Echo's Bones (Hardback)
  • Echo's Bones (Hardback)
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Echo's Bones (Hardback)

(author), (editor)
£16.99
Hardback 121 Pages / Published: 17/07/2014
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In 1933, Chatto & Windus agreed to publish Samuel Beckett's More Pricks Than Kicks, a collection of ten interrelated stories--his first published work of fiction. At his editor's request, Beckett penned an additional story, "Echo's Bones," to serve as the final piece. However, he'd already killed off several of the characters--including the protagonist, Belacqua--throughout the book, and had to resurrect them from the dead. The story was politely rejected by his editor, as it was considered too imaginatively playful, too allusive, and too undisciplined--qualities now recognized as quintessentially Beckett. As a result, "Echo's Bones" (not to be confused with the poem and collection of poems of the same title) remained unpublished--until now, nearly eight decades later.

This little-known text is introduced by the preeminent Beckett scholar, Dr. Mark Nixon, who situates the work in terms of its biographical context and textual references, examining how it is a vital link in the evolution of Beckett's early work. Beckett confessed that he included "all I knew" in the story. It harnesses an immense range of subjects: science, philosophy, religion, literature; combining fairy tales, gothic dreams, and classical myth. This posthumous publication marks the unexpected and highly exciting return of a literary legend.

Publisher: Grove Press / Atlantic Monthly Press
ISBN: 9780802120458
Number of pages: 121
Weight: 376 g
Dimensions: 211 x 145 x 28 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Praise for Echo's Bones

"It's pungent early Beckett, written while he was still under the sway of his mentor, James Joyce, but with a soundscape all its own: rude, surreal, death-haunted, sex-addled, dry as bone. . . . The story's pleasures are real, however, and reside in Beckett's full tilt, Devil-ready language. His paragraphs unfurl like parades, notations on life's sick pageant. . . . It's a punk's manifesto (Beckett was 27 when he wrote it) that gets at why Beckett continues to matter. . . . 'Echo's Bones' returns Beckett the troublemaker." --Dwight Garner, New York Times

"A fascinating glimpse at an essential author at the start of his career. . . . ['Echo's Bones' is] exuberant, allusive, full of puns and wordplay." --David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times

"We see Beckett the late-modernist offering homage to his overweening exemplar James Joyce and at the same time twisting and thrashing as he tries to fly the Joycean nets and become his own man. In the end, it is as a part of the record of this struggle that Echo's Bones is of interest. . . . This volume is a masterpiece of scholarship." --John Banville, New Statesman

"Glorious rhythms, ideas and wordplay . . . a rewarding and stimulating read for lovers of language and artistic inventiveness." --Malcolm Forbes, Minneapolis Star Tribune

"'Echo's Bones', with its comic brio and ostentatious learning, is a significant link between a novice intellectual and the mature author of one of the 20th century's most celebrated plays." --The Economist

"A fascinating immersion . . . sincere and gravely serious." --Arts Fuse

"An extended prose poem, an exercise in beautiful language and striking image . . . this short text finds its rightful place among Beckett's novels, plays and poems." --Kirkus Reviews

"Flights of Wildean repartee alternate with a Joycean ornateness of prose. . . . ['Echo's Bones'] contains in embryo Beckett's whole extraordinary world of comic dread and D rer-like imagination." --Financial Times

"An elaborate, mock-heroic fantasy that combines existentialism with elements of Dante's Divine Comedy. . . . It is 'Echo's Bones' that shows us the things that Beckett would do so well in later decades." --Arifa Akbar, The Independent

"[In 'Echo's Bones'] we see clear signs of the features that will blossom into Beckett's distinct aesthetic: the existential angst and the dialogue in which neither party is making any genuine contact. Best of all, the absurdist humor, mixed with despair." --The Independent

"A wonderful, mind-bending curiosity." --Guardian

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