“Even as Beckett’s narrators die into each other, and even as their sentences dissolve, their voices paradoxically multiply, remaining ‘behind,’ as it were, in the text.”
– Renner 26
FIVE BECKETT TRILOGY FIRST EDITIONS. COMPRISING FIRST FRENCH EDITIONS OF EACH, FIRST ENGLISH EDITION OF MOLLOY AND FIRST COMPLETE EDITION.
Beckett’s postwar trilogy—consisting of Molloy, Malone Dies, and The Unnamable—were first published in French. In each novel comprising the trilogy, “Beckett’s narrators are not, as in the realist novel, only psychological but also grammatical” (Furlani, 459).
The Trilogy is characterized by its representation of temporality, the “self-multiplying narrators” and their object-oriented fixations. As a whole, the Trilogy is “almost a critical text paving the way for the philosophical views of the poststructuralists and deconstructionists” (Sultan, 421).
Beckett himself referred to these novels as his “mature” writings wherein he “relentlessly reduces his characters from pitiful creatures with few possessions—a hat, a pot, a stub of pencil—to voices who have only the inner torments of their past life to sustain their present existence, and are doomed to repeat themselves until finally, even the voice, their last vestige of humanity, is stilled” (Bair, 354).
This listing combines the first editions of the Trilogy in French with an English translation of Molloy by Patrick Bowles in collaboration with Beckett, as well as the first edition of the books being printed together in English. Aside from both translations being published by the Olympia Press, the complete volume holding the trilogy is the first to have issued the three texts together. In the complete volume, Molloy is the same English translation by Patrick Bowles, and Malone Dies and The Unnamable have been translated into English by Samuel Beckett himself.
BECKETT, SAMUEL. Molloy. Paris: Les amis des editions de minuit, 1951. First edition, no. 238 of 500 "Les amis des editions de minuit" editions: one of 500 numbered copies specially bound for friends of the publisher and printed on Alfa Navarre. 12mo, 272,  pp. Original wrappers with black lettering and publisher's device to upper wrapper. Some foxing to wrappers and front and rear text leaves; text largely unopened.
BECKETT, SAMUEL. Malone meurt. Paris: Les éditions de minuit, 1951. First edition, no. 176. 12mo, 217  pp. Original wrappers, with lettering and publisher's device printed in blue and black, with a printed photograph of the author to back wrapper; text largely unopened. Very mild toning to wrapper edges. Some toning and bumps to spine and edges, slight crease to last few pages.
BECKETT, SAMUEL. L'innommable. Paris: Les editions de minuit, 1953. First edition, no. 184. 12mo, 262,  pp. Original wrappers, with lettering and publisher's device printed in blue and black; untrimmed. Mild creasing to spine, text block slightly cocked.
BECKETT, SAMUEL. Molloy. Paris: The Olympia Press 1955. First edition in English. 12mo, 241,  pp. Original wrappers. With original blue, black and green wrappers. Light wear to edges and corners, a small spot of spoiling on extreme margin on p. 241 not affecting text, otherwise fine with vivid wrappers.
BECKETT, SAMUEL. Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable: A Trilogy. Paris: The Olympia Press, 1959. First completed edition of Beckett's trilogy of novels in English. 12mo, , 579,  pp. Original green printed wrappers. Mild crease to upper wrapper, slight bowing, small (2 cm) tear to upper corner of last leaf from dog-earing (not affecting text).
Bair, Deirdre. Samuel Beckett. London: J. Cape, 1978.
Furlani, Andre. "The Contradictions of Samuel Beckett". Modernism/modernity, vol. 22 no. 3, 2015, p. 449-470.
Renner, Charlotte. “The Self-Multiplying Narrators of Molloy, Malone Dies and The Unnamable". Journal of Narrative Technique, vol. 11, no. 1, 1981, pp. 12–32.
Sultan, Sabbar Saadoon. “The Critical Aspects of Beckett’s Trilogy". Samuel Beckett Today/Aujourd’hui, vol. 14, 2004, pp. 421–35.
Price: $1,450 .