Drawing on private correspondence and little kwn documents, published and unpublished, Pilling explores every aspect of the More Pricks Than Kicks short story collection. From its publishing history to why they were written, Pilling reveals Beckett's conflicted feelings about the 'compromise' of writing short stories and his struggle to find a voice distinct from James Joyce, his friend and authority of the form. By discussing each story as separate entity, in a grouping that deviates from the collection, and by analysing 'Echo's Bones', Pilling makes new comparisons and contrasts, illustrating Beckett's idiosyncratic handling of the form. Making sure to place the stories in the context of the post-war work, this early study of Beckett highlights the years and work central to his development as a writer.
John Pilling is Emeritus Professor of English and European Literature at the University of Reading, UK. He edited the Journal of Beckett Studies for ten years, serves on the editorial board of Samuel Beckett Today/Aujourd'hui. and has written or edited numerous books, articles, symposia, and review essays on Beckett for more than thirty years. His special interest and expertise currently is in every aspect of Beckett's life and work in the 1930s.