Samuel Beckett, Sans [Lessness]

Download PDF Add to Bookshelf Report an Error

Written at the end of the 1960s, this short text is one of the most experimental of Samuel Beckett’s pieces of fiction. It was originally written in French, entitled Sans (“without”), and translated by Beckett himself as Lessness (New Statesman, 1 May 1970). Partly inspired by experimental music by John Cage and other 1960s compositions, Beckett created a rigid framework within which he allows chance to be the main structuring principle of his text.

The ingredients are two times sixty sentences, one character, grey light, and a setting of ruins, which are referred to as “true refuge”. Beckett’s structuring tools are the main numbers of man’s conventions to systematise time. The Library of …

851 words

Citation: Van Hulle, Dirk. "Sans". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 March 2004 [, accessed 29 September 2023.]

2307 Sans 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.