Samuel Beckett, one of the most prominent playwrights of the twentieth century, wrote a thirty-second playlet for the stage that does not include actors, text, characters or drama but only stage directions. Breath (1969) is the focus and the only theatrical text examined in this study, which demonstrates how the piece became emblematic of the interdisciplinary exchanges that occur in Beckett’s later writings, and of the cross-fertilisation of the theatre with the visual arts. The book attends to fifty breath-related artworks (including sculpture, painting, new media, sound art, performance art) and contextualises Beckett’s Breath within the intermedial and high-modernist discourse thereby contributing to the expanding field of intermedial Beckett criticism.Read More
A press release from Cambridge University Press: Derval Tubridy’s Samuel Beckett and the Language of Subjectivity is the first sustained exploration of aporia as a vital, subversive, and productive figure within Beckett’s writing as it moves between prose and theatre. Informed by key developments in analytic and continental philosophies of language, Tubridy’s fluent analysis demonstrates how Beckett’s translations¬––between languages, genres, bodies, and genders––offer a way out of the impasse outlined in his early aesthetics. The primary modes of the self’s extension into the world are linguistic (speaking, listening) and material (engaging with bodies, spaces and objects).Read More
Oxford University Press: “[James McNaughton’s] Samuel Beckett and the Politics of Aftermath explores Beckett’s creative responses to the Irish civil war and the crisis of commitment in 1930s Europe, to the rise of fascism, and the atrocities of World War II. Grounded in archival material, the volume reads in Beckett’s letters and German Diaries his personal response to propaganda he saw leading to war, and illustrates his creative work’s intimate engagement with specific political strategies, rhetoric, and events.
Deep into literary form, syntax, and language, Beckett reflects ominous political and historical changes, and satirizes aesthetic and philosophical interpretations that overlook them. He burdens aesthetic production with guilt for how imagination and language, theatre, and narrative parallel political techniques, the aspiration to both effect atrocity and cover it up. This book develops new readings of Beckett’s early and middle work up toThree Novels and Endgame.”Read More
“Cambridge Scholars Publishing is pleased to announce the publication of Samuel Beckett and Europe: History, Culture and Tradition, edited by Michela Bariselli, Niamh M. Bowe and William Davies.
Drawing on the diverse critical debates of the ‘Beckett and Europe’ conference held in Reading, UK, in 2015, this volume brings together a selection of essays to offer an international response to the central question of what ‘Europe’ might mean for our understandings of the work of Samuel Beckett. Ranging from historical and archival work to the close interrogation of language and form, from the influences of various national literary traditions on Beckett’s writing to his influence on the work of other writers and thinkers, this book examines the question of Europe from multiple vantage points so as to reflect the ways in which Beckett’s oeuvre both challenges and enlivens his status as a ‘European writer’.”Read More
Marion Rankine (TLS): “In Literary Cynics: Borges, Beckett, Coetzee, Arthur Rose draws on the long history of such challenges to authority. There is, he argues, a literary kind of cynicism that is both theoretically rich and necessarily alienating; it is also inherently paradoxical.”Read More
Lithub has published an extract from the Nobel laureate’s essay on Beckett. The essay appears in a new collection of Coetzee’s work, entitled Late Essays: 2006-2017.Read More
Originally published in French as Malone meurt in 1951 and later translated into English by the author himself, Malone Dies is the second novel of Samuel Beckett’s Trilogy.
The Making of Samuel Beckett’s ‘Malone Dies’/’Malone meurt’ is a comprehensive reference guide to the history of the text. The book includes: a complete descriptive catalogue of available relevant manuscripts, including French and English texts, alternative drafts and notebook pages; a critical reconstruction of the history of the history of the text, from its genesis through the process of composition to its full publication history; a detailed guide to exploring the manuscripts online at the Beckett Digital Manuscripts Project at http://www.beckettarchive.org.Read More
“[A]ny attempt to get a handle on Beckett takes you to into interesting territory—to classical music, Irish history, Continental philosophy, World War II, abstract painting, the French language. For a quiet man his interests were voracious. Beckett scholarship has ranged far beyond those seminal early essays by Maurice Blanchot and Theodor Adorno and the studies by Ruby Cohn and Lawrence Harvey. Now, with James Knowlson’s authorized biography, the recently released four volumes of letters, and the digital manuscript project going on in Antwerp, the study of his works is vibrant all around the world.”Read More
In celebration of the publication of his book Samuel Beckett and Cinema, Anthony Paraskeva introduces Beckett’s Film and a rare screening of Comédie. Tickets for the event are free, but registration is essential.Read More
Cambridge University Press: “In this interview with Emilie Morin, author of Beckett’s Political Imagination, we discuss what prompted Emilie to write a book on Beckett’s politics, and why Beckett traditionally is not considered to be a political playwright. Emilie also explains how Beckett’s political outlook is reflected in his writing, and she tells us what has surprised her the most when researching for this new book.”Read More