'Powerfully argued, the book is a timely reminder that Beckett was first and foremost a man of 'arts' and only secondly one of 'letters.' The Times Higher Education Supplement
'Bolin elaborates fascinating connections that demonstrate the breadth of his archival research: he shows, for example, how Beckett's lectures on Gide in 1930, which emphasize … Gide's anti-realist stance, resistance to narrative closure, experiments with mise-en-abyme structures, and interest in self-reflexivity, profoundly shaped Beckett's own narrative practices and his writing of Dream of Fair to Middling Women, Murphy, Watt, and the Trilogy … his chapter on La Nausée as a source text for Molloy in their similar critique of the diary form as 'a master-narrative of self-discovery and salvation' is particularly sharp …' French Studies
John Bolin presents new empirical evidence that demonstrates Samuel Beckett's preoccupation with the European literary tradition, challenging the notion that Beckett is best understood through philosophical or Anglo-Irish literary contexts. Engaging with literature in English, French, German and Russian, Bolin's study traces new avenues for understanding Beckett's work.