The First Appearance of Beckett in Print
BECKETT, Samuel, JOYCE, James & WILLIAMS, William Carlos. Our Exagmination Round His Factification for Incamination of Work in Progress. Shakespeare & Company, Paris, 1929.
Large 12mo. Original printed paper wrappers; pp. 194; a very good copy of a fragile work, unsually clean inside and out with only some mild toning to the upper cover, spine and upper left cover with some wear including a small (discreet) separation, no text loss, unopened on the top edge throughout, ink stamp reading "Made in Great Britain" to title page.
First edition of this selection of critical essays by a variety of authors on the nascent Finnegan's Wake which at the time was being published in parts under the title Work in Progress. It contains the first work of Samuel Beckett ever to appear in a book. Some of the text quoted in the analysis of Finnegan's Wake did not make it to the published novel when it appeared in its full form in 1939. The list of essays includes:
Samuel Beckett ("Dante... Bruno. Vico.. Joyce")
Marcel Brion ("The Idea of Time in the Work of James Joyce")
Frank Budgen ("James Joyce's Work in Progress and Old Norse Poetry")
Stuart Gilbert ("Prolegomena to Work in Progress")
Eugene Jolas ("The Revolution of Language and James Joyce")
Victor Llona ("I Dont Know What to Call It but Its Mighty Unlikely Prose")
Robert McAlmon ("Mr. Joyce Directs an Irish Word Ballet")
Thomas MacGreevy ("The Catholic Element in Work in Progress")
Elliot Paul ("Mr. Joyce's Treatment of Plot")
John Rodker ("Joyce and His Dynamic")
Robert Sage ("Before Ulysses - and After")
William Carlos Williams ("A Point for American Criticism")
A brief controversy over the book suggested that Joyce had written the second of the two protest letters in the book himself, which proved (alas) to be wishful thinking when the theory was debunked by an article published in the James Joyce Quarterly in 1979.