Few works of contemporary literature are so universally acclaimed as central to our understanding of the human experience as Nobel Prize winner Samuel Beckett's famous trilogy. "Molloy," the first of these masterpieces, appeared in French in 1951. It was followed seven months later by "Malone Dies" and two years later by "The Unnamable." All three have been rendered into English by the author.
(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.
Samuel Beckett was born in Ireland in 1906. His plays Waiting for Godot and Endgame revolutionized modern theater, and his trilogy Molloy, Mallone Dies, and The Unnamable ranks among the major works of twentieth century fiction. He died in Paris in 1989.
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