Beckett wrote Watt, “the last stuttering in English,” during World War II, the second half while he was living in the village of Roussillon, in the Vaucluse. But it was not published until 1953, after the appearance of his trilogy and of En attendant Godot, all of which had been written in French.
In a letter to George Reavey, Beckett wrote from Foxrock: “It is an unsatisfactory book, written in dribs and drabs, first on the run, then of an evening after the clodhopping, during the occupation. But it has its place in the series, as will perhaps appear in time.”
The novel begins with Watt being thrown off a streetcar. Richard Seaver, in his review of the novel in the Autumn 1953 issue of Nimbus, picks up the storyline as follows: