Search results for: becketts-dying-words

Beckett s Dying Words

Author : Christopher Ricks
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Most people want to live forever. But there is another truth: the longing for oblivion. With pain, wit, and humor, the art of Samuel Beckett variously embodies this truth, this ancient enduring belief that it is better to be dead than alive, best of all never to have been born. Beckett is the supreme writer of an age which has created new possibilities and impossibilities even in the matter of death and its definition--an age of transplants and life-support. But how does a writer give life to dismay at life itself, to the not unwelcome encroachments of death, when it is for the life, the vitality of their language that we value writers? Beckett became himself as a writer when he realized in his very words a principle of death: in clichés, which are dead but won't lie down; in a dead language and its memento mori; in words which mean their own opposites, like cleaving; and in what Beckett called a syntax of weakness. This artful study explores the relation between deep convictions about life or death and the incarnations which these take in the exact turns of a great writer, the realizations of an Irishman who wrote in English and in French, two languages with different apprehensions of life and of death.

Samuel Beckett and the Politics of Aftermath

Author : James McNaughton
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Samuel Beckett and the Politics of Aftermath explores Beckett's literary responses to the political maelstroms of his formative and middle years: the Irish civil war and the crisis of commitment in 1930s Europe, the rise of fascism and the atrocities of World War II. Archive yields a Beckett who monitored propaganda in speeches and newspapers, and whose creative work engages with specific political strategies, rhetoric, and events. Finally, Beckett's political aesthetic sharpens into focus. Deep within form, Beckett models ominous historical developments as surely as he satirizes artistic and philosophical interpretations that overlook them. He burdens aesthetic production with guilt: imagination and language, theater and narrative, all parallel political techniques. Beckett comically embodies conservative religious and political doctrines; he plays Irish colonial history against contemporary European horrors; he examines aesthetic complicity in effecting atrocity and covering it up. This book offers insightful, original, and vivid readings of Beckett's work up to Three Novels and Endgame.

Beckett s Art of Salvage

Author : Julie Bates
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This innovative exploration of the recurring use of particular objects in Samuel Beckett's work is the first study of the material imagination of any single modern author. Across five decades of aesthetic and formal experimentation in fiction, drama, poetry and film, Beckett made substantial use of only fourteen objects - well-worn not only where they appear within his works but also in terms of their recurrence throughout his creative corpus. In this volume, Bates offers a striking reappraisal of Beckett's writing, with a focus on the changing functions and impact of this set of objects, and charts, chronologically and across media, the pattern of Beckett's distinctive authorial procedure. The volume's identification of the creative praxis that emerges as an 'art of salvage' offers an integrated way of understanding Beckett's writing, opens up new approaches to his work, and offers a fresh assessment of his importance and relevance today.

Beckett s Words

Author : David Kleinberg-Levin
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At stake in this book is a struggle with language in a time when our old faith in the redeeming of the word-and the word's power to redeem-has almost been destroyed. Drawing on Benjamin's political theology, his interpretation of the German Baroque mourning play, and Adorno's critical aesthetic theory, but also on the thought of poets and many other philosophers, especially Hegel's phenomenology of spirit, Nietzsche's analysis of nihilism, and Derrida's writings on language, Kleinberg-Levin shows how, because of its communicative and revelatory powers, language bears the utopian "promise of happiness," the idea of a secular redemption of humanity, at the very heart of which must be the achievement of universal justice. In an original reading of Beckett's plays, novels and short stories, Kleinberg-Levin shows how, despite inheriting a language damaged, corrupted and commodified, Beckett redeems dead or dying words and wrests from this language new possibilities for the expression of meaning. Without denying Beckett's nihilism, his picture of a radically disenchanted world, Kleinberg-Levin calls attention to moments when his words suddenly ignite and break free of their despair and pain, taking shape in the beauty of an austere yet joyous lyricism, suggesting that, after all, meaning is still possible.

Beckett s Late Stage

Author : Rhys Tranter
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Beckett’s Late Stage reexamines the Nobel laureate’s post-war prose and drama in the light of contemporary trauma theory. Through a series of sustained close-readings, the study demonstrates how the comings and goings of Beckett’s prose unsettles the Western philosophical tradition; it reveals how Beckett’s live theatrical productions are haunted by the rehearsal of traumatic repetition, and asks what his ghostly radio recordings might signal for twentieth-century modernity. Drawing from psychoanalytic and poststructuralist traditions, Beckett’s Late Stage explores how the traumatic symptom allows us to rethink the relationship between language, meaning, and identity after 1945.

Beckett and Death

Author : Steven Barfield
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Death is indisputably central to Beckett's writing and reception. This collection of research considers a number of Beckett's poems, novels, plays and short stories through considerations of mortality and death. Chapters explore the theme of deathliness in relation to Beckett's work as a whole, through three main approaches. The first of these situates Beckett's thinking about death in his own writing and reading processes, particularly with respect to manuscript drafts and letters. The second on the death of the subject in Beckett links dominant 'poststructural' readings of Beckett's writing to the textual challenge exemplified by the The Unnamable. A final approach explores psychology and death, with emphasis on deathly states like catatonia and Cotard's Syndrome that recur in Beckett's work. Beckett and Death offers a range of cutting-edge approaches to the trope of mortality, and a unique insight into the relationship of this theme to all aspects of Beckett's literature.

Very Little Almost Nothing

Author : Simon Critchley
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A compelling read, Very Little ... Almost Nothing opens up new ways of understanding finitude, modernity and the nature of imagination. Revised edition with a new preface by the author.

Samuel Beckett

Author : Jennifer Birkett
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Bringing together seminal writings on Beckett from the 1950s and 1960s with critical readings from the 1980s and 1990s, this collection is inspired by a wide variety of literary-theoretical approaches and covers the whole range of Beckett's creative work. Following an up-to-date review and analysis of Beckett criticism, fifteen extracts of Beckett criticism are introduced and set in context by editors' headnotes. The book aims to make easily accessible to students and scholars stimulating and innovative writing on the work of Samuel Beckett, representing the wide range of new perspectives opened up by contemporary critical theory: philosophical, political and psychoanalytic criticism, feminist and gender studies, semiotics, and reception theory.

Beckett s Art of Mismaking

Author : Leland de la Durantaye
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Leland de la Durantaye helps us understand Beckett’s strangeness and notorious difficulty by arguing that Beckett’s lifelong campaign was to mismake on purpose—not to denigrate himself, or his audience, or reconnect with the child or savage within, but because he believed that such mismaking is in the interest of art and will shape its future.

Beckett Writing Beckett

Author : H. Porter Abbott
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Suppose that, before he is writing fiction, before he is writing drama, before he is writing any of the autonomous, highly polished pieces that make up his life work, Beckett is writing Beckett. What follows from this? In Beckett Writing Beckett, H. Porter Abbott argues that, by the time he had written Waiting for Godot, Beckett's art had crystallized as a life project keyed to the simultaneous action of writing and reading the self. How does such an interpretive shift change the way we see the salient features of Beckett's art: his extraordinary and persistent assaults on narrative, his restless exploration of genres and media, his attempts to exercise autocratic control over performance and publication, his increasingly musical formal structures, his tireless capacity to invent? How, moreover, does this view relate to the contempt for autobiography so pervasive in Beckett's work? In approaching these questions, Beckett Writing Beckett seeks to redirect current discussion of such concepts as "the author" and "originality." Arguing on several widely contested fronts in Beckett criticism, including such vexed issues as Beckett's postmodernism, his politics, and his relation to his audience, Abbott develops an interpretive method grounded in the concept of"autographical action." The method allows Abbott to articulate the centrality of the inexhaustible strangeness of Beckett's work, and to do so without robbing that strangeness of its power to surprise.