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Samuel Beckett: The Complete Short Prose, 1929 - 1989


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 when he was eighty-two, and including a new translation of "The Image" as well as the newly translated and previously unpublished "The Cliff," Gontarski has arranged Beckett's work into a smooth chronology that suggests, as he puts it, "Beckett's own view of his art, that it is all part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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