Mercier and Camier
1st edition (French)
|Original title||'Mercier et Camier'|
|Publisher||Les Éditions de Minuit (French); Grove Press (English)|
Published in English
Mercier and Camier is a novel by Samuel Beckett. Written immediately before his celebrated 'trilogy' of Molloy, Malone Dies and The Unnamable, Mercier et Camier (1946, translated in 1974) was Beckett's first attempt at extended prose fiction in French. It features the 'pseudocouple' Mercier and his friend the private investigator Camier, and their repeated attempts to leave a city (a thinly disguised version of Dublin) only to abandon their journey and return. Frequent visits are paid to "Helen's Place", a bawdy house modelled on that of legendary Dublin madam Becky Cooper (much like Becky Cooper, Helen has a talking parrot). A much-changed Watt makes a cameo appearance, bringing his stick down on a pub table and yelling 'Fuck life!'.
Beckett withheld the novel from publication until 1970. The English translation that followed in 1974 featured substantial alterations and deletions from the original text.
- Keith Ridgway on Mercier and Camier The Guardian 19 July 2003
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