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am 21. April 1999
Complete it ain't: this book does not include three of his finest pieces - Worstward Ho, Company, and Ill Seen Ill Said (all in "Nohow on").
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am 16. Oktober 1997
--When my life-routine is in decay only Samuel Beckett can suffice. While the poorest of Beckett's prose offer only that sunken cold-in-the-stomach feeling of literary indigestion (this may after all be the intended effect), the better segments deliver a richer vein of orchestral inflection, a chalk-and-charcoal tone-poetry of sorts, a lush groggy cipher-state dreaming with angst. The 1946 sequence of nouvelles that are the blessing of this collection ("First Love" "The Expelled" "The Calmative" "The End") are especially vital to this reader, which is to say that they reread the best.
--As one progresses through this volume, from the Joycean exuberance of "Assumption" and "Sedendo et Quiescendo", to the ashen zero-time of "Texts for Nothing" and "All Strange Away", to the bleached naked endurance of "Lessness" and "Stirrings Still", Beckett's narration seems to sink further and further into the mud, a breaking down of readerly expectation into a prose-world as dark as what it conceals.
--I recommend this anthology to patient readers in search of their own zero-hour, and as a startling companion-piece to the major novels and plays.
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am 14. Oktober 1997
--When my life-routine is in decay only Samuel Beckett can suffice. While the poorest of Beckett's prose offer only that sunken cold-in-the-stomach feeling of literary indigestion (this may after all be the intended effect), the better segments deliver a richer vein of orchestral inflection, a chalk-and-charcoal tone-poetry of sorts, a lush groggy cipher-state dreaming with angst. The 1946 sequence of nouvelles that are the blessing of this collection ("First Love" "The Expelled" "The Calmative" "The End") are especially vital to this reader, which is to say that they reread the best.
--As one progresses through this volume, from the Joycean exuberance of "Assumption" and "Sedendo et Quiescendo", to the ashen zero-time of "Texts for Nothing" and "All Strange Away", to the bleached naked endurance of "Lessness" and "Stirrings Still", Beckett's narration seems to sink further and further into the mud, a breaking down of readerly expectation into a prose-world as dark as what it conceals.
--I recommend this anthology to patient readers in search of their own zero-hour, and as a startling companion-piece to the major novels and plays.
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am 22. September 1999
While Beckett's works certainly contain their share of angst, there is more to his work than that, as this collection reminds us. The last work in this collection is a nonfiction essay that Beckett wrote for Irish radio just after World War II called "The Capital of the Ruins." Beckett's subject was a field hospital in the French town of St. Lo that Irish citizens had helped to staff (and where he himself had worked as an interpreter). While the prose is unmistakably Beckett (particularly the self-deprecating humor--at one point he refers to the essay as a "circumlocution"), the optimism of trying to convince his people that they had helped their fellow human beings survive a terrible war more easily is not what we expect from him. Also typical is a wonderful Biblical allusion to the Book of Isaiah and its great swords-and-plowshares metaphor, which he cleverly adapts to modern times. There is a lot of wonderful fiction in this volume (my favorite is "The Cliff," a short meditation, possibly on a preserved skull), but the non-fiction is not to be neglected, and reveals a side of this writer not often seen or considered.
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am 22. März 1998
Essential for anyone interested in 20th century prose. Complements the holes in language the novels & plays sought to expose. Beckett knew everything there is to know about form. These shorts move between poetry and prose. See especially the series "First Love", "The Expelled", "The Calmative", "The End"- the bridge from Watt to Molloy. The blackened page of Beckett's paragraph-less mummur is not for everyone, but once you hear his rhythm, it is not easily forgotten.
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am 29. August 2014
what to say?
es ist halt die komplette englische ausgabe von becketts klein-prosa.
geiles material, niemandem geschuldet, keinen standards verpflichtet.
in den verlaufsformen und vor allen dingen sprachlich noch nicht ganz so losgelöst, wie die letzten. arbeiten (worstward ho, usf), aber gut.
ihr wollt das lesen!
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am 6. Dezember 1998
The Unnameable explains himself as aporetic [being unable to act] and ephectic [being unable to make a decision]. From 1929, in "Che Sciagura", to 1989 Beckett's prose becomes more and more aporetic. From "Lessness" in 1970 to Ill Seen Ill Said in 1981 to Worstword Ho in 1983, aporia dominates the prose style and the thematic content. All of Beckett's tiny, bizarre stories - "Imagination Dead Imagine" [one paragraph], "The Lost Ones", "Enough", "Ping", Fizzles [eight one-paragraph stories] - they all contain catatonic characters, paralyzed by mental ambivalence. See The Insanity of Samuel Beckett's Art on Amazon.com.
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