Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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The Unnamable

Manuscripts | Publications | Reviews | Audio

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figure 13

First American edition of The Unnamable translated from the French by the author (New York: Grove Press, 1958). One of a specially bound and signed issue of 26 lettered copies.


figure 14

First collected edition of Molloy, Malone Dies, and The Unnamable. Three Novels by Samuel Beckett (New York: Grove Press, 1959).

Inscribed boldly in pencil on the title page: “Decreasing indestructible HEAP for Jacque [Jake Schwartz], Les Iles Marquises, Feb. 1960 Sam.”

The “decreasing indestructible heap,” Beckett has pointed out elsewhere, is a reference to the “old Sophist teaser (sorites): When is a heap not a heap? By subtraction of how many grains? Conversely, when become a heap? By adjunction of how many?” Which leads to Hamm’s soliloquy in Endgame: “Moment upon moment, pattering down, like the millet grains of. . .that old Greek.” (Grove Press Evergreen edition, p. 70).


figure 15

First English collected edition of Molloy. Malone Dies. The Unnamable published London: John Calder, 1959 [1960], in collaboration with Olympia Press, Paris. Inscribed by Beckett to Jake Schwartz.

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