Samuel Beckett

Short Stories & Prose Fragments

The Complete Short Prose 1929-1989


1. Grove Press, 1996, ISBN 0-8021-1577-2; Hardcover $23.00. Out of Print. [Browse/Search]

2. Grove Press, 1997, ISBN 0-8021-3490-4; Paperback $14.00 [Browse/Purchase]

This book is a landmark collection of Beckett's short prose pieces, with the exception of the ten "Belacqua stories" collected in More Pricks Than Kicks. The table of contents reveals a wonderful array of works, with some commentary and notes by Beckett scholar S. E. Gontarski:

Introduction (S. E. Gontarski)

Assumption (1929)
Sedendo et Quiescendo (1932)
Text (1932)
A Case in a Thousand (1934)
First Love (1946)
Stories (From Stories and Texts for Nothing):
The Expelled (1946)
The Calmative (1946)
The End (1946)
Texts for Nothing (I to XIII)
From an Abandoned Work (1954-55)
The Image (1956)
All Strange Away (1963-64)
Imagination Dead Imagine (1965)
Enough (1965)
Ping (1966)
Lessness (1969)
The Lost Ones (1966, 1970)
Fizzles 1 - 8 (1973-75)
Heard in the Dark 1
Heard in the Dark 2
One Evening
As the story was told (1973)
The Cliff (1975)
neither (1976)
Stirrings Still (1988)
Appendix I: Variations on a "Still" Point
Sounds (1973)
Still 3 (1973)
Appendix II: Faux Départs (1965)
Appendix III: Nonfiction
The Capital of the Ruins (1946)

Notes on the Texts
Bibliography of Short Prose in English
Illustrated Editions of Short Prose

Apmonia commentary is forthcoming.

More Pricks Than Kicks


Grove Press, 1972, ISBN 0-8021-5137-X; Paperback $12.00 [Browse/Purchase]

One of Beckett's first published works, this is a collection of ten stories, originally intended to be the material for a novel about a Murphy-like character named Belacqua. The stories are:

Dante and the Lobster
A Wet Night
Love and Lethe
Walking Out
What a Misfortune
The Smeraldina's Billet Doux

According to the publisher, the stories "trace the career of the first of Beckett's antiheroes, Belacqua Shuah. Belacqua is a student, a philanderer, and a failure, and Beckett portrays the various aspects of his troubled existence: He studies Dante, attempts an ill-fated courtship, witnesses grotesque incidents in the streets of Dublin, attends vapid parties, endures his marriage, and meets his accidental death. These early stories point to the qualities of precision, restraint, satire, and poetry found in Beckett's mature works, and reveal the beginning stages of Beckett's underlying theme of bewilderment in the face of suffering."
Apmonia commentary is forthcoming.

Stories and Texts for Nothing


Grove Press, 1988, ISBN 0-8021-5062-4; Paperback $12.00 [Browse/Purchase]

This collection gathers together three of Beckett's mature short stories and the thirteen short prose pieces he called "texts for nothing." Though all these works are also collected in Grove Press' Complete Short Prose as detailed above, the contents are as follows:

The Expelled (1946)
The Calmative (1946)
The End (1946)
Texts for Nothing (I to XIII)

According to the publisher, "Here, as in all his work, Beckett relentlessly strips away all but what is essentially to arrive at a core of truth... In each of the three stories, old men displaced or expelled from the modest corners where they have been living bestir themselves in search of new corners. And in the texts, the voices are characters who are told: 'You can't stay here,' and who respond: 'No, I can't go on.' And yet, somehow, doggedly, inevitably, they go on." Apmonia commentary is forthcoming.

Go To:

Works Main Page -- The main Works page with the Quick Reference Card.

Fiction -- Novels and novellas.

Dramas -- Long plays for the stage.

Shorter Plays -- Smaller one-act works for the stage.

Plays for Various Media -- Pieces for radio, TV & film.

Miscellaneous -- Essays, poetry, translations and nonfiction.

Bibliography -- A complete bibliography of Beckett's work.

--Tim Conley
& Allen B. Ruch
3 March 2003

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