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Murphy’s misrecognition of love
John Robert Keller

built this narrative system in order to reflect his own strange experience in it and thereby gain some expression of his identity. (Levy, 1980: 25) This reading suggests the narrative-self is reflected everywhere, as in a dream or psychoanalytical session, and the ‘text’ is a manifestation of the self and its owned, and disowned, parts. In this sense, then, the narrative-self is always stepping forward. The fundamental experience Keller_03_ch2pm 49 23/9/02, 10:56 am 50 Samuel Beckett and the primacy of love that dominates the narrative-self, supplying the work

in Samuel Beckett and the primacy of love
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Watt’s unwelcome home
John Robert Keller

90 Samuel Beckett and the primacy of love 3 This emptied heart: Watt’s unwelcome home Beckett’s second published novel, Watt, tells the story of the title character’s journey to, stay in, and expulsion from the house of a Mr Knott, to which he has been drawn, or summoned, to act as a servant. After his stay in the house, Watt becomes psychotic, ending up in a sort of asylum. Sam, the narrator, befriends him there, but admits the text may not approximate reality, since he can trust neither Watt’s recollection (of his stay with Knott) nor his own recollection

in Samuel Beckett and the primacy of love
Beckett and the matter of language
Laura Salisbury

interstices of material presence is, I will argue, central to Beckett’s aesthetic. For although it is true that Beckett’s work is persistently fascinated by the idea of silence and absence expressed in words, images and configurations of bodies and objects, it is plain that there can be no ‘nothing’ that would count as the ‘work’, except those shapes constructed and ‘Something or nothing’ 215 displaced by the material that is present. This is saying more than the obvious – that Beckett’s oeuvre is made up of the texts that we have, the words printed or uttered and the

in Beckett and nothing
The plays of Ed Thomas and the cultural politics of South Wales
Shaun Richards

audience that in turn recognizes itself on stage’ (1987: 35). The vibrant contribution of theatre to establishing a rejuvenated sense of nation in countries and moments as diverse as nineteenth-century Norway and twentieth-century Ireland suggests the possibility of a Welsh equivalent. The reality, however, is captured in Carl Tighe’s 1986 observation that despite the ‘enormous social and political and industrial changes that have swept over Wales in the last ten or fifteen years’ (251), its stages have seen merely ‘a parade of West End copies, examination texts and

in Across the margins
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Beckett and anxiety
Russell Smith

. Shortly after he began psychotherapy with Bion in late 1933, he embarked on one of his periods of intensive reading and notetaking, compiling 54 typewritten pages of ‘Psychology Notes’ based on psychological and psychoanalytic texts by Karin Stephen, R. S. Woodworth, Ernest Jones, Sigmund Freud, Wilhelm Stekel, Alfred Adler and Otto Rank. As Matthew Feldman notes, the topic of ‘acute anxiety states and accompanying symptoms’ comprises ‘the overwhelming majority of material transcribed’.10 Of particular interest are Beckett’s notes on Otto Rank’s The Trauma of Birth

in Beckett and nothing
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Self-entrapment in Waiting for Godot
John Robert Keller

is then denied, and in order to maintain a good relationship the child must disavow aspects of its internal reality. The Beckettian fascination with the dictum, allegedly from Augustine (Hobson, 1956), ‘Do not despair, one of the thieves was saved. Do not presume, one of the thieves was damned’, elucidates these experiences. Lucky should not despair, for Pozzo/mother has forgotten his ‘badness’, and will love him, need him again, and so he (and she) will not die. However, as the despair lifts, the other side of this constellation comes to the fore. Lucky should not

in Samuel Beckett and the primacy of love