THE MAKING OF SAMUEL BECKETT'S MALONE MEURT/MALONE DIES
Dirk Van Hulle, Pim Verhulst
This volume analyses the genesis of Beckett’s novel Malone meurt /Malone Dies. Written in French in 1947–1948, and translated into English by the author in 1954–1956, it is the second part of the so-called ‘Trilogy’, preceded by Molloy and followed by L’Innommable / The Unnamable. Because Malone’s account approximates a diary, this book starts from H. Porter Abbott’s notion of ‘diary fiction’ to examine the surviving manuscripts, typescripts, and pre-book publication extracts. Even though the writing process of Malone meurt almost coincides with the progression of the narrative, illustrating what Louis Hay has called ‘écriture à processus’, Beckett made substantial changes to the text, which can be interpreted as a critique of Honoré de Balzac’s programmatic writing method. This analysis extends to the genesis of Malone Dies (Beckett’s English translation of the novel), which alludes to Balzac’s novel Louis Lambert, in order to show that self-translation is a crucial and integral part of Beckett’s bilingual autographic project.