Molloy. Malone Dies. The Unnamable

Molloy. Malone Dies. The Unnamable

Book - 1997
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(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)

The first novel of Samuel Beckett's mordant and exhilarating midcentury trilogy introduces us to Molloy, who has been mysteriously incarcerated, and who subsequently escapes to go discover the whereabouts of his mother. In the latter part of this curious masterwork, a certain Jacques Moran is deputized by anonymous authorities to search for the aforementioned Molloy. In the trilogy's second novel, Malone, who might or might not be Molloy himself, addresses us with his ruminations while in the act of dying. The third novel consists of the fragmented monologue--delivered, like the monologues of the previous novels, in a mournful rhetoric that possesses the utmost splendor and beauty--of what might or might not be an armless and legless creature living in an urn outside an eating house. Taken together, these three novels represent the high-water mark of the literary movement we call Modernism. Within their linguistic terrain, where stories are taken up, broken off, and taken up again, where voices rise and crumble and are resurrected, we can discern the essential lineaments of our modern condition, and encounter an awesome vision, tragic yet always compelling and always mysteriously invigorating, of consciousness trapped and struggling inside the boundaries of nature.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Alfred A. Knopf, [1997]
ISBN: 9780375400704
Branch Call Number: BECKETT S
PR6003.E282 M55 1997x
Characteristics: xliii, 476 pages ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Beckett, Samuel 1906-1989


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Sep 14, 2017

This should be depressing: this trilogy of rambling, stream-of-consciousness meditations on madness, decrepitude, nihilism, and death. But it is not depressing. The details of often shocking, but we are not repulsed. Why? I think what Beckett has done here is cathartic: we read of another’s pain, and are more ready to face our own. (It also helps to note that this is fiction; were it based on actual incidents, I don’t think I could stand to read it.) This is not an entertaining or light read, but of course most people who pick up this book would be aware of that. ...And what are we to say about those two hundred-page paragraphs...?


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