I could be cocky and defiant in my atheism, but was also prone to fits of depression. I'd look to books for solace. Beckett fascinated me. I was always able to appreciate his humor, but he could also be too extreme for my delicate temperament. When I read the trilogy it often felt like I was being taunted: Ha, see how ugly and meaningless it all is, this is what it's like to live in a godless world Perhaps I'm stronger now, or else more lucid in my frailty.
It's still painful reading at times, particularly the last 50 or so pages of the Unnameable - the most intense, suffocating, feces-smearing scream in literature, I'm glad that doesn't go on for too much longer, but I'm also grateful something so singular exists.
Beckett's tone no longer strikes me as at all mocking or superior. There's no denying all the filth and despair on display here, but in the depths there are also strange moments of tenderness, as between Moran and his son or Moll and Macmann. I now see the trilogy as an act of solidarity with the cowardly, weak, wretched, incontinent, and insane - all of us, in the long run.
Yes, I know they are words, there was a time time I didn't, as I still don't know if they are mine. Their hopes are therefore founded. In their shoes I'd be content with my knowing what I know, I'd demand no more of me than to know that what I hear is not the innocent and necessary sound of dumb things constrained to endure, but the terror-stricken babble of the condemned to silence.
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View all 9 comments. Well slap me and call me Susan. Or was it Sarah? No matter. Needless to say the attempt is a failure.
What are we to do with Beckett? I read Murphy earlier this year, and enjoyed the holy hell out of it. Witty and intellectual and interestingly described and… All of those attributes are under totalitarian siege in the trilogy. Both of those dudes wrote looooong books filled with words. In an essay, Beckett said Joyce had done all there is to do in transcending the word by use of words.
So we have an anti-transcendentalist, but nonetheless a transcendentalist at heart, sapped of traditional narrative ambition, seeking anti-transcendentalism in the absolute breakdown of the narrative psyche. The Muse herself is revealed for what she is: Nothing with a capital N, which is something in itself… paradox By the end of the trilogy, Molloy seems not only beautifully written, but copious in plot. Martin, or whoever. Beckett mastered these guys in his first book; it truly is heroic then, albeit in a brutal kind of way, to choose and continually attempt the antithesis of what most writers only dream about achieving.
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Aug 15, Marc Kozak rated it liked it Shelves: classics , post-modern-crazy-pants. Getting through this loosely-related trilogy of short novels was one of the hardest reading experiences I've ever had, and I'm not exactly sure if I enjoyed it, or even knew what Beckett was getting at half the time. My interest level throughout was all over the place, as the below graphic demonstrates: Reading this was similar to reading Proust -- I had to be absolutely ON wh Getting through this loosely-related trilogy of short novels was one of the hardest reading experiences I've ever had, and I'm not exactly sure if I enjoyed it, or even knew what Beckett was getting at half the time.
My interest level throughout was all over the place, as the below graphic demonstrates: Reading this was similar to reading Proust -- I had to be absolutely ON while reading, or I'd lose the train of thought, and have to re-read paragraphs. Sometimes I would get in the flow mostly during Molloy and the first parts of Malone Dies , but other times I would just be reading words without understanding meaning. And honestly, I'm not sure I understood much in the way of meaning in general.
I can get around the fact that there isn't much in the way of plot, characters, traditional storytelling devices, etc. Hey, I love the weird stuff. Some days, I just couldn't make it happen. Not that there aren't moments where it all came together, and I went A-HA! And it's pretty darn funny in spots, as well. But really, what IS all of this? What does it MEAN? I have no IDEA. Molloy seemed to make the most sense. Deconstruction of a typical novel. Cool parallels between characters who may be the same person. Funny stuff. But as the pages went by, I couldn't get anything out of the text, and stopped looking forward to reading it.
At any rate, I think I failed Beckett here, and probably should try again in 10 years or so, when I'll hopefully be a better reader. View all 7 comments. Dec 27, K. I read all the three novels and I have a copy of this book. So, I might as well add it as a read book and add a point in my Goodreads' Reading Challenge.
I liked all the three novels. Reading Beckett is totally like a different experience. I have been reading a lot and a couple of weeks back my eyes would just cry for not reason at all. The doctor and my wife both said that I am abusing my eyes by working I am a workaholic and reading I am a bookaholic. So my eyes are oftentimes dry and I read all the three novels and I have a copy of this book. So my eyes are oftentimes dry and so they cry to lubricate the surface of the eyeballs.
Now I am using artificial tears brand: Tears Naturale to help in the lubrication. They the doctor and my wife suggested to refrain from reading too much but what can I do. They are my treasured possessions. My distraction from the daily travails of living in a rat-race kind of life. This is one of the best trilogy that I've read ever. Well, it did not topple The Lord of the Rings in the no. It is a joy to read. The first two have a recognizable plot about some kind of weird bicycle-riding boy Molloy 4 stars and the second one has Malone 5 stars who is dying in his cell, thus called Malone Dies but writing a book about a boy Macmann who like Molloy goes around and meets all interesting people and does a variety of weird stuff only Beckett would imagine.
My only concern is book 3, The Unnameable 3 stars because it just appeared as an afterthought of Molloy, Malone and all the other fictional characters that Beckett gave life to in his novels.
It is just like capping the strong story lines of the first two books with beautiful words that felt like dramatic lamentations of goodbye. If you simply want to distract yourself from reading well-defined plots and enjoy the brilliance of a different post-modernist prose, go for this trilogy. Beckett is like eating in a French restaurant if you are an Asian. It's a feast for your eyes and nose.
Asians have lots of eat-all-you-can restaurants. In those, there are so many choices and they will surely fill your tummy to the brim. When you go to Paris, however, you will rarely find buffets.
You'll find artsy restaurant offering small servings of delectable and nicely presented piece of food served on a large white porcelain plate with nice decorations. It will also make you feel full but not to the extent that you would like to burp or run to the nearby toilet.
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You will feel some kind of class by paying a lot for a food that filled not your tummy but your other senses. That's Beckett for you. View all 12 comments. Dec 02, Natalie rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: certain people, in particular moods. Shelves: time-postmodern , , favorites , existentialism , place-irish.
Beckett definitely gets 5 stars from me, but he's not for everyone. Nor is he for every mood - this book sat on my shelf for years before I found myself in the right place to give it a read. But once I began Molloy and realized I was feeling it, it shot to the top of my "most brilliant and personally influential reads" list. I actually cried when I was reading it because I thought it was so great, and I think about it pretty much every day. Yes, i am a huge dork. I don't think I'm as cynical or Beckett definitely gets 5 stars from me, but he's not for everyone.
I don't think I'm as cynical or dry as SB and his antiheroes, but for some reason i really embrace them.
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Malone Dies and the Unnameable do get a bit more difficult, but the way I see it, it's just a relief to have some extra material to decompress with after the brilliance of Molloy. Mind-bending, breathless prose unlike anything else. Beckett's fascinating, disturbing, exhausting and droll depiction of consciousness—stripped of all outside contact and reference points by the time we stumble, benumbed, into The Unnamable —will definitely not appeal to everyone, but I found it hypnotic; even the third book, which friends fans of the first two had said was unreadable, drew me in with its relentless hyper-babble and I can't go on, I'll go on iterations.
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