This student library subsection of the BDL lists both the extant and the virtual titles which Beckett is known or thought to have read during the years 1923-1931, first as a student at Trinity College Dublin, then as a lecturer at the école Normale Supérieure in Paris and TCD. The extant student library consists of the books dating from this timeframe that have been preserved in various collections, most importantly in Beckett's apartment in Paris. The virtual student library, by contrast, contains the books which, according to specific sources, Beckett read or may have read as a student and lecturer but which have not been preserved.

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chronological view

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· Schopenhauer, Arthur: The World as Will and Idea
London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, [1883-1886]
R. B. Haldane and J. Kemp (translation)

Read: August 1930
The edition of Schopenhauer's Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung that Beckett read in the summer of 1930, to prepare for his essay on Marcel Proust, has been identified as the English translation by R. B. Haldane and J. Kemp (Ackerley and Gontarski, The Faber Companion to Samuel Beckett, p. 510). In a letter to Thomas MacGreevy of 25 August 1930 Beckett mentioned reading a specific chapter in Schopenhauer's book: 'His chapter in Will & Representation on music is amusing & applies to P., who certainly read it [(]It is alluded to incidentally in A. La R.)' (LSB I 43). Although Beckett referred to the translation as 'Will & Representation' in his letter, not 'Will and Idea' as the book was actually called, he must have been reading the Haldane and Kemp translation, since no other English version was available until E. F. J. Payne's 1958 translation, entitled 'The World as Will and Representation'. In their Translator's Preface, Haldane and Kemp explained that '"Vorstellung" has been rendered by "idea," in preference to "representation," which is neither accurate, intelligible, nor elegant'. Apparently, Beckett - and later E. F. J. Payne - disagreed. Pilling has pinpointed Schopenhauer's chapter on music as 'the fifty-second chapter of volume i [...] with account taken also of chapter 39 of volume ii ("On the Metaphysics of Music")' (John Pilling, 'Proust and Schopenhauer: Music and Shadows', in Samuel Beckett and Music, ed. Mary Bryden, p. 173). Seven years later, in a letter to Thomas MacGreevy of 21 September 1937, Beckett stated that the only thing he could read during his recent illness was Schopenhauer because he is 'a philosopher that can be read like a poet' (LSB I 550). Here he was probably referring to the German Sämtliche Werke in six volumes, bought on his trek through Germany in 1936 and 1937. Contrary to the English translation by Haldane and Kemp, this German edition of Schopenhauer's works has been preserved in Beckett's personal library.
Source: The Letters of Samuel Beckett, vol. I, 1929-1940, p. 43.
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