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Look Inside Samuel Beckett's Library

Samuel Beckett's Library


  • Date Published: April 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316632819

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About the Authors
  • Samuel Beckett's Library critically examines the reading notes and marginalia contained in the books of Samuel Beckett's surviving library in Paris. Previously inaccessible to scholars, this is the first study to assess the importance of the marginalia, inscriptions, and other manuscript notes in the 750 volumes of the library. Setting the library into context with other manuscript material such as drafts and notebooks, this book examines the way in which Beckett absorbed, 'translated', and transmitted his reading in his own work. It thus illuminates Beckett's cultural and intellectual world, and shows the ways in which his reading often engendered writing.

    • The first book to benefits from having unique access to Beckett's surviving library
    • Fully examines Beckett's reading practice, and the way he used his reading in his writing
    • Gives unparalleled access to Beckett's intellectual and cultural contexts
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Jorge Luis Borges has narrated the story of a man who buys Shakespeare's memory. Similarly, this exhaustive and compact book gives you access to Samuel Beckett's memory. Beckett's Library, which will become an indispensable reference for future Beckett studies, guides you step by step through Beckett's extensive and polyglot library, explaining its annotations, marginalia, and cross-references. And be reassured, this library also includes Shakespeare …' Jean-Michel Rabaté, University of Pennsylvania

    '[Beckett's Library] is a magnificent piece of work. I am mightily impressed with it.' Edward Beckett, Executor of the Beckett Estate

    'Serious and scholarly … The book is striking in its forensic treatment of the dialogue between a life in reading and a life in writing.' The Times Literary Supplement

    'Hulle and Nixon's examination of the 700 books in Beckett's library at his death is diligent and methodical … The authors display great ingenuity at dating Beckett's markers, and they ably note references to the reading in Beckett's work.' Choice

    'Samuel Beckett's Library will primarily be of interest to Beckett scholars, since it opens up so many new intertextual leads for critical detective work. The book will become as important a reference work as James Knowlson's biography Damned to Fame or the recent editions of Beckett's letters. But it will also appeal to anyone with an interest in literary influence, marginalia and intellectual history, as well as more casual admirers of Beckett's work.' Andy Wimbush, Library and Information History

    '… not just another book about Samuel Beckett (1906-1989): it is a fascinating contribution to the history of ideas and cross-cultural theory. … undoubtedly impressive, rigorous, coherent, and innovative. Bibliophiles will love this book and the lay reader will find in it a wonderful invitation to reading …' Yves Laberge, The European Legacy

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316632819
    • length: 328 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 153 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.47kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Reading traces: Beckett as a reader
    2. Literature in English
    3. Literature in French
    4. Literature in German
    5. Literature in Italian
    6. Classics and other literatures
    7. Philosophy
    8. Religion
    9. Dictionaries
    10. Science
    11. Music and art
    Concluding marginalia
    Appendix: catalogue of books in Beckett's library.

  • Authors

    Dirk Van Hulle, Universiteit Antwerpen, Belgium
    Dirk Van Hulle, Professor of Literature in English at the University of Antwerp, is the current president of the European Society for Textual Scholarship. He edited Beckett's Company (2009) and is the author of Textual Awareness (2004), Manuscript Genetics, Joyce's Know-How, Beckett's Nohow (2008) and the first volume (2011) of the Beckett Digital Manuscript Project.

    Mark Nixon, University of Reading
    Mark Nixon is Reader in Modern Literature at the University of Reading, where he is also Director of the Beckett International Foundation. He has published widely on Samuel Beckett's work, is an editor of Samuel Beckett Today/Aujourd'hui, a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Beckett Studies, and co-director of the Beckett Digital Manuscript Project.

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