du Perron’ and ‘Fallor ergo sum’. SamuelBeckett,
Collected Poems in English and French (New York: Grove Press, 1977).
2 It reduces it also in the opposite direction of the horoscope, since the
last two lines of the poem point to the moment of death: ‘and grant me
my second / starless inscrutable hour’.
3 James Knowlson, Damned to Fame: The Life of SamuelBeckett (London:
Bloomsbury, 1996), p. 352.
4 Lawrence Graver and Raymond Federman, SamuelBeckett: The Critical
Heritage (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1979), p. 148.
5 SamuelBeckett, Disjecta: Miscellaneous
Beckett’s television plays and the idea of broadcasting
Screen, 18:2 (1977), 7–59.
3 Graley Herren, SamuelBeckett’s Plays on Film and Television (New York
and Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007).
4 Henri Bergson, Matter and Memory, trans. N. Paul and W. Palmer
(New York: Macmillan, 1912).
5 Herren, SamuelBeckett’s Plays, p. 13.
6 Jeffrey Sconce, Haunted Media: Electronic Presence from Telegraphy to
Television (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2000).
7 Ibid., p. 126.
9 See Graley Herren, ‘Splitting images: SamuelBeckett’s Nacht und
Träume’, Modern Drama, 43 (2000), 182–91; and Graley Herren,
booby-traps that every attempt at detailed psychological analysis contains, nothing is more appropriate than Beckett’s cautionary
advice to Billie Whitelaw: ‘If in doubt – do nothing’.43
Beckett and nothing
1 See Vivien Mercier’s famous definition of Godot as ‘a play in which
nothing happens, twice’, Vivien Mercier, ‘The uneventful event’, Irish
Times (18 February 1956).
2 SamuelBeckett to George Duthuit, 9–10 March 1949, trans. Walter
Redfern, in S. E. Gontarski and Anthony Uhlmann, (eds), Beckett After
Beckett (Gainesville: University Press of Florida
Hannah Jones, Yasmin Gunaratnam, Gargi Bhattacharyya, William Davies, Sukhwant Dhaliwal, Emma Jackson, and Roiyah Saltus
individuals; but it does this while
also keeping in mind the larger structural forces that shape those everyday
struggles and give them meaning.
Social life is nuanced and complicated, and capturing and
representing this complexity in research is difficult. When producing our
analysis we at least have time and space for reflection, for multiple attempts
to get it right (or to fail again, but fail better – following SamuelBeckett
Jargon of Authenticity with the following epigraph from SamuelBeckett: ‘It is easier to
raise a temple than to compel the object of the cult to descend into it.’ This, with its
resonance of Voltaire, and its obvious edge against exactly Heidegger’s invocation of
the temple in the artwork essay, has the eﬀect diagnosed by Benjamin: ‘Quotations
are the muggers of literary work, leaping out armed to relieve the unwary of their convictions.’31 For Adorno the exemplary artworks are Berg’s Wozzeck; the writings of
SamuelBeckett, abstract minimalism, and he has no
and in the current high status of the work of Powell and Pressburger. 3 In theatre history, this has
been paralleled by a reconsideration of the once despised Terence
Rattigan (of interest because of the gay sub-text to his plays) and a
re-evaluation of the crucial ‘moment’ of 1956; here, there is a sense
that the real ‘turning point’ in post-war theatre was the
first production of SamuelBeckett’s Waiting for Godot in
are constituted and reified. Moreover, engaging with waiting as a contingent temporal construct also opens up a space to critique the hierarchal relations it creates, and
how in turn it creates and maintains power relations.
Hopeful, restless, waiting
SamuelBeckett’s (1954) play Waiting for Godot famously emphasizes how fundamentally intrinsic waiting is to the human condition. Waiting, adds Giovanni Gasparini
(1995), has a wide range of meanings and attributes, and is commonly considered a
basic aspect of the human experience. Waiting moves, he observes, from
SamuelBeckett, it is said, when
asked in Paris on one occasion if he were English, replied
unequivocally, ‘ au contraire ’. Jean Rhys might have
said much the same. If she was sure about her identity in any way, it
was in her certainty that she was not English –
‘pseudo-English’ at the most, as she puts in her memoir,
Smile Please . 1 But what was she? In what sense
soil where he believed he could be of most use in the fight against
Germany. Ordered back to France, he later became part of the same
Parisian resistance network as SamuelBeckett, and was deported to
Mauthausen, where he lived out the war, perfecting his command of
the German language.29
The soldiers remaining in Britain were soon to be joined by sailors
and merchant seamen. At the time of the Armistice, several French
ships had taken refuge in British harbours. As with the Dunkirk evacuees, the mood among these men was not good. In a telephone call
caused some second-wave feminists to
accuse her of behaving socio-culturally and of writing like a man.4
The most radical experiments in novel-writing were undertaken in the
s and s by the writers, grouped together under the label of le
nouveau roman. The group comprised, essentially, Michel Butor, Jean
Ricardou, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Nathalie Sarraute, Claude Simon, with
Marguerite Duras and SamuelBeckett as novelists often included in the list
of key ﬁgures. What characterised all of their work was a rebellion against
the traditional ‘Balzacian’ novel, with