Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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English to French

Manuscripts | Publications


figures 4, 5, 6

Martin Garbus, in his foreword to the Foxrock edition of the play, explains the difficulties of bringing a translation of Beckett’s first play to an English audience.

Barney Rossett, Beckett’s longtime U.S. publisher and dramatic agent, was determined to publish the play in spite of strong resistance from Beckett’s literary agent at the time, Jérôme Lindon. He formed the Foxrock firm specifically to publish the play, engaged in a failed arbitration effort with Lindon, staged a special, private reading of the play and solicited letters of support from directors and theater owners, and even had legal papers drawn up with the idea of seeking a judgment allowing publication of the play in the U.S. In the end, concerned that Lindon might sue booksellers carrying a trade edition of the book, Rossett produced a free, limited edition of Eleuthéria and, finally, Lindon agreed to allow the book to be released in a trade edition by Foxrock.