Open Access (free)
Trying to understand Beckett
Editor: Daniela Caselli

Nothing' has been at the centre of Samuel Beckett's reception and scholarship from its inception. This book explains how the Beckett oeuvre, through its paradoxical fidelity to nothing, produces critical approaches which aspire to putting an end to interpretation: in this instance, the issues of authority, intertextuality and context, which this book tackles via 'nothing'. By retracing the history of Beckett studies through 'nothing', it theorises a future for the study of Beckett's legacies and is interested in the constant problem of value in the oeuvre. Through the relation between Beckett and nothing, the relation between voice and stone in Jean-Paul Sartre and Beckett, we are reminded precisely of the importance of the history of an idea, even the ideas of context, influence, and history. The book looks at something that has remained a 'nothing' within the Beckett canon so far: his doodles as they appear in the Human Wishes manuscript. It also looks at the material history of televisual production and places the aesthetic concerns of Beckett's television plays. The book then discusses the nexus between nothing and silence in order to analyse the specific relations between music, sound, and hearing. It talks about the history of materiality through that of neurology and brings the two into a dialogue sustained by Beckett texts, letters and notebooks. The book investigates the role of nothing through three works called neither and Neither: Beckett's short text, Morton Feldman's opera, and Doris Salcedo's sculptural installation.

Open Access (free)
Bill Prosser

engagement. Beckett’s most heavily decorated work is the six notebooks that comprise ‘Watt’.33 However, the manuscript of his play that came to nothing, Human Wishes, contains his highest concentration of doodled faces and figures, some seventy-seven of them across two consecutive versa pages.34 All have nothing to do with the drama’s narrative, and their relative compactness provides an intriguing opportunity to explore the particulars that result, one hazards, when nothing is on offer – in this case from his ready-at-hand, ready-and-waiting written drama. The holograph

in Beckett and nothing
Open Access (free)
Beckett and nothing: trying to understand Beckett
Daniela Caselli

tradition) and mobilises them in order to see how Beckett can speak to contemporary criticism aiming at recuperating affect in literature and culture. This is seen as a viable notion able to overcome some of the dead-ends of post-structuralism without forgetting how these have been fruitful forms of critique to widely held humanist assumptions. Bill Prosser (Chapter 5) looks at something that has remained a ‘nothing’ within the Beckett canon so far: his doodles as they appear in the Human Wishes manuscript. Prosser uses them to interrogate aesthetic theory and questions a

in Beckett and nothing
Open Access (free)
Rodney Barker

distribution, of resources between the various classes, groups, and categories into which competing claimants divide the human population. Identity would be a means of restricting access to resources which are insufficient to provide subsistence for everyone. Identification will not cease to be a human concern or a human activity, but its function and its relation to other dimensions of life will alter. Humans wish to survive, and to survive and flourish physically, materially. But the way in which they wish to survive and flourish can be as important to them as the mere

in Cultivating political and public identity