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Marina Warner: Literary Diplomacy, 16 November 2017

... to forestall the worst. Writers keep asking, what might happen? The opening of Beckett’s Malone Dies expresses this stratagem most perfectly, being bleak and comical at the same time: ‘I shall soon be quite dead at last in spite of all.’ It’s striking, as always with Beckett, how the verbal architecture is so exact, adverbs and conjunctions ...

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