Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Poems in English

Manuscripts | Publications | Reviews

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figure 15

First edition of Poèmes (Paris: Les Editions de Minuit, 1968). One of 100 numbered copies hors commerce on vélin cuve B.F.K. Rives of a total edition of 763; inscribed by Beckett to John and Evelyn Kobler, February 1968.

 

figure 16

Offprint of “Kottabista” in Hermathena: A Dublin University Review, No. CXV, Summer 1973. With a presentation inscription signed “Sam Beckett.”

Beckett’s rhymed version of one of Chamfort’s Maximes (“Hope is a knave befools us evermore”), along with related correspondence, was his contribution to the centenary number of Hermathena and, in the words of the editor, “illustrates his typically positive response to a request from his alma mater.”

 

figure 17

Offprint of “Long After Chamfort” in The Blue Guitar, Vol. I, No. 1, Messina, 1975, with a presentation inscription signed “Sam Beckett.”

In a 9 August 1972 letter to George Reavey, Beckett writes of “doggerelizing” these six maximes by Chamfort (born Sébastien-Roch-Nicolas, 1741-1794) who, though considered a mediocre poet, enjoyed a reputation for clever phrase making. All but one of Beckett’s “free rhymed adaptations” were previously unpublished except No. 6 which appeared in the Dublin University review Hermathena, CXV (Summer, 1973), [p.] 19.

 

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