The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Monday, September 23, 2019


Sotheby's London to offer one of the most important 20th century literary manuscripts in private hands
Samuel Beckett's First Novel "Murphy". Photo: Sotheby's.


LONDON.- On 10 July 2013, Sotheby's London will write a new chapter in literary history, when it offers one of the most important 20th century working manuscripts remaining in private hands - Samuel Beckett's first novel, "Murphy".

Irish-born Beckett, “the last modernist”, was the author of a body of work steeped in the western literary tradition but with its own highly distinctive voice. Handwritten in six exercise books between August 1935 and June 1936, in Dublin and London whilst Beckett was undergoing psychoanalysis, the manuscript, initially entitled "Sasha Murphy" is heavily revised throughout - the hundreds of cancellations and revisions providing an eloquent witness to Beckett's struggle to give form to his artistic vision. The notebooks are also full of lively doodles hinting at the author's preoccupations during this period, including recognisable portraits of James Joyce, Beckett himself, and Charlie Chaplin (later an influence on the tramps in Waiting for Godot), as well as astrological symbols and musical notations. The centrepiece in Sotheby’s sale of English Literature, History, Children’s Books and Illustrations, the manuscript is estimated to realise 800,000 - 1.2 million.

Peter Selley, Sotheby's Senior Specialist in Books and Manuscripts commented: “This is unquestionably the most important manuscript of a complete novel by a modern British or Irish writer to appear at auction for many decades. I have known about the existence of this remarkable manuscript for a long time – as have a number of others in the rare book business, and some Beckett scholars – but it has only been glimpsed, tantalizingly, by a few chosen individuals during that time. The notebooks contain almost infinite riches for all those – whether scholars or collectors – interested in this most profound of modern writers, who more than anyone else, perhaps, captures the essence of modern man. The manuscript is capable of redefining Beckett studies for many years to come.”

The novel is characterised by exuberant language and is the most comic of all Beckett’s works, although it also has deep philosophical roots. The plot concerns the eponymous Murphy’s attempts to find peace in the nothingness of the “little world” of the mind without intrusion from the outside world. Spurred on to find employment by his prostitute girlfriend, Murphy finds some tranquillity working in an insane asylum before accidentally immolating himself in his garret. Mostly set in shabby lodgings in London, with some chapters set in Dublin (where a strange trio of characters start a fruitless search for Murphy), this is the closest that Beckett ever came to a novel in the realist tradition.

The manuscript provides a text that is substantially different from the printed version of "Murphy" of 1938. It includes at least eight cancelled versions of its famous opening sentence before it reached its final form (“The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new.”) Beckett dated each entry in the exercise books, giving a fascinating glimpse of his working processes and the flows - and droughts - of his inspiration.

When Beckett was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969 it was, according to the citation, “for his writing, which - in new forms for the novel and drama - in the destitution of modern man acquires its elevation." He produced a body of work of extraordinary strangeness, which presents a world view of deep pessimism, but blessed with a wonderful mordant humour. Although dense and demanding, his works speak powerfully to a remarkably wide audience of their common human experience. Best known for "Waiting For Godot", his stage play of 1953, Beckett’s writing emerged from the intellectual ferment that gave rise to existentialism and absurdism. His deep connections with the inter-war avant-garde have led him to be characterised as “the last modernist”. His greatest early influence was Joyce, with whom he became friendly in Paris in the late 1920s. He helped Joyce with research, took dictation for him, contributed an essay to the 1929 collection of essays on "Work in Progress", and even became romantically entangled with Joyce’s daughter Lucia. In the early 30s Beckett struggled to overcome Joyce’s influence and find his own voice; or, as Beckett himself put it in a 1931 letter, “I vow I will get over J. J. ere I die. Yessir”.

Beckett’s many admirers have always struggled to explain the power of his work, contrasting the austere beauty of his language with the base ugliness of his subject-matter – cheap boarding rooms and mental asylums, tramps, dustbins, the decayed and the dying – and his pessimistic vision of destitution and isolation.

"I'll buy his goods, hook, line, and sinker,” declared Harold Pinter, “because he leaves no stone unturned and no maggot lonely. He brings forth a body of beauty. His work is beautiful.”






Today's News

June 1, 2013

Eureka! Unique exhibition in Rome honours the art and science of the inventor Archimedes

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera featured in Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art exhibition

Boxer at Rest-masterpiece of ancient bronze sculpture-on special loan to Metropolitan Museum

Dallas Museum of Art acquires new work of decorative arts and design by Shiro Kuramata

SFMOMA's groundbreaking ceremony marks beginning of SFMOMA's transformation

Sotheby's London to offer one of the most important 20th century literary manuscripts in private hands

Jack Rutberg Fine Arts in Los Angeles opens a centennial tribute to Francisco Ziga

The Art Institute uncovers the universe next door of photographer Abelardo Morell

Peter Pan: The boy who never grew up for sale at Bonhams Decorative Arts sale

Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg spotlights the beauty of our national parks

Rosphoto State Museum opens exhibition of works by Anatoly Cherkasov

Bradley Castellanos' debut solo exhibition with Ryan Lee Gallery opens in New York

France criticized as presidential wines from some of the world's most prestigious labels go under hammer

Santa Monica Museum of Art presents Joyce Pensato: I Killed Kenny

Waterways II opens at Heather Gaudio Fine Art

The Herencia Experiential Art Center revitalizes a West Palm Beach community

Historic show at Rose Caf celebrates thirty years of art

Sam Jury artist of the month at Flint Institute of Arts

A "Fantasy River" flows at the Hudson River Museum

artnet Auctions announces June 2013 sales

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Holocaust 'masterpiece' causes uproar at Venice film festival

2.- To be unveiled at Sotheby's: One of the greatest collections of Orientalist paintings ever assembled

3.- Bender Gallery features paintings by up and coming Chicago artist Michael Hedges

4.- Lvy Gorvy exhibits new and historic works by French master in his centenary year

5.- Artificial Intelligence as good as Mahler? Austrian orchestra performs symphony with twist

6.- Fascinating new exhibition explores enduring artistic bond between Scotland and Italy

7.- Exhibition explores the process of Japanese-style woodblock production

8.- Robert Frank, photographer of America's underbelly, dead at 94

9.- The truth behind the legend of patriot Paul Revere revealed in a new exhibition at New-York Historical Society

10.- Hitler bust found in cellar of French Senate



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 



Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful