windows. It was not midnight. It was not raining. It is edited by Shane Weller.
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The Unnamable - so named because he knows not who he may be - is from a nameless place. He speaks of previous selves ('all these Murphys, Molloys, and Malones...') as diversions from the need to stop speaking altogether. But, as with the other novels in the trilogy, the prose is full of marvellous precisions, full of its own reasons for keeping going...perhaps the words have carried me to the threshold of my story, before the door that opens on my story, that would surprise me, if it opens, it will be I, will be the silence, where I am, I don't know, I'll never know, in the silence you don't know, you must go on, I can't go on, I'll go on.
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'Malone', writes Malone, 'is what I am called now'. On his deathbed, and wiling away the time with stories, the octogenarian Malone's account of his condition is intermittent and contradictory, shifting with the vagaries of the passing days: without mellowness, without elegiacs; wittier, jauntier, and capable of wilder rages than "Molloy". The sound I liked best had nothing noble about it. It was the barking of the dogs, at night, in the clusters of hovels up in the hills, where the stone-cutters lived, like generations of stone-cutters before them. It came down to me where I lay, in the house in the plain, wild and soft, at the limit of earshot, soon weary. The dogs of the valley replied with their gross bay all fangs and jaws and foam.
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Edited by J. C. C. Mays Murphy, Samuel Beckett's first novel, was published in 1938. Its work-shy eponymous hero, adrift in London, realises that desire can never be satisfied and withdraws from life, in search of stupor. Murphy's lovestruck fiancee Celia tries with tragic pathos to draw him back, but her attempts are doomed to failure. Murphy's friends and familiars are simulacra of Murphy, fragmented and incomplete. But Beckett's achievement lies in the brilliantly original language used to communicate this vision of isolation and misunderstanding. The combination of particularity and absurdity gives Murphy's world its painful definition, but the sheer comic energy of Beckett's prose releases characters and readers alike into exuberance.
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Originally written in French and translated into English by Beckett, "Endgame" was given its first London performance at the Royal Court Theatre in 1957. HAMM - Clov! CLOV - Yes. HAMM - Nature has forgotten us. CLOV - There's no more nature. HAMM - No more nature! You exaggerate. CLOV In the vicinity. HAMM - But we breathe, we change! We lose our hair our teeth! Our bloom! Our ideals! CLOV - Then she hasn't forgotten us.
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The present volume gathers all of Beckett's texts for theatre, from 1955 to 1984. It includes both the major dramatic works and the short and more compressed texts for the stage and for radio.'He believes in the cadence, the comma, the bite of word on reality, whatever else he believes; and his devotion to them, he makes clear, is a sufficient focus for the reader's attention. In the modern history of literature he is a unique moral figure, not a dreamer of rose-gardens but a cultivator of what will grow in the waste land, who can make us see the exhilarating design that thorns and yucca share with whatever will grow anywhere.' - Hugh KennerContents: Waiting for Godot, Endgame, Happy Days, All That Fall, Acts Without Words, Krapp's Last Tape, Roughs for the Theatre, Embers, Roughs for the Radio, Words and Music, Cascando, Play, Film, The Old Tune, Come and Go, Eh Joe, Breath, Not I, That Time, Footfalls, Ghost Trio,...but the clouds..., A Piece of Monologue, Rockaby, Ohio Impromptu, Quad, Catastrophe, Nacht und Traume, What Where.
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A masterful twist on the epistolary novel, Saul Bellow's Herzog is part confessional, part exorcism, and a wholly unique achievement in postmodern fiction. This Penguin Classics edition includes an introduction by Malcolm Bradbury in Penguin Modern Classics. Is Moses Herzog losing his mind? His formidable wife Madeleine has left him for his best friend, and Herzog is left alone with his whirling thoughts - yet he still sees himself as a survivor, raging against private disasters and the myriad catastrophes of the modern age. In a crumbling house which he shares with rats, his head buzzing with ideas, he writes frantic, unsent letters to friends and enemies, colleagues and famous people, the living and the dead, revealing the spectacular workings of his labyrinthine mind and the innermost secrets of his troubled heart.
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For many years, the great poet Von Humboldt Fleisher and Charlie Citrine, a young man inflamed with a love for literature, were the best of friends. At the time of his death, however, Humboldt is a failure, and Charlie's life has reached a low point: his career is at a standstill, and he's enmeshed in an acrimonious divorce, infatuated with a highly unsuitable young woman and involved with a neurotic mafioso. And then Humboldt acts from beyond the grave, bestowing upon Charlie an unexpected legacy that may just help him turn his life around.
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After enlisting in a revolutionary terrorist organization, the university student Nikolai Apollonovich Ableukhov is entrusted with a highly dangerous mission: to plant a bomb and assassinate a major government figure. But the real central character of the novel is the city of Petersburg at the beginning of the twentieth century, caught in the grip of political agitation and social unrest. Intertwining the worlds of history and myth, and parading a cast of unforgettable characters, Petersburg is a story of apocalypse and redemption played out through family dysfunction, conspiracy and murder.
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Feverish and forthright, Pond is an absorbing chronicle of the pitfalls and pleasures of a solitudinous life told by an unnamed woman living on the cusp of a coastal town. Broken bowls, belligerent cows, swanky aubergines, trembling moonrises and horrifying sunsets, the physical world depicted in these stories is unsettling yet intimately familiar and soon takes on a life of its own. Captivated by the stellar charms of seclusion but restless with desire, the woman's relationship with her surroundings becomes boundless and increasingly bewildering. Claire-Louise Bennett's startlingly original first collection slips effortlessly between worlds and is by turns darkly funny and deeply moving.