Item #SB022 Worstward Ho. Samuel Beckett.

Worstward Ho

Price: $950.00

Hard Cover. London: John Calder, 1983. First Edition. Fine / Dust Jacket Included.

First edition, first printing. Presentation copy, signed and inscribed by Beckett to American theater critic Mel Gussow on title page: "For / Mel Gussow / With all best wishes / Sam Beckett / Paris / 24.6.83." Publisher's green cloth, with titles in gilt to spine; in its original white and green dust jacket, printed in black and green, with photo of Beckett to rear panel attributed to Jerry Bauer. Fine in an about fine unclipped dust jacket, with a tiny crease to top of rear panel, a light crease to top corner of rear flap, and a hint of toning to extremities. Overall, a beautiful copy with an excellent association. This copy comes from the personal library of Mel Gussow. Worstward Ho is Samuel Beckett's penultimate novella. From the jacket's description: "As so often before, Mr. Beckett has created magic, transforming the emptiest of voids and insubstantiality of material into a whole unforgettable world that will live with the reader and become part of his own world of experience." Notably, the work contains one of Beckett's most famous quotes: "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better." Mel Gussow (1933 - 2005) was an American theater and movie critic who contributed more than 4,000 articles and reviews to the New York Times over a span of 35 years. Gussow first met Beckett in 1978, and the two continued to meet and converse informally on life and art about once a year for the next 10 years until Beckett's death in 1989 (their final meeting was at Beckett's French nursing home where he later passed away). Gussow drew from these meetings to write his book, Conversations with and about Beckett (1996) - one in a series of four "Conversation" books, the others featuring conversations with playwrights Arthur Miller, Harold Pinter, and Tom Stoppard. Gussow's Beckett book is particularly illuminating given that the enigmatic playwright famously declined to do interviews for most of his lifetime. Gussow also wrote Beckett's NYT obituary in 1989, titled "Samuel Beckett is Dead at 83; His 'Godot' Changed Theater." Item #SB022