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 cliches, 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.

Beckett s Dying Words

Author : Christopher Ricks
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Review of Beckett s Dying Words

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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 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 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.

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.

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.

Beckett and Decay

Author : Kathryn White
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The word 'decay' is often used by critics in general reference to Beckett's thematic emphasis and philosophical outlook. However, this book explores the idea of decay as the fundamental core of Beckett's work, dominating it thematically, linguistically and artistically. Kathryn White explores Beckett's representation of physical decay, mental and spiritual deterioration and finally the idea that 'decay' is to be found in language itself. This study explores the importance of both theme and form in Beckett's work and considers whether Beckett will, in future generations, be remembered both for his representation of existence and his innovations in language.