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From which Samuel Beckett novel is this?
June 11, 2014 3:14 AM   Subscribe

Looking for a specific passage in a Samuel Beckett novel (probably from Watt or Murphy). I'm pretty certain this is from one of his early novels, rather than any of his other works.

The passage is a short paragraph (short for Beckett at least), consisting entirely of rhymed pairs of words (possibly joined by "and").

The only words I can actually remember are "pricks" and "kicks" (however, I don't think the passage is in More Kicks Than Pricks, though it's possible). Something a bit like one of these:

The pricks and the kicks, the hits and the shits, the slips and the clips, the swipes and the wipes etc.

or

The pricks, the kicks, the hits, the shits, the slips, the clips, the swipes, the wipes etc.

The actual words used here are just for example, but this is the structure used for the entire paragraph.

Which novel am I thinking of?
posted by cincinnatus c to Writing & Language (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Is it the passage from Watt quoted here?:
The Tuesday scowls, the Wednesday growls, the Thursday curses, the Friday howls, the Saturday snores, the Sunday yawns, the Monday morns, the Monday morns. The whacks, the moans, the cracks, the groans, the welts, the squeaks, the belts, the shrieks, the pricks, the prayers, the kicks, the tears, the skelps, and the yelps…
If so it’s on page 38 of the current Faber & Faber edition.
posted by misteraitch at 4:18 AM on June 11 [4 favorites]


That's the one! Slightly different than I remembered, but that's what I was looking for, thanks.
posted by cincinnatus c at 4:29 AM on June 11


And of course I was also wrong about the passage being a short paragraph - it's part of a paragraph several pages long. Here it is with a little bit more of that paragraph for context:

"Personally of course I regret everything. Not a word, not a deed, not a thought, not a need, not a grief, not a joy, not a girl, not a boy, not a doubt, not a trust, not a scorn, not a lust, not a hope, not a fear, not a smile, not a tear, not a name, not a face, no time, no place, that I do not regret, exceedingly. An ordure, from beginning to end. And yet, when I sat for Fellowship, but for the boil on my bottom . . . The rest, an ordure. The Tuesday scowls, the Wednesday growls, the Thursday curses, the Friday howls, the Saturday snores, the Sunday yawns, the Monday morns, the Monday morns. The whacks, the moans, the cracks, the groans, the welts, the squeaks, the belts, the shrieks, the pricks, the prayers, the kicks, the tears, the skelps, and the yelps. And the poor old lousy old earth, my earth and my father's and my mother's and my father's father's and my mother's mother's and my father's mother's and my mother's father's and my father's mother's father's and my mother's father's mother's and my father's mother's mother's and my mother's father's' father's and my father's father's mother's and my mother's mother's father's and my father's father's father's and my mother's mother's mother's and other people's fathers' and mothers' and fathers' fathers' and mothers' mothers' and fathers' mothers' and mothers' fathers' and fathers' mothers' fathers' and mothers' fathers' mothers' and fathers' mothers' mothers' and mothers' fathers' fathers' and fathers' fathers' mothers' and mothers' mothers' fathers' and fathers' fathers' fathers' and mothers' mothers' mothers'. An excrement. The crocuses and the larch turning green every year a week before the others and the pastures red with uneaten sheep's placentas and the long summer days and the newmown hay and the wood-pigeon in the morning and the cuckoo in the afternoon and the corncrake in the evening and the wasps in the jam and the smell of the gorse and the look of the gorse and the apples falling and the children walking in the dead leaves and the larch turning brown a week before the others and the chestnuts falling and the howling winds and the sea breaking over the pier and the first fires and the hooves on the road and the consumptive postman whistling The Roses Are Blooming in Picardy and the standard oillamp and of course the snow and to be sure the sleet and bless your heart the slush and every fourth year the February débâcle and the endless April showers and the crocuses and then the whole bloody business starting all over again. And if I could begin it all over again, knowing what I know now, the result would be the same. And if I could begin again a third time, knowing what I would know then, the result would be the same. And if I could begin it all over again a hundred times, knowing each time a little more than the time before, the result would always be the same, and the hundredth life as the first, and the hundred lives as one. A cat’s flux. But at this rate we shall be here all night."
posted by cincinnatus c at 4:48 AM on June 11 [4 favorites]


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