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It was as a poet that Samuel Beckett launched himself in the little reviews of 1930s Paris, and as a poet that he ended his career. This new selection, from Whoroscope (1930) to ‘what is the word’ (1988), describes a lifetime’s arc of writing. It was as a poet moreover that Beckett made his first breakthrough into writing in French, and the Selected Poems represents work in both languages, including the sequence of brief but highly crafted mirlitonnades, which did so much to usher in the style of his late prose, and come as close as anything he wrote to honouring the ambition to ‘bore one hole after another in language, until what lurks behind it – be it something or nothing – begins to seep through.’ Also included are several of Beckett’s translations from contemporaries – Apollinaire, Eluard, Michaux, Montale – in versions which count among his own poetic achievements.
Edited by David Wheatley
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