Mercier and Camier

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Mercier and Camier
File:Beckett Mercier French.jpg
First edition (French)
Author Samuel Beckett
Original title 'Mercier et Camier'
Translator Samuel Beckett
Country France
Language French
Publisher Les Éditions de Minuit (French); Calder and Boyars (UK) (English); Grove Press (US) (English)
Publication date
Published in English

Mercier and Camier is a novel by Samuel Beckett that was written in 1946, but remained unpublished until 1970.[1] Appearing immediately before his celebrated "trilogy" of Molloy, Malone Dies and The Unnamable, Mercier et Camier was Beckett's first attempt at extended prose fiction in French. Beckett refused to publish it in its original French until 1970, and while an English translation by Beckett himself was published in 1974 (London: Calder and Boyars and New York: Grove Press), the author had made substantial alterations to and deletions from the original text while "reshaping" it from French to English.[2][3]

The novel features the "pseudocouple" Mercier and his friend, the private investigator Camier, in their repeated attempts to leave a city, a thinly disguised version of Dublin, only to abandon their journey and return. Frequent visits are paid to "Helen's Place," a bawdy house modeled on that of legendary Dublin madam Becky Cooper (much like Becky Cooper, Helen has a talking parrot). A much-changed Watt makes a cameo appearance, bringing his stick down on a pub table and yelling "Fuck life!"


  1. Ackerley, C. J.; Gontarski, S. E. (2004). The Grove Companion to Samuel Beckett. New York: Grove Press. p. 367. ISBN 0-8021-4049-1. Begun 5 July 1946, completed 3 October 1946, accepted and then turned down by Bordas [publisher], it was shelved as 'unpublished and unavailable'. Prodded by Minuit [Les Éditions de Minuit], SB permitted publication (1970).<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Ackerley, C. J.; Gontarski, S. E. (2004). The Grove Companion to Samuel Beckett. New York: Grove Press. p. 367. ISBN 0-8021-4049-1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Connor, Steven (December 1989). "'Traduttore, traditore': Samuel Beckett's Translation of 'Mercier et Camier'". Journal of Beckett Studies. Tallahassee, FL: Florida State University (11 & 12). Retrieved 9 October 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

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