This course will focus on Samuel Beckett as a prose writer. We will read his major novels and short prose pieces in a chronological order, beginning with the short stories of More Pricks than Kicks, continuing with Murphy and Watt before attacking the two "trilogies": the 1950's "three novels" (Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable) and the 1980's Nohow On (Company, Ill Seen Ill Said, Worstward Ho). We will also read a few of the texts collected in The Complete Short Prose 1929-1989 such as "First Love" and "Texts for Nothing". We will explore the related issues of Beckett's philosophical background, of his Irishness, of his humor, of his narrative techniques.
Requirements for the course include at least one oral presentation; two shorter papers of eight pages, and a final research paper of about fifteen pages. No final exam.