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.
Reading James Baldwin’s Existential Hindsight in Go Tell It
on the Mountain
This essay reads James Baldwin’s first novel, Go Tell It on the
Mountain, through the lenses of European existentialism and Black
existential thought to arrive at a new understanding of the novel itself as well
as essential stages of its development. Archival sources and close reading
reveal Baldwin’s historically and existentially informed artistic vision,
summed up in the terms hindsight and insight.
His thoughtful, uncomfortable engagement with the past leads to a recuperated
relationship to the community and constitutes existential hindsight, which
informs his inward understanding of himself—his insight. This
investigation draws on various works from Baldwin’s fiction, essays,
interviews, and correspondence to arrive at a better understanding of the
writer’s intellectual and artistic development, focusing especially on
the professed objectives behind, and major revisions of, the novel. I conclude
the essay through a close reading of the conversion scene that constitutes Part
Three of Go Tell It on the Mountain.
Shérazade and other women in the work of Leïla Sebbar
Margaret A. Majumdar
. In many cases, the
women have no particular names of their own, but reappear from one text
to another as almost archetypal ﬁgures – the Mother, the Daughter, the Old
Woman. As this intertextuality also applies to the visual references which
concern us, I shall refer to texts from the whole corpus.
My starting point is the role which the gaze has played in the theorisation of the other, for which much is owed to the analyses of Jean-PaulSartre, who not only developed this notion generally in respect of relations
between the self and the other, but also speciﬁcally
Jean-PaulSartre was to observe how resistant the
antisemitic outlook can be to empirical criticism. In Antisemite and Jew
(1946) he described antisemitism as a ‘passion’ neither caused
nor refutable by experience: ‘The essential thing here is not a
“historical fact” but the idea that the agents of history formed
for themselves of the Jew’. Sartre observed that there is a sense in
which the antisemite can never
the Castle of My Skin , and was close to Jean-PaulSartre. Simone
de Beauvoir introduced In the Castle of My Skin to Sartre, who
chose to publish it in his series Les Temps Modernes in 1958.
Lamming’s networks also included African, Indian and Asian
dissidents through whom he became ‘increasingly conscious of the
political continuities between the Caribbean and the kind of discussion
. Individual lynchings received detailed
coverage overseas, as in due course did both the Brown
decision (1954) and ‘Little Rock crisis’ (1955).
To some extent French interest in African Americans’
conditions was informed by anti-Americanism. Particularly
during the period when the Parti Communiste Français (PCF)
was a powerful presence in French politics, an eagerness to
unearth defects in American politics and society was not
uncommon. In 1946 JeanPaulSartre, the doyen of the French
intellectual left, published a critical account of Black Americans in the PCF
influence on Jean-PaulSartre, who shielded Lévy from Gaullist
persecution. Lévy may have helped fortify Sartre's determined refusal to abandon his deep
concern with antisemitism and his understanding of Israel as a refuge for Jews
after the Holocaust. Many on the left were discomfited by this position of
Sartre's and sought to blame Lévy, a charge rebutted convincingly by
Sartre's adopted daughter Arlette Elkaïm-Sartre. Some of their
Jean-PaulSartre observed, the self-fulfilling effects of antisemitic labelling.
Among the ‘solutions to the Jewish question’ that have been proffered,
we find seemingly benevolent solutions such as improving the social and political
conditions in which Jews live, improving the ‘defective’ moral
character of the Jews
themselves, and combating the mindset of antisemites, as well as manifestly malign
solutions like rolling back the rights of Jews, expelling Jews
Sylvie Germain and the generic problems of the Christian novel
-d’Ambre (Paris: Gallimard, ).
Genesis .: ‘And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, for, said he, I have
seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.’
Sylvie Germain, L’Enfant Méduse (Paris: Gallimard, ). All quotations are
taken from the Folio edition.
Gérard Genette, Figures III (Paris: Seuil, ), p. .
Jean-PaulSartre, Situations I (Paris: Gallimard, ), p. .
Alastair Smart, The Dawn of Italian Painting – (Oxford: Phaidon,
), p. . For a detailed discussion of the portrayal of light in the Baroncelli
Authority: The Uses of
Cliché (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006).
11 Gilles Deleuze, ‘The exhausted’, in Essays Critical and Clinical
(Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997), p. 152.
12 Jean-PaulSartre, Nausea, trans. Robert Baldick (Harmondsworth:
Penguin,  1972), p. 185; La Nausée (Paris: Livre de Poche,
1968), p. 182.
13 Beckett, Molloy, pp. 64–9. See also the remarkable article by Denise
Gigante, ‘The endgame of taste: Keats, Sartre, Beckett’, in Timothy
Morton (ed.), Cultures of Taste / Theories of Appetite: Eating Romanticism