Samuel Beckett and Our Exagmination

The first publication in a book by Samuel Beckett, future playwright of Waiting for Godot, was an essay in this anthology that Joyce supervised and designed. The collection, which also includes texts by William Carlos Williams and Robert McAlmon, sought to interpret and defend Joyce’s work in progress Finnegans Wake. Beckett had met Joyce soon after moving from Dublin to Paris to teach at the École normale. Joyce welcomed him into the family and sometimes used him as a research assistant and secretary. Beckett later recalled that, when he was taking dictation for Finnegans Wake, he once mistakenly recorded Joyce’s response to a noise outside. When Beckett read the passage back to the author, Joyce noted the gaffe and said,“Let it stand.”

Samuel Beckett (1906–1989) et al.
Our Exagmination Round His Factification for Incamination of “Work in Progress” [with Prospectus and two other editions]
Paris: Shakespeare and Company, 1929
The Morgan Library & Museum, gift of Sean and Mary Kelly, 2018; PML 197816-19
© The Morgan Library & Museum