Samuel Beckett: More Pricks than Kicks

(3239 words)

More Pricks Than Kicks, Samuel Beckett’s first collection of short stories, was published by Chatto and Windus in 1934. Its title is a playfully cynical (and irreverent) commentary on the conversion of Saul as translated in the King James Version of the Bible, with which Beckett was deeply familiar: “And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks”, Acts 9: 5. The collection is comprised of ten stories written between 1930 and 1933 (see Pilling, 6), an eleventh story, “Echo’s Bones”, having been jettisoned.

The stories of More Pricks form an episodic narrative, and so manifest an …

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Madden, Leonard. "More Pricks than Kicks". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 January 2013
[, accessed 30 June 2015.]