Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Stories and Texts for Nothing

Manuscripts | Publications | Reviews


Along with Watt and Mercier et Camier, one of the more long-drawn-out publishing histories in Beckett’s career is that leading up to Nouvelles et textes pour rien. “Suite” and the other short stories later collected under that title were among Beckett’s first writings in French. But the span from writing to full publication stretched across a full decade that began in the early postwar period.

On 15 December 1946 Beckett wrote to George Reavey: “I hope to have a book of short stories for the Spring (in French). I do not think I shall write very much in English in the future.”

The promised book, plumped out by a group of thirteen shorter texts, became Nouvelles et textes pour rien and was not published until 1955. At least part of the reason lies in the fate of Beckett’s first published story—“Suite.”