The Expelled/The Calmative/The End with First Love

Samuel Beckett
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ISBN 9780571244614 Format Paperback
Published 05/11/2009 Length 128 pages

About Book

These four stories or 'nouvelles' date from 1945, though all were published much later, in French and subsequently in English. All make use of a first-person narrator, and relish its vagaries - the inability to remember facts, the uncertainty as to why he is speaking in the first place, the loss of heart when explanations seem called for... Above all, the stories crisply plot the narrator's plotless descent into vagrancy, the steeper as it approaches The End. Out of these short works and their patient procedures grew the large canvases of Molloy and Malone Dies.

My bench was still there. It was shaped to fit the curves of the seated body. It stood beside a watering trough, gift of a Mrs Maxwell to the city horses, according to the inscription. During the short time I rested there, several horses took advantage of the monument. The iron shoes approached and the jingle of the harness. Then silence. That was the horse looking at me. Then the noise of pebbles and mud that horses make when drinking. Then the silence again. That was the horse looking at me again. Then the pebbles again. Then the silence again. Till the horse had finished drinking or the driver deemed it had drunk its fill.

Edited by Christopher Ricks

  • 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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