Skip to content
Open global navigation

Cambridge University Press

AcademicLocation selectorSearch toggleMain navigation toggle
Cart
Register Sign in Wishlist
Look Inside The Letters of Samuel Beckett

The Letters of Samuel Beckett

Volume 1. 1929–1940

$50.00

Part of The Letters of Samuel Beckett

  • Date Published: February 2009
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521867931

$50.00
Hardback

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact collegesales@cambridge.org providing details of the course you are teaching.

Description
Product filter button
Description
Contents
Resources
Courses
About the Authors
  • The letters written by Samuel Beckett between 1929 and 1940 provide a vivid and personal view of Western Europe in the 1930s, and mark the gradual emergence of Beckett’s unique voice and sensibility. The Cambridge University Press edition of The Letters of Samuel Beckett offers for the first time a comprehensive range of letters of one of the greatest literary figures of the twentieth century. Selected for their bearing on his work from over 15,000 extant letters, the letters published in this four-volume edition encompass sixty years of Beckett's writing life (1929–1989), and include letters to friends, painters and musicians, as well as to students, publishers, translators, and colleagues in the world of literature and theater. For anyone interested in twentieth-century literature and theater this edition is essential reading, offering not only a record of Beckett's achievements but a powerful literary experience in itself.

    • The only authorised publication of Beckett's selected letters
    • The most important new contribution to Beckett scholarship for decades, making his letters accessible to scholars for the first time
    • Includes chronologies, explanatory notes, profiles of correspondents, manuscript descriptions and index
    Read more

    Prizes

    • Winner of the Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2009
    • Winner of the 2009–10 Morton N. Cohen Award for a Distinguished Edition of Letters, Modern Language Association

    Reviews & endorsements

    "This is an extraordinary work of scholarship on the part of its main editors … What Fehsenfeld and Overbeck have produced is a revelatory triumph."
    The Los Angeles Times

    "Admirers of Samuel Beckett, arguably the greatest writer in English of the second half of the twentieth century, have grown used to waiting for Godot, who will surely come tomorrow or, just possibly, the day after. In the meantime, these similarly anticipated letters have quite definitely arrived, and in an edition more sumptuous than one ever imagined. Has any modern author been better served by his editors than Beckett? … Best of all, each letter is annotated in detail, with every person, event and allusion scrupulously identified."
    Michael Dirda, The Washington Post

    "The editorial work behind this project has been immense in scale. Every book that Beckett mentions, every painting, every piece of music is tracked down and accounted for … The standard of the commentary is of the highest … The Letters of Samuel Beckett is a model edition."
    J. M. Coetzee, The New York Review of Books

    "It is hard to credit the magisterial scholarship and publishing expertise that has gone into the editing of this first of four volumes of the letters of Samuel Beckett. Reading [it] is like rediscovering Beckett the man in high definition and hearing in full stereo the emerging voice that would, quite literally, transform the world of literature and theatre in the last half of the twentieth century … a breathtaking and essential work of human understanding … This is a great book; simply priceless."
    Gerald Dawe, The Sunday Business Post

    "For all of us who love Samuel Beckett, there can be no more thrilling book. These letters not only cast light on his life and work, they are a considerable addition to his writing … This is a volume to treasure, not just study. No Beckett reader will need it recommended, merely announced."
    David Sexton, The Evening Standard

    "This first volume of letters presents a young, itinerant Beckett at 22, living in Paris and writing to James Joyce. His first works are coming out: a study of Proust, a book of poetry, short stories and a novel, Murphy. In these letters, as in his career, he is warming up, assembling a style. Beckett grumbles better than anyone in the history of literature … Here is a Beckett absent from the more polished, public works: simultaneously feeling and writing, caring for words yet movingly unguarded."
    Daniel Swift, The Financial Times

    "One of the highlights of the year was the publication of The Letters of Samuel Beckett, 1929–1940 … Every page is a hoot. Beckett comes across as even smarter, and more smarting, than one already knew."
    Paul Muldoon, 'Books of the Year 2009', Times Literary Supplement

    "The first of four projected, this first volume is a marvel."
    Harper's Magazine

    "In literary annals, 2009 may well go down as the year that saw the publication of not this or that novel, set of poems, or 'important' theory book, but, quirkily enough, the first of four promised volumes of the letters of Samuel Beckett … Can a writer’s letters - occasional and ephemeral as these tend to be - really qualify as great literature? In Beckett’s case, yes. For here is the most reticent of twentieth-century writers, one who refused to explain his plays and fictions, wrote almost no formal literary criticism, and refused to attend his own Nobel Prize ceremony - revealing himself in letter after letter as warm, playful, unfailingly polite even at his most vituperative and scatological, irreverent but never cynical, and, above all, a brilliant stylist whose learning is without the slightest pretension or preciosity."
    Marjorie Perloff, Bookforum

    "There is fluent and brilliant evidence here of Beckett's development of his unique and irreplaceable voice … Unfalteringly brilliant, this volume is of the same order as the letters of Van Gogh, or the diaries of Kafka."
    Nicholas Foxton, Time Out

    "Beautifully edited and annotated."
    Philip Hensher, The Spectator

    "This is an important work of impeccable scholarship directed not only at Beckett academics but informed fans seeking the man behind Godot. This volume is a landmark in our quest to understand Beckett’s great esoteric works and has definitely been worth the wait."
    The Washington Independent Review of Books

    "For Beckett enthusiasts, these letters are crammed with unexpected treasures, including displays of his dazzling erudition as an amateur art historian and his charmingly impractical ideas for the alternative careers he might pursue: gallery curator? Advertising man? Commercial pilot? Assistant to the Soviet film director Sergei Eisenstein? There will be three more volumes in this admirable series; the next will cover 1945 to 1956 (the year Waiting for Godot was first produced in Britain, and the unknown author suddenly became world famous). Like Vladimir and Estragon, we fans will find it hard to wait."
    Kevin Jackson, The Sunday Times

    "The editors are to be applauded for their remarkable efforts in tracing every fleeting reference in the notes… Roll on Volume 2."
    Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, The Daily Telegraph

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity

    ×

    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?

    ×

    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2009
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521867931
    • length: 865 pages
    • dimensions: 222 x 147 x 46 mm
    • weight: 1.32kg
    • contains: 18 b/w illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    General introduction
    French translator's preface George Craig
    German translator's preface Viola Westbrook
    Editorial procedures
    Acknowledgments
    Permissions
    Abbreviations
    Introduction to Volume I
    Letters
    Appendix
    Profiles
    Bibliography
    Index.

  • Author

    Samuel Beckett

    Editors

    Martha Dow Fehsenfeld
    Martha Dow Fehsenfeld was authorised to edit Beckett's correspondence in 1985.

    Lois More Overbeck, Emory University, Atlanta
    Lois More Overbeck is Research Associate in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Emory University, Atlanta.

    Associate Editor

    Dan Gunn

    George Craig

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account

Cancel

Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email cflack@cambridge.org

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website, your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner www.ebooks.com. Please see the permission section of the www.ebooks.com catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

© Cambridge University Press 2014

Back to top

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.

Cancel Delete

Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

×
Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.
×