First Love and Other Shorts
ISBN: 0802151310
EAN13: 9780802151315
Language: English
Pages: 96
Format: Paperback
Select Format Format: Paperback Select Conditions Condition: New


Format: Paperback

Condition: New

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Book Overview
The volume brings together six previously uncollected works by the Nobel Prize-winning writer, among them a major work of fiction, First Love , which he began in French in 1946 but didn't finish translating into English until 1972. Also included is the stage work, Not I , which premiered at Lincoln Center in New York in 1972. The story of First Love , a man's musings about his youth occasioned by his visit to his father's grave, is designated by its title. Christopher Ricks, in New Statesman , described it as follows: The cracked and crackling narrator of First Love who tells of how he met a woman on a bench, went back to live with her, and left her as she was giving birth to his child-has all the pertinacity of that bone-deep fatigue which gives Beckett's decrepit figures (ruined leech-gatherers) their ruthless strength, their rigor, not mortis but of moribundity. In Not I , a Mouth resembling a throbbing wound in the dark, discharges words that, in Ruby Cohn's phrase, 'musically shape a Beckettian life. Beginning with birth-out into this world -a female voice tells of a sudden April onslaught of words, undergone by a woman nearing the age of seventy. At its premiere, Clive Barnes in The New York Times called it 'superb, and Martin Gottfried of Women's Wear Daily said it was a major theatrical and literary event . . . very beautiful and deeply moving-a small and unique masterpiece. From an Abandoned Work , written in English in 1956, tells the story of a narrator's three-day journey in his youth, turning his back on his weeping mother. Imagination Dead Imagine , written in French in 1965 and translated by the author two years later, focuses on two white bodies, each inscribed in its semi-circle, in a rotunda empty of objects. Enough , written in French a few months after Imagination Dead Imagine , and also translated into English in 1967, has a nameless narrator in a timeless presence reliving her activities with him. The volume concludes with Ping , one of the three French pieces written during 1965-66 and translated in 1967, and the short piece for the stage, Breath , which comes from the same period. Of Ping , Ruby Cohn has said: In its text of 1030 words (in English), a mere 120 are permuted and combined into one of the most remarkable verbal melodies ever written. Few writers have explored more genres than Samuel Beckett-essay, poem, story, novel, play, mime, radio play, and film.

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