Samuel Beckett
Digital Manuscript Project

Lost & Found

On this page, we will post news about documents relating to our genetic editions.

Fin de partie typescript auctioned at Sotheby's.

A typescript missing from our genetic edition of Fin de Partie was sold at a Sotheby's auction on 11 July 2002 - 12 July 2002 in London. In the chronology of the writing process of Fin de Partie, the typescript fits in after MS UoR 1227/7/7/1 (FN4). In it, the "tailor's story" was added by hand. This is the last known French typescript to have preceded the proofs and the first edition by Minuit (1957).
From the auction catalogue:

Fin de partie (45 pages including cast list)
Beckett, Samuel. the author's corrected typescript of his dramatic masterpiece "fin de partie" ("endgame"), 45 pages (including cast list), comprising 41 pages of carbon copy (paginated in a continuous sequence) and 4 pages of additions in top copy (with instructions that they are to be inserted at p.39 and p.10 of the main sequence, one of these the important 'tailor's story'), with revisions, corrections or other markings in beckett's neater 'editorial' hand on 27 pages, together with an autograph page of 15 lines on the verso of p.8, the revisions in black and red ballpoint and black or blue ink, [probably summer 1956], leaves attached with paper clips, some minor tears to edges of some leaves, very slightly browned, folded at centre
[accessed on 11 December 2018]

Krapp's Last Tape typescript auctioned at Sotheby's.

A typescript missing from our genetic edition of Krapp's Last Tape was sold at a Sotheby's auction on 8 July 2004 in London. The document is described as 'the author's "personal" corrected carbon copy typescript of "krapp's last tape".' In the chronology of the writing process of Krapp's Last Tape, the typescript is closely related to MS UoR 1659 (ET5), possibly a sibling of it.
From the auction catalogue:

Corrections...frequent, including deletion and some exchanges of words and phrases. The initial setting is altered from 'A late evening in the nineteen eighties' to 'A late evening in the future', Krapp's hair is identified as grey, and the directions rather than the actions of the opening mime are abbreviated. Some important changes to the text in the latter stages, including the deletion of 'wire-haired fox terrier' for 'little white dog', and the substitution of 'flags' for 'reeds' in the twice-heard punt episode. Beckett types 'Krapp' and 'Tape' for the first time in the adjacent left margin each time the role of speaker changes from one to the other" (Beckett at Reading: Catalogue of the Beckett Manuscript Collection at the University of Reading, 1998, p.59).

Other notable changes include the deletion of "living" in "Not a [living] soul. Sat before the fire with closed eyes..." (p.3) and in "Not a [living] soul. (Pause.) Last fancies" (p.7), the substitution of "early autumn" for "late autumn" (p.4), of "Deserted spot it was" to "Hardly a soul" (p.4) and of "empty your bottle" to "finish your booze" (p.7).
[accessed on 11 December 2018]