Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Beginnings and Early Writings

Manuscripts | Publications

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“A Case in a Thousand” in The Bookman, Vol. LXXXVI, No. 515, August 1934. Inscribed by Beckett to John and Evelyn Kobler.

In addition to this short story, the issue also contains a less than laudatory article by Beckett on “Recent Irish Poetry,” written under the pseudonym Andrew Belis.

figure 28

Three reviews by Beckett in The Bookman, Vol. LXXXVI, Christmas 1934.

Beckett’s review of Ezra Pound’s Make It New, titled “Ex Cathezra,” is, at one and the same time, a thumping tribute to Pound and a tactful, subtle demonstration of the lamentable lapses in taste and judgment to which Pound was not infrequently disposed. In this issue Beckett also reviewed Dante Vivo by Giovanni Papini (“Papini’s Dante”) and Windfalls by Sean O’Casey (“The Essential and the Incidental”).


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First edition of Samuel Beckett’s collection of poems Echo’s Bones and Other Precipitates (Paris: Europa Press, 1935) inscribed on the half-title “for George / from Sam / December 1935 / — / ‘mets ce que tu veux dans le vide . . .’”

Samuel Beckett met George Reavey (to whom this copy is inscribed) through Thomas MacGreevy at the end of 1928. Reavey, in addition to running a small literary agency, operated a modest publishing operation named Europa Press which brought out as one of its first books—at Beckett’s expense—Echo’s Bones. The edition was limited to 327 copies of which 25 copies on Normandy Vellum were signed by the author. Two on this paper, marked A and B, were reserved for the author and the publisher. This is copy B, for George Reavey.

An autograph note, in Reavey’s hand, on the limitation page reads: “ . . . This quotation in Sam’s dedication is from a poem beginning ‘Que m’importe l’aspect revêtu par le vide . . . ’ contained on page 19 of George Reavey’s Signes d’Adieu, published by Europa Press, 1935. G.R.”


figure 30

Snapshot taken by Peggy Guggenheim at her country place, Yew Tree Cottage, in Sussex, 1938. From left to right: Peggy’s daughter, Pegeen, George Reavey, Geer van Velde, Gwynned Reavey, Samuel Beckett, Lisl van Velde.

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