The world fame of Samuel Beckett is due to a combination of high academic esteem and immense popularity. An innovator in prose fiction to rival Joyce, his plays have been the most influential in modern theatre history. As an author in both English and French and a writer for the page and the stage, Beckett has been the focus for specialist treatment in each of his many guises, but there have been few attempts to provide a conspectus view. This book, first published in 1994, provides thirteen introductory essays on every aspect of Beckett's work, some paying particular attention to his most famous plays (e.g. Waiting for Godot and Endgame) and his prose fictions (e.g. the 'trilogy' and Murphy). Other essays tackle his radio and television drama, his theatre directing and his poetry, followed by more general issues such as Beckett's bilingualism and his relationship to the philosophers. Reference material is provided at the front and back of the book.
• Coverage of all of Beckett's work, novels, and plays • Accessibly written by experts • Reference material includes chronology, list of French and English titles, further reading list • Beckett is the biggest modern writer in English and Drama departments (also French) - novels, poetry, and plays all covered here
List of contributors; Preface; Chronology of Beckett's life; List of abbreviations; A note on titles; 1. An endgame in aesthetics: Beckett as essayist Rupert Wood; 2. Beckett's English fiction John Pilling; 3. Three novels and four nouvelles Paul Davies; 4. Waiting for Godot and Endgame: theatre as text Michael Worton; 5. Stages of identity: from Krapp to Play Paul Lawley; 6. Beginning again: the post-narrative art of Texts for Nothing and How It Is H. Porter Abbott; 7. The mediated Quixote: the radio and television plays and film Jonathan Kalb; 8. Dead heads: damnation-narration in the 'dramaticules' Keir Elam; 9. Disabled figures: from the Residua to Stirrings Still Andrew Renton; 10. Beckett's poems and verse translations Roger Little; 11. Beckett as director: the art of mastering failure Anna McMullan; 12. Beckett's bilingualism Ann Beer; 13. Beckett and the philosophers P. J. Murphy; Further reading; Index.
'An invaluable addition to Beckett criticism … an outstanding book, faultlessly edited and superbly presented …'. Independent on Sunday