Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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The Unnamable

Manuscripts | Publications | Reviews | Audio

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figure 8

“Mahood” [an excerpt from L’Innommable] in La Nouvelle Nouvelle Revue Française, 1ère année, No. 2, 1 February 1953.

La Nouvelle Revue Française, the most prestigious of the French literary monthlies, had started publishing in 1909 (after a false start in November 1908). André Gide was its principal founding father. The review suspended publication, under the German occupation, in 1943. Starting again, finally, ten years later, under the new style La Nouvelle Nouvelle Revue Française, it continued to include among its contributors the established names of the period but also welcomed the new writers who had only recently begun to make their mark: Maurice Blanchot, Roger Caillois, Henry Miller, Arthur Adamov, and, of course, Samuel Beckett.


figure 9

First edition of L’Innommable (Paris: Les Editions de Minuit, 1953). One of 50 numbered copies on vélin supérieur. Inscribed by Beckett in 1966 to John Kobler.


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“The Unnamable,” translated from the French by the author with an introduction by David Hayman, in The Texas Quarterly, Vol. I, No. 2, Spring 1958 (Austin: University of Texas Press). Signed by Beckett.

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“Excerpt: The Unnamable” translated by the author from the original French in Chicago Review, Vol. XII, No. 2, Summer 1958. A pre-publication excerpt, varying slightly from the Grove Press first edition.

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Extract of “The Unnamable” in Spectrum, Vol. II, No. 1, Winter 1958. Inscribed by Beckett to Jake Schwartz.

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