This study is about the central place of the emotional world in Beckett's writing. Stating that Beckett is ‘primarily about love’, it makes a re-assessment of his influence and immense popularity. The book examines numerous Beckettian texts, arguing that they embody a struggle to remain in contact with a primal sense of internal goodness, one founded on early experience with the mother. Writing itself becomes an internal dialogue, in which the reader is engaged, between a ‘narrative-self’ and a mother.

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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.

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The no-thing that knows no name and the Beckett envelope, blissfully reconsidered
Enoch Brater

cautiously in his introduction, ‘are therefore intended to be more suggestive than definitive’.2 My own contribution to the volume was a short piece that served, as this one does, as the final entry but not the final word on an intellectual dilemma that was at best both playful and profound. ‘The empty can: Samuel Beckett and Andy Warhol’, composed soon after completing my Ph.D. during the time when I was still trying to figure out how not to write about this most formidable of Irish playwrights, ended, pace Cleanth Brooks,3 like this: The well-wrought urn may have indeed

in Beckett and nothing
Open Access (free)
John Robert Keller

Introduction For the listener, who listens in the snow, And, nothing himself, beholds, Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is. Wallace Stevens Till feeling the need for company again he tells himself to call the hearer M at least. (Samuel Beckett) It is often said that the opening words of the psychoanalytical session contain the totality of what is to come. Thinking this true of the scholarly text, I find myself writing that this study is primarily about love. This might seem somewhat odd for a reading of Beckett, but I hope that in what follows the

in Samuel Beckett and the primacy of love
Catherine Laws

insistent, if shadowy, presence of unheard sound. Beckett seems here to focus not on silence or absent sound but on a kind of leastness of sound; the traces of sound that emerge when listening can come and go (as in Stirrings Still (1983–87), when ‘in the end he ceased if not to hear to listen’),49 or perhaps an ideal and probably unattainable kind of hearing that is released from the anguish of self-perception. Beckett and unheard sound 189 Notes 1 John Gruen, ‘Samuel Beckett talks about Beckett’, Vogue, 127:2 (February 1970), 108. 2 Mary Bryden, ‘Beckett and the

in Beckett and nothing
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Beckett and nothing: trying to understand Beckett
Daniela Caselli

Introduction Beckett and nothing: trying to understand Beckett Daniela Caselli Best worse no farther. Nohow less. Nohow worse. Nohow naught. Nohow on. Said nohow on. (Samuel Beckett, Worstward Ho) In unending ending or beginning light. Bedrock underfoot. So no sign of remains a sign that none before. No one ever before so – (Samuel Beckett, The Way)1 What not On 21 April 1958 Samuel Beckett writes to Thomas MacGreevy about having written a short stage dialogue to accompany the London production of Endgame.2 A fragment of a dramatic dialogue, paradoxically

in Beckett and nothing
Derval Tubridy

, creating a sculpture that has much in common 144 Beckett and nothing with the negative spaces of Beckett’s theatre. The American composer Morton Feldman’s Neither has been called an ‘anti-opera’, a stripped down, minimalist monodrama. Described as ‘shockingly beautiful as it is disorienting and distancing’ the music of Neither echoes the movement of Beckett’s text in an oscillation between two poles of impossibility.6 Samuel Beckett’s brief and evocative text was written for Morton Feldman in a collaboration initiated by Feldman. Commissioned by the Teatro dell

in Beckett and nothing
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Going on without in Beckett
John Pilling

1 On not being there: going on without in Beckett John Pilling ‘The essential is never to arrive anywhere, never to be anywhere . . .’ (Samuel Beckett, The Unnamable)1 Not much in Beckett is left wholly unaffected by the notion of ‘not being there’, even though he remains haunted by the self-imposed imperatives of ‘going on’. Not being there is only one of ‘the problems that beset continuance’ of which Beckett spoke in connection with the art and craft of his Israeli friend Avigdor Arikha, to which there can only ever be temporary solutions. The problems derive

in Beckett and nothing
Open Access (free)
Reading Beckett’s negativity
Peter Boxall

2 Nothing of value: reading Beckett’s negativity Peter Boxall The first section of Samuel Beckett’s novel Watt depicts Watt’s journey to and arrival at Mr Knott’s house, an establishment in which Watt is to feel for the first time in his life at rest. When Watt arrives at his destination and settles himself, like Beauty’s father enjoying the hospitality of the Beast, at Mr Knott’s kitchen table, he meets Knott’s manservant Arsene, whom he is to succeed in Mr Knott’s employment. As Arsene prepares to leave in order to make way for Watt, he delivers a long speech

in Beckett and nothing
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Theoretical debates and the critical erasure of Beckett’s cinema
Matthijs Engelberts

’s project,8 before adding that ‘So far, only the Beckett section is completed’.9 In the world of cinema, then, Film is referred to primarily as the work of its scriptwriter: the man with a pen. While this manner of presenting the short film would change somewhat following its release, it would continue to diverge from 164 Beckett and nothing normal practice. The section in Cahiers du Cinéma on the 1965 Venice festival presents a number of films, but Schneider’s is the only one to receive a subtitle featuring two names instead of one: ‘Film de Samuel Beckett et Alan

in Beckett and nothing