Samuel Beckett and the Politics of Aftermath

“[James McNaughton’s] Samuel Beckett and the Politics of Aftermath explores Beckett’s literary responses to the political maelstroms of his formative and middle years: the Irish civil war and the crisis of commitment in 1930s Europe, the rise of fascism and the atrocities of World War II. Archive yields a Beckett who monitored propaganda in speeches and newspapers, and whose creative work engages with specific political strategies, rhetoric, and events. Finally, Beckett’s political aesthetic sharpens into focus.

Deep within form, Beckett models ominous historical developments as surely as he satirizes artistic and philosophical interpretations that overlook them. He burdens aesthetic production with guilt: imagination and language, theater and narrative, all parallel political techniques. Beckett comically embodies conservative religious and political doctrines; he plays Irish colonial history against contemporary European horrors; he examines aesthetic complicity in effecting atrocity and covering it up. This book offers insightful, original, and vivid readings of Beckett’s work up to Three Novels and Endgame.”

— Oxford University Press

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Eimear McBride on Beckett’s Development as a Writer

“Of all I’ve read in my life, and all that’s yet to come, what’s going to count? How much of it has changed me? How much has even marked me? How much has done both but I don’t know it yet? Readers get to make these discoveries in the privacy of their own heads. Writers must make them in public and then wear them in their back catalogues for as long as they have a readership who cares.”

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Samuel Beckett and the Politics of Aftermath

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.”

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Gare St Lazare Ireland to perform extracts from Beckett’s Watt, First Love, and Other Texts at the Abbey Theatre

In exploring the use of music in Samuel Beckett’s work, Gare St Lazare Ireland have created an entirely original performance that defies easy description.  A meditation, a celebration, an interpretation; Here All Night’s absence of linear narrative frees us to go where the words and music bring us and offers another way to access both Beckett’s world and our own.

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Gare St. Lazare Ireland Perform The Beckett Trilogy

Samuel Beckett’s towering novels Molloy, Malone Dies, and The Unnamable cycle between comic storytelling by a philosophical vagrant, an elderly man lost to memory and fantasy, and a paralyzed protagonist. In this evening-length theatrical rendition featuring excerpts from these novels, preeminent Beckett interpreters Conor Lovett and Judy Hegarty Lovett offer an embodiment of this existential trinity in a profound solo performance exploring the precision of language and Beckett’s remarkably uplifting worldview.

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Conor Lovett to perform Beckett Trilogy at White Light Festival

Samuel Beckett’s towering novels Molloy, Malone Dies, and The Unnamable cycle between comic storytelling by a philosophical vagrant, an elderly man lost to memory and fantasy, and a paralyzed protagonist. In this evening-length theatrical rendition featuring excerpts from these novels, preeminent Beckett interpreters Conor Lovett and Judy Hegarty Lovett offer an embodiment of this existential trinity in a profound solo performance exploring the precision of language and Beckett’s remarkably uplifting worldview.

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Here All Night

ArtsEmerson, 5-9 October 2016 The prose and music of Samuel Beckett’s writing find new life, and a fresh resonance, in this stunning new theatrical work for soprano, actor and chamber orchestra. Arriving from Ireland as part of a year-long celebration of the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising, Here All Night brings back the players…

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