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Samuel Beckett Papers

Overview

Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Correspondence

Manuscripts

Notebooks

Visual Materials

Reading University Photocopies



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Samuel Beckett Papers, 1946-1980 | MS Manuscripts

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Collection Overview

Title: Samuel Beckett Papers, 1946-1980Add to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1946-1980

ID: MS/MS/ms008

Primary Creator: Beckett, Samuel (1906-1989)

Extent: 7.0 Boxes

Date Acquired: 08/03/1966

Languages: English, French

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection's strengths are in manuscripts of works Beckett wrote during the 1960's. Among the highlights are the set of 16 drafts for the story "Bing," as well as extensive groups of drafts for short pose pieces such as "Assez," "Le Depeupler," and "Imagination morte imaginez;" the heavily revised galley proof of the Olympia Press edition of the novel Watt; and the successive drafts for Play/Comedie. Also, the Beckett Papers contain the correspondence between the bookseller, Henry Wenning, and Beckett, which spans 1960-1971, some photographs and illustrations of Beckett, many of Beckett's notebooks, and photocopies of Beckett manuscripts from the University of Reading.

Collection Historical Note

Samuel Beckett was an Irish avant-garde novelist, playwright, theatre director, and poet, who lived in France for the most of his adult life. Writing in English and French, Beckett was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1969. His work offers a bleak, tragicomic outlook on human nature, often coupled with black comedy and gallows humor. His best-known play, Waiting for Godot (1953) is a comic study of philosophical uncertainty, and, like much of his work, focuses on the absurdity of human existence. Beckett graduated from Dublin's Trinity College in 1927 and settled in Paris, where he worked with James Joyce and published short stories and the novel Murphy (1938). During World War II, he joined the French Resistance and was eventually forced to leave Paris, but after the war he returned and wrote most of his important works, including the prose trilogy Molloy (1951), Malone Dies (Malone Meurt, 1951) and The Unnamable (L'Innommable, 1953), and the play Endgame (Fin de Partie, 1957). Never exactly mainstream, Beckett is nonetheless considered one of the most important European writers of the 20th century for his influence on modern literature and for his ability to impress, shock and confound.

Administrative Information

Repository: MS Manuscripts

Access Restrictions: Open

Use Restrictions:

Users of the collection must read and agree to abide by the rules and procedures set forth in the Materials Use Policies.

Providing access to materials does not constitute permission to publish or otherwise authorize use. All publication not covered by fair use or other exceptions is restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder, which may or may not be Washington University.

If you wish to publish or license Special Collections materials, please contact Special Collections to inquire about copyright status at (314) 935-5495 or spec@wumail.wustl.edu. (Publish means quotation in whole or in part in seminar or term papers, theses or dissertations, journal articles, monographs, books, digital forms, photographs, images, dramatic presentations, transcriptions, or any other form prepared for a limited or general public.)

Acquisition Source: Gift and purchase

Acquisition Method:

Accession number 766, purchased from Henry Wenning, 1966: August 3

Accession number 767, purchased from Bertram Rota Ltd, 1966: August 3

Accession number 768, gift of Henry Wenning, 1966: August 4

Accession number 770 (1180), purchsed from Henry Wenning, 1966: August 11

Accession number 846, Henry Wenning, 1967: July

Accession number 854, Henry Wenning, 1967: August 30

Accession number 855, Henry Wenning, 1967: August 31

Accession number 1180, purchased from Mrs. Ethel Diamond, 1970: April 22

Accession number 1261, purchased from Mrs. Ethel Diamond, 1971: March 11

Accession number 1266, gift of Henry Wenning and Mrs. Ethel Diamond, 1971: March 19

Accession number 1268, gift of Samuel Beckett through Henry Wenning, 1971: March 26

Accession number 1281, gift of Henry Wenning, 1971: July 23

Accession number 1286, Henry Wenning, 1971: July 28

Accession number 1289, gift of Henry Wenning, 1971: July 28

Accession number 1612, gift of Ruby Cohn, 1981: March

Accession number 1626, Avigdor Arikha, 1984: September 1984

Accession number MSS2016-009, purchase from Brian Cassidy, 2016: April 18

Accession number MSS2016-016, purchase from Brian Cassidy, 2016: May 10

Accession number MSS2018-011, purchase from Peter Grogan, 2018: May 8

Related Materials: See also the Samuel Beckett Ephemera (VMF014), the Samuel Beckett Posters (VMF233), and the Lord John Press Collection (MSS155).

Preferred Citation: Name of the Collection, Washington University Libraries, Department of Special Collections


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence],
[Series 2: Manuscripts],
[Series 3: Notebooks],
[Series 4: Visual Materials],
[Series 5: Reading University Photocopies],
[All]

Series 3: NotebooksAdd to your cart.
Box 4Add to your cart.
Folder 76: AssezAdd to your cart.
1 item, 33 pages
Folder 77: BingAdd to your cart.
2 items. Autograph draft of "Bing," 31 pages. Notecard, autograph, written by Beckett, explaining <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Calibri, &quot;Segoe UI&quot;, Calibri, Thonburi, Arial, Verdana, sans-serif, &quot;Mongolian Baiti&quot;, &quot;Microsoft Yi Baiti&quot;, &quot;Javanese Text&quot;; font-size: 14.6667px; font-style: normal; font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: pre-wrap; widows: 2; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial; display: inline !important; float: none;">the Bing-Le dépeupleur connection</span>. n.d. 1 page. Cut from note in Box 3 Folder 75.
Folder 78: Dis joeAdd to your cart.
1 item, 30 pages. Includes Paroles et musique and Imagination dead
Folder 79: D'un ouvrage abandonneAdd to your cart.
1 item, 25 pages
Folder 80: Imagination deadAdd to your cart.
1 item, 30 pages. Includes Paroles et musique and Dis joe. Located with Dis joe.
Folder 81: Le depeupleur (I)Add to your cart.
1 item, 60 pages
Folder 82: Le depeupleur (II)Add to your cart.
1 item, 41 pages
Folder 83: Paroles et musiqueAdd to your cart.
1 item, 30 pages. Includes Imagination dead and Dis joe. Located with Dis joe.
Folder 84: Texts for nothingAdd to your cart.
1 item, 112 pages

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence],
[Series 2: Manuscripts],
[Series 3: Notebooks],
[Series 4: Visual Materials],
[Series 5: Reading University Photocopies],
[All]


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