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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Murphy’s misrecognition of love

-mortem situation’, seemingly less tortured, but no less isolated and despairing than that of Play or The Unnamable. His refusal to accept a ‘good prayer’ by a ‘godly chandler’ (78), which might shorten this ambivalent state, highlights his loneliness. The chandlers’ importance in triggering this whole sequence is clear: Murphy devises a counterpart to their badness, reflecting the infant’s primal sense of the world-as-mother split into two halves, the good and the bad. Now so filled with hate he cannot engage either, his ultimate journey to Paradise will be difficult, the hill

in Samuel Beckett and the primacy of love
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). Tottering on the edge of the Depressive Position, this speaker’s world is fragmented, too. Things went wrong from the beginning of psychic birth – at the first ‘suck’ began the ‘first fiasco’, a primal sense of rupture in the nurturing, loving bond. The first steps, between mother and nanny, were felt as unaffectionate (the speaker was ‘bandied about’ between neither-doors), as life became a march from ‘funeral to funeral’, with a false self ‘ghastly grinning’ (265). Like Watt with the Knott-mother, the speaker wanders in darkness, unable to bring forth a sense of love

in Samuel Beckett and the primacy of love