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The Beckett Trilogy - Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnameable (Picador Bks.) Paperback – 6 Apr 1979

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 382 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan; New edition edition (6 April 1979)
  • ISBN-10: 0330256645
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330256643
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 13 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 84,042 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Back Cover

The trilogy has always been considered the central work of Samuel Beckett's fiction, the three novels that have been most admired and have received the greatest amount of critical comment, just as Waiting for Godot, written in the same period of concentrated creativity between 1947 and 1949, is central to Beckett's drama. After Proust's great many-volumed novel, Joyce's Ulysses and the masterworks of Kafka, it dominates twentieth-century literature, and much as Beckett's pre-war fiction and the late minimalist novellas are admired, it is on the trilogy that the author's reputation will chiefly depend.

Molloy was a new departure for Samuel Beckett; written in the first person, it consists of two monologues, that of bedridden Molloy on his odyssey towards his mother, lost in town and country and finally emerging from the forest, and that of Moran, a private detective who is sent to find him. The two narrowly miss each other, but the contrast between their characters, and the similarity of their decline give the reader much ground to speculate and much humour towards understanding both the grimness and the comedy of the human situation.

Malone Dies pictures the decrepit Malone, also bedridden, waiting to die and filling his mind and his remaining time with memories, stories and bitter comment, while waiting for 'the throes'. The novel disintegrates as the protagonist dies.

The Unnamable seems to contain and encompass its predecessors and the characters of earlier Beckett novels. Its power of language and breadth of imagination make it a tour de force that recalls Dante as it moves into an ever greater void of despair and panic, a metaphysical work that must take its place among the very greatest works of literature. Its dramatic power has been proved by the successful endeavours of those actors who have specialised in Beckett's work to bring it, and earlier parts of the trilogy, to the stage, or to life on the radio. Patrick Magee, Jack Magowran, Jack Emery, Barry McGovern and Max Wall are only a few of the actors who have become closely associated with all or parts of the trilogy. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


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By Sentinel TOP 500 REVIEWER on 27 Aug. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This wonderfully desolate and austere trilogy is only going to work for you if you already have some affinity for Beckett's work. If you want to get some idea of where he might have been going with 'Waiting for Godot', this could well be the answer. In some ways, the journey (internal/external) is like 'King Lear' for our times: a bleak and unrelieved search for meaning, purpose, and some sense of closure or conclusion. As you might suspect at the begining, the prospect of success is slight. Why then take the time to plough your way through a trilogy, which depicts characters becoming increasingly enfeebled and incapable, just as the language becomes reduced and impoverished?
Beckett's skill with language, is paradoxically to do more with less: even as the language breaks down, and mirrors the characters' own deterioration, the words are made to work harder, and by some strange alchemy they do, conveying a moving and strangely beautiful desolation from the waste and decay from which they are conjured. I think it's impossible to read this without seeing the parallels in our own atomised and materialistic lives (McCarthy's 'The Road'?), and the knowledge that at some future point we all must find our individual paths down desolation row. Essential reading for all those who value self-awareness, and the search for meaning.
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Having disposed of the third person narrative in Watt, Beckett focused on the difficulties of articulating personal experience in the first person. Beckett is disengaged from the narratives of Molloy by giving them to the character's to write, but is present throughout the text because he doesn't have the answers to give to the characters to explain who they are and what they are to write. The structure that results is an empty frame in that it considers one explanation for a historical occurrence as valid as the next. The space in which Molloy exists is highly ambiguous and therefore the language he uses to narrate does not provide any comfort at all, but aggravates him to the point where he can extract no meaning at all from his existence. Moran begins his narrative in an ordered space and so many of the statements he makes at the beginning are simple, declarative and create a comfortable area for him to inhabit. This is where Beckett finds it necessary to impose the structure of a genre model, but it is only the proposition of a detective plot because the "case" isn't carried out in any intelligible fashion. Moran's task to find Molloy eventually becomes clear to be only an internal one. A separate physical being called Molloy may very well exist within the story, but numerous cross-connections between the characters of Molloy and Moran are illuminated in the structure. This is seen in the similarity of their names and the manner in which Moran takes on many of the characteristics of Molloy. For example, they are similar in their physical disintegration, lack of understanding for their environment and complex internal processes of reasoning which leave them with no clear understanding of reality.Read more ›
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pages of the book are yellow; the book itself has a bad smell. It is very hard to be read.
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Excellent
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excellent
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