Watt
Watt

BECKETT, Samuel. Watt.

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BECKETT, Samuel. Watt Paris, The Olympia Press 1953

4to; Original beige paper wrapers with black title and publishers bird device to front cover; lettered in black along spine; pp. [v], 8-254; page edges untrimmed, faint spotting to spine; aside from very minor toning, a near-fine example.
Limited edition, one of just 25 copies on fine paper, lettered 'W' and signed by the author. The "W" holds some significance given that it signifies ownership of the library of Austyn Wainhouse who at the time worked for Maurice Girodias at Olympia Press and edited Merlin, the magazine where some of Beckett's new work was being published; Watt was issued in the Collection Merlin series.
Although not published until 1953, Watt was written a decade earlier and was Samuel Beckett's second published novel in English. Due to Beckett's status as an early French Resistance fighter, it was mainly written on the run in the South of France as he hid from German occupying forces during WWII. In an interview in 1961, Beckett was quizzed on the subject of form to which he answered; "To find a form that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now" and Watt is a key example of Beckett's famous novelistic rebellion. Written in four chapters with various annotations, as well as an addenda at the end of the book featuring unincorporated material, Watt's disturbed narrative places precedent on language itself- a crucial impetus for the author's later preference for writing in French over English.

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