How It Is

Samuel Beckett
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ISBN 9780571243747 Format Paperback
Published 05/11/2009 Length 160 pages

About Book

Published in French in 1961, and in English in 1964, How It Is is a novel in three parts, written in short paragraphs, which tell (abruptly, cajolingly, bleakly) of a narrator lying in the dark, in the mud, repeating his life as he hears it uttered - or remembered - by another voice. Told from within, from the dark, the story is tirelessly and intimately explicit about the feelings that pervade his world, but fragmentary and vague about all else therein or beyond.

Together with Molloy, How It Is counts for many readers as Beckett's greatest accomplishment in the novel form. It is also his most challenging narrative, both stylistically and for the pessimism of its vision, which continues the themes of reduced circumstance, of another life before the present, and the self-appraising search for an essential self, which were inaugurated in the great prose narratives of his earlier trilogy.

she sits aloof ten yards fifteen yards she looks up looks at me says at last to herself all is well he is working my head where is my head it rests on the table my hand trembles on the table she sees I am not sleeping the wind blows tempestuous the little clouds drive before it the table glides from light to darkness darkness to light

Edited by Edouard Magessa O'Reilly

  • About Samuel Beckett

    Samuel Beckett was born in Dublin in 1906 and graduated from Trinity College. He settled in Paris in 1937, after travels in Germany and periods of residence in London and Dublin. He remained in France during the Second World War and was active in the French Resistance. From the spring of 1946 his plays, novels, short fiction, poetry and criticism were largely written in French. With the production of En attendant Godot in Paris in 1953, Beckett's work began to achieve widespread recognition. During his subsequent career as a playwright and novelist in both French and English he redefined the possibilities of prose fiction and writing for the theatre. Samuel Beckett won the Prix Formentor in 1961 and the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1969. He died in Paris in December 1989.

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