Dream of Fair to Middling Women
‘The chest into which I threw all my wild thoughts’: the exuberant first novel by the Nobel Prize-winning author.
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Beckett’s first ‘literary landmark’ (St Petersburg Times) is a wonderfully savoury introduction to the Nobel Prize-winning author. Written in 1932, when the twenty-six-year-old Beckett was struggling to make ends meet, the novel offers a rare and revealing portrait of the artist as a young man. When submitted to several publishers, all of them found it too literary, too scandalous or too risky; it was only published posthumously in 1992. As the story begins, Belacqua – a young version of Molloy, whose love is divided between two women, Smeraldina-Rima and the little Alba – ‘wrestles with his lusts and learning across vocabularies and continents, before a final “relapse into Dublin”’ (New Yorker). Youthfully exuberant and Joycean in tone, Dream is a work of extraordinary virtuosity.
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