Monday, February 4, 2008

MERCIER AND CAMIER by Samuel Beckett

Beckett's little-known novel Mercier and Camier, written in 1946 but not published until the 1970's, is in its own way an even stranger and darker work than Waiting for Godot. Similar themes, images, and even lines of dialogue appear in both works (perhaps the reason for Beckett's sitting so long on the novel), but the novel is more unforgiving, more violent, more brutal and fatalistic, ending with a kind of death that's indistinguishable from life, just as the previous chapters' life was flatly, drily nightmarish. A very impressive book on this 2nd reading.

A quote: "What can be said of life not already said? Many things. That its arse is a rotten shot, for example." A nice Beckettian twist on 'shit happens.' Life shits aimlessly, pointlessly...

On finishing Mercier and Camier my desire is to flip the book over and read it again. High praise.

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