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Annotated Reference Guide to Collectible Books

Beckett, Samuel

Waiting for Samuel Beckett

Widely regarded as one of the most influential playwrights of the modern era, Samuel Beckett, is, along with philosophers Derrida and Foucault, regarded as one of the literary fathers of postmodernism. With such high acclaim comes great value for the collector and his most important masterpiece Waiting for Godot in fine, mint true first edition can fetch upwards of fifteen thousand US dollars, even though it was only published in 1952.

Samuel Beckett is often regarded as a ‘writer's writer’ and by this, it is taken to mean that he is beloved by critics and the high literary establishment. He won the Nobel Prize for services to Literature in 1969, as well as France’s highest cultural medal for a citizen (Beckett, although born in Ireland, lived most of his life in Paris, and even worked as a member of the French Resistance during the Second World War).

Aside from helping to give birth to a cultural movement, and doing things in theatre ‘which could never be done’ – Beckett can be seen as actually a descendant of a rich cultural movement. The Parisian modernist scene, which is closely allied to the German Existentialist scene, and perhaps the entire European mood between 1880 to 1915, had its founders in figures like Albert Camus, Baudelaire, and Franz Kafka. These figures were concerned with the incomprehensibility of life, and the roil of ones’ inner emotional life and who were later called ‘The Theatre of the Absurd’.

Absurdism, like Surrealism, posits that life has no meaning. It is in Beckett that we find these pessimistic notions expressed in black comedy or tragicomic ways – such as Watt, or Krapp’s Last Tape.

For the collector, we have the advantage of the Beckett tradition still being an (almost) lived one. There is still interest in his works and a field where minor pieces would doubtless disappear into obscurity. Consider, for example, Beckett’s first published work in a literary volume that also houses James Joyce and William Carlos Williams. Our Exagnimation Round Factification For Incamination of His Work In Progress (1929) is really a high quality student publication, but is available as a true first edition for but seven hundred US dollars.

The serious collector may indeed want Waiting for Godot but the cost is usually prohibitive. There is a slight window of opportunity, however, as Beckett’s most well-known play was first published in his adopted tongue of French, before being published in English some two years later. A true first of the English-language edition (1954) can be as low as two and half thousand dollars – a far cry from fifteen!

Beckett, Samuel. Our Exagmination Round His Factification For Incamination of Work in Progress. Shakespeare and Company (1929). Contains: Dante, Bruno, Vico, Joyce By Samuel Beckett; The Idea Of Time In The Work Of James Joyce By Marcel Brion; James Joyces Work In Progress And Old Norse Poetry By Frank Budgen; Prolegomena To Work In Progress By Stuart Gilbert; The Revolution Of Language And James Joyce By Eugene Jolas; I Dont Know What To Call It But Its Mighty Unlike Prose By Victor Llona; Mr. Joyce Directs An Irish Word Ballet By Robert Mcalmon; The Catholic Element In Work In Progress By Thomas Mcgreevy; Mr. Joyces Treatment Of Plot By Elliot Paul; Joyce And His Dynamic By John Rodker; Before Ulysses - And After By Robert Sage; A Point For American Criticism By William Carlos Williams; Writes A Common Reader By G.V.L. Slingsby; A Litter To Mr. James Joyce By Vladimir Dixon. A Note On The Recto Of The Colophon States: 96 Copies Of This Book Have Been Printed On Verge Darches. 200 Total Copies.

Beckett, Samuel. Whoroscope. Hours Press (1930). Total 300 Copies; 100 Copies Signed By Author.

Beckett, Samuel. Proust. Chatto & Windus (1931). This Was Number Seven In The Series Of Dolphin Books.

Beckett, Samuel. More Pricks Than Kicks. Chatto and Windus (1934). First Printing

Beckett, Samuel. Echos Bones and Other Precipitates . Europa Press, Paris (1935). Total 327 Copies; 250 Numbered Copies On Alfa Paper.

Beckett, Samuel. Our Exagmination Round His Factification For Incamination of Work in Progress.. Faber & Faber (1936). Other Contributors Include James Joyce, Robert Mcalmon, & William Carlos Williams.

Beckett, Samuel. Murphy. Bordas (1947). First Issue Binding With The Smooth Green Cloth And Gilt Titles; 3,000 Copies Printed; Translated From The English By Beckett And Alfred Peron.

Beckett, Samuel. Malone meurt. Minuit (1951).

Beckett, Samuel. Molloy. Les Editions de Minuit (1951). Total 3000 Copies Printed. Using The 1947 First Edition Sheets Printed For Bordas, But With Wrappers Printed By Editions De Minuit;

Beckett, Samuel. En attendant Godot. Les Editions de Minuit (1952). Piece En Deux Actes; 35-Copy Large Paper Edition; Translated From The French By The Author.

Beckett, Samuel. Watt. Olympia (1953). 1100 Copies; 25 Lettered Copies Printed On Handmade Paper Each Signed By Author.

Beckett, Samuel. Waiting for Godot. Grove Press (1954). Translated From The Original French Text By The Author. First Edition In English

Beckett, Samuel. Molloy. Grove Press (1955). Translated Fromt The French By Patrick Bowles In Collaboration With The Author. Collection Merlin.

Beckett, Samuel. Nouvelles et Textes Pour Rien . Les Editions de Minuit  (1955). Total 1185 Copies; 50 Numbered Hors Commerce Copies On Velin.

Beckett, Samuel. Malone Dies. Grove Press (1956). A Novel Translated From The French By The Author; 500 Copies.

Beckett, Samuel. Waiting for Godot. Faber & Faber (1956).

Beckett, Samuel. All That Fall. Faber and Faber (1957). 100 Numbered Copies, 125 Total

Beckett, Samuel. Fin de partie, suivi de Acte sans paroles. Les Editions de Minuit (1957). First Edition, First Issue On Grand Papier, Published January 30, 1957; 50 Copies Printed On Velin Pur Fil Du Marais; First Edition 3000 Copies.

Beckett, Samuel. Murphy. Grove Press (1957). 100 Signed, Numbered Copies.

Beckett, Samuel. Proust. Grove Press (1957). 250 Signed, Numbered Copies.

Beckett, Samuel. Tous ceux qui tombent. Editions de Minuit (1957). 70 Numbered Copies.

Beckett, Samuel. Endgame. Faber and Faber (1958). A Play In One Act Followed By Act Without Words: A Mime For One Player; Translated From The French By The Author; 100 Numbered Copies In The Limited Edition.

Beckett, Samuel. From an Abandoned Work. Faber and Faber (1958).

Beckett, Samuel. Nouvelles et Textes Pour Rien. Editions De Minuit (1958). 2,000 Copies; With Six Line Drawings By Avigdor Arikha.

Beckett, Samuel. THE UNNAMABLE. Grove Press (1958). 100 Numbered Copies.

Beckett, Samuel. Watt. Olympia Press (1958).

Beckett, Samuel. Gedichte. Limes Verlag, Wiesbaden (1959). 2000 Copies

Beckett, Samuel. Krapp’s Last Tape and Embers. Faber and Faber (1959). First Printing

Beckett, Samuel. La Derniere Bande Suive De Cendres. Les Editions De Minuit (1959). Translated By Beckett Author.

Beckett, Samuel. Watt. Grove Press (1959). 100 Numbered Copies.

Beckett, Samuel. Comment cest. Les Editions de Minuit (1961). Total 3000 Copies;100 Signed, Numbered Copies Printed On Alfa Mousse Navarre Paper.

Beckett, Samuel. Poems in English . John Calder / Riverrun Press (1961). 100 Copies Signed And Numbered By The Author.

Beckett, Samuel. Oh les beaux jours . Les Editions de Minuit (1963). First French Edition Sur Velin Marques Issue, Limited To 412 Numbered Copies; 80 Numbered Copies On Pur Fil.

Beckett, Samuel. POEMS IN ENGLISH. Grove Press (1963).

Beckett, Samuel. How It Is. John Calder (1964). 100 Signed Copies.

Beckett, Samuel. Play. Faber and Faber (1964).

Beckett, Samuel. Imagination Dead Imagine. Calder and Boyars (1965). Translated From The French By The Author; 100 Signed, Numbered Copies. 

Beckett, Samuel. Imagination Morte Imaginez. Les Editions de Minuit (1965). Total 612 Copies; 450 Numbered Copies And 112 Numbered Copies Reserved For The Librarie Des Editions De Minuit.

Beckett, Samuel. Proust. John Calder (1965). Three Dialogues; 100 Numbered Copies Specially Bound In Half Vellum And Linen And Signed By The Author.

Beckett, Samuel. Assez. Les Editions de Minuit (1966). Total 662 Copies; 450 Mechanically Numbered Copies; There Were Also 112 Numbered Copies That Came With Dust Jackets, And 100 Hors Commerce Copies.

Bwckett, Samuel. Bing. Les Editions de Minuit  (1966). Translated Into German By Elmar Tophoven; Illustrated With 24 Coloured Etchings By Georg Baselitz; 550 Copies

Beckett,Samuel. Comedie et actes divers . Les Editions De Minuit (1966). First French Edition, Six Short Plays Translated From The English By The Author.

Beckett, Samuel. More Pricks Than Kicks. Calder & Boyars (1966).

Beckett, Samuel. Eh Joe and Other Writings. Faber and Faber (1967).

Beckett, Samuel. Nos Knife. Calder and Boyars (1967). Collected Shorter Prose; 100 Copies (B Series) Signed By Samuel Beckett.Contains 20 Prose Pieces In All (Including The Complete Stories And Texts For Nothing), Plus From An Abandoned Work (Fragment From Dream Of Fair To Middling Women) And The Three Residua (Enough, Imagination Dead Imagine And Ping), With The Publishers Preface.

Beckett, Samuel. LIssue. Les Editions Georges Visat (1968). Six Original Engravings Each Signed By Avigdor Arikha In Pencil; 154 Copies.

Beckett, Samuel:. Poemes. Les Editions de Minuit, (Paris) (1968). Total 762 Copies; 550 Numbered Copies On B.F.K. Rives Paper.

Beckett, Samuel. Sans. Les Editions de Minuit (1969). 550 Numbered Copies, From A Total Deluxe Issue Of 749 On Velin Cuve B.F.K. Rives.

Beckett, Samuel. Le Depeupleur. Minuit (1970). 293 Numbered Copies.

Samuel Beckett. Lessness. Calder and Boyars (1970).

Beckett,Samuel. Mercier et Camier. Les Editions De Minuit (1970). Total 306 Copies; 99 Numbered Copies On Pur Fil Lafuma Wrappers

Beckett, Samuel. More Pricks Than Kicks. Calder and Boyars  (1970). 100 Numbered Copies Signed By Beckett.

Beckett, Samuel . Premier amour. Les Editions De Minuit (1970). 99 Numbered Copies On Lafuma; A Total Deluxe Issue Of 399 Copies.

Beckett, Samuel . Sejour. Georges Richar (1970). Illustrated With 5 Full-Page Original Etchings By Louis Maccard After Drawings By Jean Deyrolle;Total 190 Copies; 150 Copies On Rives Paper, Numbered And Signed By Samuel Becket. 25 Numbered Deluxe Copies Printed On D'Auvergne Paper With An Original Drawing Initialed By Deyrolle And An Extra Suite Of Prints On Chine Paper .

Beckett, Samuel. Film. Les Editions de Minuit (1972). 200 Numbered Copies; Total 342 Copies.

Beckett, Samuel. The Lost Ones. Calder and Boyars (1972). 100 Copies Signed And Numbered By Becket.

Apollinaire, Guillaume. Zone. Dolman Press / Calder & Boyars, Dublin & London (1972). 250 Signed Copies; With An English Translation By Samuel Beckett .

Beckett, Samuel. Still. Marte Edizioni, Milan (1974). Translation By Luigi Majno; Accompanied By Three Numbered And Signed Etchings By Stanley William Hayter ; 133 Copies.

Beckett, Samuel. Pas moi. Les Editions de Minuit (1975). First Edition, Sur Velin Arches Issue, Limited To 150 Numbered Copies On Velin Arches Paper

Beckett, Samuel. Drunken Boat. Whiteknights Press, Reading (1976). A Translation Of Arthur Rimbauds Poem La Bateau Ivre; Edited And With An Introduction By James Knowlson And Felix Leakey; Total 300 Copies.  The Contents Are: An Essay On The Circumstances Of Composition And Publication (Knowlson); Textual Commentary (Leakey); Facsimile Of Becketts Manuscript; French And English Parallel Texts.

beckett, Samuel. Foirades. Editions de Minuit & Petersburg Press (1976). Includes Five Texts By Beckett And 33 Etchings By Johns

beckett, Samuel. Footfalls. Royal Court Theatre (1976). Purportedly Fewer Than 20 Copies Were Thus Issued For Use Of The Actors And Others Involved In The Production

Beckett, Samuel. cette fois. Les Editions de Minuit (1978). 100 Numbered Copies.

Beckett, Samuel. Compagnie. Les Editions de Minuit (1980). 99 Numbered Copies On Special Paper.

Beckett, Samuel. Company. Grove Press (1980).

Beckett, Samuel. CATASTROPHE et Autres Dramaticules. Les Editions de Minuit (1982). First Edition (Text In French), Sur Velin Issue, Limited To 100 Numbered Copies, Sur Velin Superior.

Beckett, Samuel. Ill Seen Ill Said. Lord John Press, Northridge, CA (1982). Total 299 Copies; 26 Deluxe Lettered Copies Signed By The Author, Samuel Beckett.

Beckett, Samuel. Catastrophe. Lord John Press (1983). For Vaclav Havel; 26 Lettered Copies Signed By Beckett And The Illustrator, Joseph Mugnaini.

Beckett, Samuel. Ohio Impromptu, Catastrophe, What Where. Grove Press/The Beckett Theatre (1983). 50 Copies

Beckett, Samuel. Quoi ou. Les Editions de Minuit (1983). 99 Numbered Copies

Beckett, Samuel. As No Other Dare Fail. John Calder / Riverrun Press / New York (1986). For Samuel Beckett On His 80Th Birthday By His Friends And Admirers; 50 Copies; With Essays And Anecdotes From Numerous Contributors (Including John Calder, Colin Duckworth, Richard Ellman, Martha Fehsenfeld, Barney Rosset, Eoin Obrien, And More); Photographs By John Minihan; And The Capital Of The Ruins, Originally A Radio Broadcast By Beckett.

Beckett, Samuel. As the story was told. Rampant Lions Press, Cambridge (1987). 325 Copies, Designed And Printed Letterpress By Sebastian Carter.

Beckett, Samuel. Beginning to End. Rampant Lions Press, Cambridge (1988). A Selection From The Works Of Samuel Beckett; Illustrated With Drawings By Edward Gorey; 300 Numbered Copies Signed By Beckett And Gorey.

Beckett, Samuel. Soubresauts. Editions de Minuit (1989). 99 Numbered Copies.

Beckett, Samuel. Peintres de lempechement. Les Editions de Minuit (1990). 99 Numbered Copies.

Beckett,Samuel. Quad et Trio du Fantome. Les Editions De Minuit (1992). Que Nuages Nacht Under Traume. Traduit De Langlais Par Edith Fournier; Suivi De Lepuise Par Gilles Deleuze; 99 Copies On Verge Des Papeteries De Vizille

Beckett, Samuel. Bande et sarabande. Editions de Minuit (1994). 99 Numbered Copies

Beckett, Samuel [Translator]. Bread of Days. The Yolla Bolly Press, Covelo (1994). / El Pan De Los Dias / Once Poetas Mexicanos / Eleven Mexican Poets; Deluxe Bilingual Collection Of Long Poems By The Mexican Writers Bernardo De Balbuena, Luis De Sandoval Y Zapata, Sor Juana Ines De La Cruz, Ignacio Rodriguez Galvan, Salvador Diaz Miron, Amado Nervo, Jose Juan Tablada, Enrique Gonzalez Martinez, Ramon Lopez Velarde, And Alfonso Reyes.

Beckett, Samuel. The Theatrical Notebooks of Samuel Beckett. Faber and Faber, Grove Press  (1994). Introduction-Dougald Mcmillan; Waiting For Godot

Beckett, Samuel. Les Os dEcho et dautres precipites. LES Editions De Minuit (2002). Traduit De Langlais Et Presente Par Edith Fournier; 106 Numbered Copies; 99 On Verge Paper.