The Delta


Samuel Beckett's Malone Dies is a novel built on the creative gesture of a dying man, and as such it revolves around the tension between creation and disintegration. Even as Malone moves relentlessly towards death and final dissolution he responds by setting out to tell himself stories, writing, "Now it is a game, I am going to play" (Beckett 180). However, the stories quickly move beyond Malone's original intentions, becoming an exploration of the self rather than a flight from it. In Beckett's Malone Dies, the creative gesture of writing stories serves as the means by which Malone asserts his identity in the world, his stories presenting an uncompromising portrait of the limited, bleak mortal existence but nonetheless affirming an active, creating, and questioning human consciousness in the face of that existence.