Samuel Beckett: Echo's Bones and Other Precipitates

(4549 words)

Echo’s Bones and Other Precipitates, Beckett’s first collection of poetry, was published by Europa Press in Paris in 1935. The title alludes to Book III of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, in which are described the two degenerative transformations of the nymph Echo (359-510). In the first, Juno curtails Echo’s vocal agency so that she is unable either to initiate speech or to remain silent. In the second, as a result of her obsession with, and rejection by, Narcissus, her body wastes so that “only her voice and bones were left, till finally her voice alone remained; for her bones, they say, were turned to stone” (399; Innes trans. 84). Consequently, the “Other” in the title of …

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Madden, Leonard. "Echo's Bones and Other Precipitates". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 July 2013; last revised .
[, accessed 06 July 2015.]