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Obscure Locks, Simple Keys

The Annotated 'Watt'

Chris Ackerley

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Obscure Locks, Simple Keys is a comprehensive study of this most enigmatic of all of Samuel Beckett's texts. Chris Ackerley's approach, which has some similarities to genetic editing, is based on an extensive study of the manuscripts and different editions (including the French translation, overseen by Beckett himself) of the novel, and the long introduction covers the complex history of the book's composition and publication. The book includes a thematic Index and extensive Bibliography, as well as two appendices: one deals with 'Textual changes and errata in the major editions of Watt'; the other with the tangled question of 'The evolution of Watt'.

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About the Author

Chris Ackerley is Professor and former Head of English at Otago University, New Zealand. His publications include extensive commentaries on Samuel Beckett and Malcolm Lowry. His speciality is annotation, and he is (with S.E. Gontarski) author of the Grove Press (2004) and Faber (2006) Companion to Samuel Beckett. He has recently edited Watt for Faber. He is writing a monograph on Beckett and Science and annotating several works by Lowry.