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First Love and Other Shorts (Beckett, Samuel) Paperback – January 21, 1994


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Product Details

  • Series: Beckett, Samuel
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press (January 21, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802151310
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802151315
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,041,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Exordia N. on July 31, 2009
Format: Paperback
In this collection: his shorts: First Love, From an Abandoned Work, Enough, Imagination Dead Imagine, Ping, Not I, Breath.

First Love and Ping are authoritative and powerful. Beckett's humor can toss the livers of the readers down the dune. Let's sample this passage taken from p. 33 of First Love:

"One day she had the impudence to announce she was with child, and four or five months gone into the bargain, by me of all people! She offered me a side view of her belly. She even undressed, no doubt to prove she wasn't hiding a cushion under her skirt, and then of course for the pure pleasure of undressing. Perhaps it's mere wind, I said, by the way of consolation."

The scenes of parsnips, his moving in, the bench, and priapic disturbance are riveting, impure, and just wicked. Beckett has such a command of language. The reader can also perceive this command in his experimental/musical linguistic cleavage in Ping. Ping takes language on a level beyond abstraction. Language that makes sense, that shares its foundation with clarity. The sole work of sound and music!

Others have found Beckett absurd, obtuse, difficult, obscure, but I find his work so powerful, so focus, so clear, so precise. It makes me wonder where readers go especially when I think they simply got lost in the ravine of Beckett's clarity.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rolyat S. Lladnuh on April 22, 1998
Format: Paperback
There are few short stories that leave one feeling satisfied. Fortunately, this is not one of them.
It has been ages since I read it, but I cannot help but recall the feeling it evoked.
All in all, love fails us. All in all, we fail to tell well of the process by which it fails us. Beckett fails better than us all. God bless you, Sam, for always pointing us toward the unutterable. The other stories I do not remember. But "First Love" alone is worth all these fellows ask of you.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Noddy Box on December 8, 2008
Format: Paperback
When take the air he must the first-person felly in this exceptionally well-wrought short story takes a turn in the graveyard where his father lies inhumed. Lunches there too sometimes so he does, on sandwiches and a banana. Have a banana. That's a motif that is. A recurring motif, I'm afraid. Krapp's dumbshow creeps to mind but never mind about Krapp, he sidled into the spotlight at a much later date. In the 69th year of his age he is to boot, a wearish old man. Says so in the stage directions. White face. Purple nose. Disordered grey hair. Unshaven. No indeed and his bananas notwithstanding, never mind about Krapp. The felly that this felly in First Love really reminds me of is that other first-person felly in the equally exceptionally well-wrought From an Abandoned Work. Hardly likely that they're one and the same stravaging moribund but still certain sardonic postures and turns of phrase make me wonder. The felly in First Love cracks up over some of the inscriptions he wanders past, clutching the headstones and whatnot for support such is the drollery of one or two. The felly in From an Abandoned Work recalls with a kind of exuberant and hilarious wretchedness the time when his mother took up singing and playing the piano. That was awful, qouth in part the harried and hapless chap. The link is as I say not to be completely credited but for some strangely compelling reason I like to believe the duo do have one plot in common. In any case if Sam Beckett in either of these two sublime narratives doesn't grab hold of your actual being and tug on your overcoat about something well then all I can do frankly is paraecho Red Barber in his soundbooth on that fateful day in 1951 and say: Thomson swings. Pause. And we'll see you next year. It's either that or repeat ad nauseam, have a banana.Read more ›
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More About the Author

Samuel Beckett was born in Dublin in 1906. He was educated at Portora Royal School and Trinity College, Dublin, where he graduated in 1927. His made his poetry debut in 1930 with Whoroscope and followed it with essays and two novels before World War Two. He wrote one of his most famous plays, Waiting for Godot, in 1949 but it wasn't published in English until 1954. Waiting for Godot brought Beckett international fame and firmly established him as a leading figure in the Theatre of the Absurd. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969. Beckett continued to write prolifically for radio, TV and the theatre until his death in 1989.

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