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First Love and Other Shorts (Beckett, Samuel) Paperback – January 21, 1994
Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.