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Watt Paperback – June 16, 2009
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The rest of the book concerns Watt's service to the master of the house, some of it conventionally narrated, much of it digressive and odd. To explain this book, however, is to sound ridiculous. A certain number of things happen to Watt, he takes a certain number of actions, he engages in a certain number of conversations, and he ends the story in the book in a certain meaningful fashion. The entire story is told in Beckett's trademark effusive style, a rollicking, bizzare, but highly entertaining profusion.
The meaning of the book is also classic Beckett: Don't wait for Higher Meaning, because there is none. All his books portray absurd characters doing absurd things, waiting for life to reveal itself, but ultimately realizing that life reveals itself through the living. To answer the questions posed above, the book is compsed like a circle, just like life. At the same time, it's also completely meaningless, just like life. We go to some place, we stand in some position, we engage with some people, we commit some acts, we turn and commit other acts, and we engage with some other people. Somehow, among all this ballet, the world still turns, and we still live upon it.Read more ›
The impression that Wattis difficult may stem from the idea that there is some enlightenment within the text that the hapless reader is obliged to decode, deconstruct or otherwise deduce, but the book is more likely a dramatization, and an inflicting, of confusion. If this is found acceptable, the book is an intense pleasure to read and just maybe exceeds the Three Novels in this aspect.
Watt is of that distinctive tribe of shabby, decrepit, stumblebums who are regularly featured as "heroes" of Beckett's work. In the case of the present novel, Watt becomes obsessively preoccupied with the habits, duties, and peccadilloes of the other household staff and, in particular, of his erstwhile new employer, the aforementioned, Mr. Knott. Clever how Beckett has Watt--a cipher himself--trying to decipher another cipher, Mr. Knott. To Watt, his employer, who he eventually comes to dress and undress, remains an elusive albeit binding mystery. But then virtually everything presents itself as a mystery to Watt and becomes the subject of long, tortured, and mostly humorous super-logical speculations that seek to take every possible explanation into account for even the most mundane phenomenon--with invariably absurd results. What you have is the literary equivalent of the old proverb of the spider who asked the centipede how it manages to walk with all those legs--and the centipede trying to explain suddenly finds he can't take another step without falling. The same sort of paralysis grips Watt's efforts to understand Mr. Knott and, for that matter, the absurdity of life in general. It's an affliction very common to characters in Samuel Beckett's work--and probably one that strikes a sympathetic chord in the experience of his most appreciative readers.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love this, want to think, want to learn something. Sit back and read and be engaged.Published 6 months ago by K. Decker
memorably quirky characters in even quirkier situations...odd, even uncomfortable incidents...more quickly paced and more accessible than beckett's longer novels (though not easy... Read morePublished 11 months ago by billofwrites
It is humorous and unforgettable, it elevates the ordinary to both the comic and symbolic. The climax of the book is the ultimate comment on life, witty and meaningless - a... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Meunier
The book came in excellent condition. The camera could have been much more because of its antique factor. Thank you so much for this great buy.Published on September 14, 2013 by kt
Samuel Beckett's "Watt" is unlike anything else you will read in English literature. Embracing the concept of the absurd at its most absurd, Beckett tells- in the most roundabout,... Read morePublished on June 18, 2012 by PuroShaggy
If you were always intrigued by a Beckett's reputation but were afraid to crack open one of his novels, relax and start reading this one. You'll laugh till it hurts.Published on March 19, 2011 by Shem 29
Longer than but at a faster pace than "Murphy" if not the prose trilogy that followed, this dismantled novel written during WWII in France by its underground author features less... Read morePublished on May 28, 2009 by John L Murphy
"Watt" is my favorite Beckett novel for a number of reasons: it's funnier than the Trilogy and better constructed (not to mention more original) than Murphy; unlike e.g. Read morePublished on August 5, 2008 by Sarang Gopalakrishnan