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Demented Particulars: The Annotated 'Murphy'

Demented Particulars: The Annotated 'Murphy' [Kindle Edition]

Chris Ackerley
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

This is a detailed, page by page annotation of Samuel Beckett's first published novel, Murphy. In the introduction, Ackerley outlines the history of the novel and the critical debate surrounding it. He gives an account of the vast range of reading that directly influenced Murphy, and a presents a sophisticated discussion of the 'Cartesian catastrophe' at the heart of it. He also includes an extensive bibliography and a thematic index.

About the Author

Chris Ackerley is Professor and former Head of English at Otago University, New Zealand. His publications include extensive commentaries on Samuel Beckett and Malcolm Lowry. His speciality is annotation, and he is (with S.E. Gontarski) author of the Grove Press (2004) and Faber (2006) Companion to Samuel Beckett. He has recently edited Watt for Faber. He is writing a monograph on Beckett and Science and annotating several works by Lowry.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 987 KB
  • Print Length: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Edinburgh University Press (1 Sep 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00EMT343U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #777,398 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Endon's Affence at the M.M.M. 1 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Although a long-time enthusiast of Samuel Beckett's first novel 'Murphy', I have found that many of its references are obscure even if their intent is usually obvious. It is a delight to find that 'Demented Particulars: The Annotated Murphy' by C.J.Ackerley provides illumination to the mysteries contained in 'Murphy'. Not only that but it is written in a way that complements the novel's comedy and wit.

Erudite and extremely funny in many places, the annotations are a pleasure to have at hand whilst reading the book, though be aware that the page references are 'keyed to the Routledge and Grove Press editions (...) also giving the Calder and Picador pagination' but not that of the Faber 2009 edition.

There are literary witticisms to be found - amusing references to 'The House at Pooh Corner' and 'Finnegans Wake' are there, as well as jests, puns and a good visual joke about aposeopesis. Great stuff.

A couple of unfortunate errors spotted in the annotations suggests that there may be more - unless these too are scholarly jokes or 'phrase-bombs'. In annotation 114.6, Professor Ackerley, based at Otago University in New Zealand, has mistakenly described the advancing and retardation of clocks for daylight saving purposes as that experienced in NZ, rather than in the UK where the novel is set. He has apparently missed the fact that the seasons in the northern and southern hemispheres are reversed, with the consequential effect that has on when in the year the hour is added or subtracted (when the clocks in the UK go forward, those in NZ go back, and vice versa, while still conforming to the mnemonic Spring Forward, Fall Back). The second error is in annotation 241.1, where Beckett's late prose piece 'Ill Seen Ill Said' is referred to as 'Ill Seen Ill Heard'.

Never mind, this hasn't spoilt the spirit of Professor Ackerley's book, which has given me such pleasure that pleasure is not the word.

Jim Simpson
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for any serious Beckett reader! 1 Feb 2011
By Todd Alcott - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As far as Beckett scholars go, CJ Ackerley is one of the most qualified. As an added bonus, he is also one of the most readable. A reader like me, who loves Beckett but isn't an academic, a book like this is invaluable. It's completely readable, and opens up Beckett's Murphy in a completely new way. A milestone in Beckett studies.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful resource 14 Sep 2011
By John E Wells - Published on
Twenty years after reading Murphy for my first time, I decided to teach it this fall. Ackerley's exhaustive coverage of every page of Beckett's novel provided an invaluable resource for me to check references and provide context for class discussion. A student of mine said he was reading Beckett's novel while sitting in front of the computer so he could check references there; I read it with Ackerley's book in front of me.
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