The Unnamable - so named because he knows not who he may be - is from a nameless place. He speaks of previous selves ('all these Murphys, Molloys, and Malones...') as diversions from the need to stop speaking altogether. But, as with the other novels in the trilogy, the prose is full of marvellous precisions, full of its own reasons for keeping going. ...perhaps the words have carried me to the threshold of my story, before the door that opens on my story, that would surprise me, if it opens, it will be I, will be the silence, where I am, I don't know, I'll never know, in the silence you don't know, you must go on, I can't go on, I'll go on.
Samuel Beckett was born in Dublin in 1906 and graduated from Trinity College. He settled in Paris in 1937, after travels in Germany and periods of residence in London and Dublin. He remained in France during the Second World War and was active in the French Resistance. From the spring of 1946 his plays, novels, short fiction, poetry and criticism were largely written in French. With the production of En attendant Godot in Paris in 1953, Beckett's work began to achieve widespread recognition. During his subsequent career as a playwright and novelist in both French and English he redefined the possibilities of prose fiction and writing for the theatre. Samuel Beckett won the Prix Formentor in 1961 and the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1969. He died in Paris in December 1989.