- Taschenbuch: 256 Seiten
- Verlag: Faber & Faber; Auflage: Main. (5. November 2009)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0571243711
- ISBN-13: 978-0571243716
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 12,9 x 1,9 x 19,8 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 1 Kundenrezension
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 205.098 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Molloy (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 5. November 2009
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"Molloy" was written by Samuel Beckett initially in French, only later translating it into English. It was published shortly after World War II and marked a new, mature writing style which was to dominate the remainder of his working life. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Audio CD.
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
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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Published in French 1947
Translation by Patrick Bowles in collaboration with the author 1955
I have a theory that people label books "difficult" primarily so that they can feel special for having read them. We want to feel proud of ourselves. Understandable, I suppose, but the shame is that other people believe us -- and then are scared to take down the books we've put on the lofty pedestal marked "difficult books".
That's terrible, especially since many of the books labeled "difficult" just require a little more time, a change of perspective or attention - they are not as much "difficult" as they are "different". Molloy, for example.
I'll let everyone else rhapsodize brilliantly on Beckett. You can. My humble intention is to is entice a few more people to read this book, a few people who might otherwise feel intimidated. C'mon. Give it a try. Risk it. Don't surrender Beckett to the sole custody of the beautiful people.
A little advice, if you decide to read Molloy, despite feeling somewhat in over your head:
First, and perhaps most importantly: you must ignore the slight panic that arises the moment you notice that the second paragraph is 84 pages long and proceeds without a break. Ignore the voice (if it is present) that say that you by no means have brain power sufficient to the task, that books of this sort are only for persons who have doctorates in literature and wear all black and subsist on thin cigarettes and espresso, and are unbearable.
The reason to read Beckett isn't because he's the chief exhibit in the museum of existentialism. Molloy is fun, and above all funny, and, if it is the very blackest humor - well, what could be better suited to the times?
As you proceed, you will find that there are clear breaks in the monologue, clearly expressed in the thought if not in the typography. Beckett rambles in only the most precise way and, even when lost in the forest, the next step is clear. I suggest that you not be shy either to reread or to proceed without full comprehension. You'll get the hang of it. For me it took rereading the first ten pages three times - by then I'd found my way into reading Beckett and was having an excellent time.
I admit that, when my husband heard me laugh, and asked what I was laughing about, and I read a few lines aloud to him, he did look at me as if he were reconsidering his relationship choices.
This love scene, for example: "She bent over the couch, because of her rheumatism, and in I went from behind. It was the only position she could bear, because of her lumbago. It seemed all right to me, for I had seen dogs, and I was astonished when she confided that you could go about it differently. I wonder what she meant exactly. Perhaps after all she put me in her rectum. A matter of complete indifference to me, I needn't tell you. But is it true love, in the rectum?"
Or perhaps you'd rather consider "certain questions of a theological nature".
"1. What value is attached to the theory that Eve sprang, not from Adam's rib, but from a turour in the fat of his leg (arse?)?
2. Did the serpent crawl or, as Comestor affirms, walk upright?
3. Did Mary conceive through the ear, as Augustine and Adobard assert?
4. How much longer are we to hang about waiting for the antichrist?"
And so on.
See what fun the so-called smart people are having, as they blow smoke into Beckett while maintaining a serious expression? Please read Molloy and see for yourself.
If language presupposes a set of initial limitations it is necessary to find a method to breach them. Molloy examines a kind of ontological condition of narrative that suggests more is being left unwritten than is actually being written: Not to want to say, not to know what you want to say, not to be able to say what you think you want to say, and never to stop saying, or hardly ever, that is the thing to keep in mind, even in the heat of composition. He suggests that it is a human condition to be unable to really express oneself as well as being a fault of language. Rather than see language as a smooth path towards self-expression he sees numerous irregular bumps, the nots, which cut away at the original intended thought. Instead of trying to find an ulterior mode of expression he suggests that expression should simply be conscious of these limitations of language. In this way language is able to delete itself in the midst of its expression. Words are not deleted on the paper, but expressed and then claims are made afterward that the intention of the word does not inhabit the content. A conclusion drawn is that language is inherently muddy and incapable of any pure form of self-expression. This is a dramatic contrast to the use of language by many other Modernists. Unlike Molly's soliloquy in Ulysses where grammar was manipulated in order to simulate thought's form, Molloy's thoughts cannot be allowed to settle so comfortably into words but must be second-guessed and deleted in order to create an appropriate form of expression. This is one temporary solution Beckett makes to illuminate language's limitations and explain how written language can never say what is actually true partly because the actual is never quite a certainty.
Molloy is searching within his narrative to find a purpose for writing. He declares early on in the narrative that he does not know why he writes other than that it is for someone else and if he doesn't he will be scolded, but he does not know to what end the writing is for. It is more an obligation than a wish to express himself or to find a means of communication. Even though Molloy writes every day he never arrives at a sense that his identity has been collected and transcribed into a permanent form: And truly it little matters what I say, this or that or any other thing. Saying is inventing. Wrong, very rightly wrong. You invent nothing, you think you are inventing, you think you are escaping, and all you do is stammer out your lesson, the remnants of a pensum one day got by heart and long forgotten, life without tears, as it is wept. When arriving at a conclusion he immediately negates it by explaining why the opposite is true. Writing does not explain his experience. It only filters his thoughts into a form with a prearranged value attached to it. He is criticizing the false revelation of narrative that seeks to convey a true meaning through dead words. It is commonly and mistakenly perceived that there is a physical attachment between words and things when really as Molloy states there are: no things but nameless things, no names but thingless names. The relation between a word and object has no basis in reality, but is merely circumstantial. Because Molloy is unable to explain things without naming them he is only capable of conveying an approximate sense of what he is trying to describe. This prevents the possibility that what he writes will be regarded as a set of absolute truths related from one person to another. It allows reality to be maintained as an open question rather than a closed answer. This seems to be the central point of most of Beckett's work. He makes fascinating statements about the nature of language in Molloy. As always in Beckett's work, it achieves a comic and devastating quality that you will find in no other work.
I hope people are not put off by the lengthy abstract reviews here (well written as they may be). Molloy is not a difficult read or listen as with this Audiobook. The two characters Molloy and Moran represent a character and an author more or less. In the first section we see the character Molloy has essentially escaped from any narrative and is left to fend for himself, inventing histories, goals and pondering his existence so to speak without any help from a constraining narrative. The second section, which might be thought of as both preceding and following the first section, concerns Moran who is sort of the author in the guise of a private detective chasing after his character. Naturally the similarities become apparent since one created the other. Sometimes strange things in the Molloy section, as him hearing a gong in the forest he wanders in Dante like, are revealed prosaically in the Moran section as the gong of the clock in Moran's house. In Beckett's next book Malone Dies the mask and ambiguity disappears and we see the writer explicitly spinning trite tales one after the other.
Samuel Beckett on the other hand was concerned with language itself, its ability to express ideas or to mirror reality, and those concerns have become our own. Molloy is both about the writing of the novel and the search of a character, and perhaps by the end of the novel we still do not know what has happened. Beckett introduces new elements into the serious novel such as the detective story and the self-reflexive narrative. And like a mystery story, Molloy is a search for the self, for truth, for a modern idiom, but unfortunately without arriving there.
Going back further than Joyce, to the 19th century where the bourgeois novel form was more or less firmly established by writers such as Dickens and Eliot, it would be interesting to compare that literary institution with what I will call "the Post-Modern novel" or Beckett's novel. In a standard 19th century novel we look for such conventions and characteristics such as plot, characterization, time, place, linear narrative, character motivation, and excellent use of the English language. If a novel does not live up to these expectations, we refer to it a bad novel or a novel which prattles. These conventions of the novel have fooled us into thinking it mirrors reality and experience. Modernism's achievement in such writers such as Joyce and Proust is to go beyond the 19th century novel and exist as a work of hyper-reality. One can use such a work as Ulysses to be directed through the city of Dublin since it is more real than "real." But one should not make the mistake of "Academic criticism, . . . (which) uses the word "realism" as if reality were already completely established (Robbe-Grillet 155)." Experience is both fictional discourse and fact "and it is never possible to decide which of the two possibilities is the right one (De Man 23)."
If Joyce is going beyond realism, Beckett goes the other way with his literature, which can be called the literature of disappointments. Rather than plot, there is storytelling without progression; instead of characterization, there is lack of character depth; there is no specific time or place, we often wonder where we are, whether months or days or hours have passed; instead of a linear narrative, or progression from birth to death, there is a narrative that goes astray, diverts, digressions, yet these are interesting detours; and instead of a strong literary language, there is the bare essentials of language, sentences out of a primer, or "writing degree zero." Beckett commits these errors or disappointments for very good reasons that I would like to show here.
Beckett's main concerns as a writer are involved with the problems of writing itself, the futility of expression, the power of language, the death of the author in terms of Foucault: these were the problems that many writers dealt with after Joyce. Alain Robbe-Grillet claims that "Before the work, there is nothing: no certainty, no purpose, no message (141)." This was such an attitude of a writer at the time. For Beckett, the "anxiety of influence" is there as well; but for Beckett he will be influenced by Joyce by an extent; he will distance himself and his work from Joyce's; he will deal with other problems. If Joyce is trying to expand the potential of language and literature, Beckett will contract, he will reduce literature down the level of language. He will grow anxious about the writer's position in the world that he will reject, a position which other writers have ignored. Beckett will ask himself "why should I write?" And "what should I write about?" And better yet "how do I write?" The novel Molloy is the result of all Beckett's anxiety to write a novel. "It is also a parody of the novel itself, a middle-class form. . . "(Gontarski 309). The style of it itself suggests all that. The novel is a promise of what literature could be.