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How to Read Literature
Terry Eagleton
De Cock en de broeders van de zachte dood
A.C. Baantjer

Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable

Beckett Trilogy - Samuel Beckett First sentence: "I am in my mother's room."

P. 99: "That we thought of ourselves as members of a vast organization was doubtless also due to the all too human feeling that trouble shared, or is it sorrow, is trouble something, I forget the word."

Last sentence: "... I'm waiting for me there, no, there you don't wait, you don't listen, I don't know, perhaps it's a dream, all a dream, that would suprise me, I'll wake, in the silence, and never sleep again, it will be I, or dream, dream again dream of a silence, a dream silence, full of murmurs, I don't know, that's all words, never wake, all words, there's nothing else, you must go on, that's all I know, they're going to stop, I know that well, I can feel it, they're going to abandon me, it will be the silence, for a moment, a good few moments, or it will be mine, the lasting one, that didn't last, that still lasts, it will be I, you must go on, I can't go on, you must go on, I'll go on, you must say words, as long as there are any, until they find me, until they say me, strange pain, strange sin, you must go on, perhaps it's done already, perhaps they have said me already, perhaps they have carried me to the threshold of my story, before the door that opens on my own story, that would surprise me, if it opens, it will be I, it will be the silence, where I am, I don't know, I'll never know, in the silence you don't know, you must go on, I can't go on, I'll go on."

Pfft, this was a very heavy read... I hadn't read these books before and I didn't even buy them; they were my grandfather's and they had been on my shelves for more than 10 years. So when my eye fell on them a few weeks ago, I decided to read it. The first two books, Molloy and Malone dies, I started to like after reading about 20 pages. Major theme are death and dying but Beckett plays a lot with time and identity (e.g. he changes the name of the protagonist in the middle of a story, or he switches from 'I' to 'he'), and most of the time I like books on these subjects. The only problem I had with them was the absence of paragraphs. I find it always hard to read sentence after sentence without being able to pause a little at the end of a paragraph.
But the last story, The Unnamable, was too much for me, I just couldn't get in to it. I kept reading because it seemed so silly to stop at that moment, but I kept counting the pages. The sentences were so long (see the last sentence, where I only typed about a fifth of the sentence), and I didn't get what it was all about.

I am glad I have read this trilogy, because I don't like to have books on my shelves I haven't read, but I don't think I will reread them any time soon.

Great review of the 1st book Molloy