Books: Preparing for Godot

MERCIER AND GAMIER by SAMUEL BECKETT 123 pages. Grove Press. $6.95.

Beckett completed this terse comic novel (in French) in 1946, then shelved it, perhaps because it retained too much luggage from traditional fiction: plot, ambulatory characters, glimmers of recognizable settings and human haunts. In Waiting for Godot, which he wrote soon after, Beckett said good riddance to such trappings and began the task that has occupied him ever since: willfully writing himself into a corner where there is only room enough for the mind to contemplate itself. He is the king of solipsists....

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