Since Beckett

Boxall, Peter (2006) Since Beckett. Textual Practice, 20 (2). pp. 301-317. ISSN 0950-236X

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Abstract

Throughout the first four decades of Samuel Beckett's reception, his writing was widely understood as an extended performance of exhaustion. He was seen as a writer in whose work the possibilities of the modernist project finally withered and dried up. He was the apolitical, nihilistic writer par excellence, a writer for whom everything is already finished, for whom there is nothing more to be done. In more recent years, however, this sense of Beckettian finality has entered into a contradiction with an opposite sense of Beckettian persistence. For a number of contemporary writers, Beckett is not an end point or a last gasp, but a well spring from which a entire range of new aesthetic possibilities emerges. This essay explores this contradiction, and asks what it means to inherit Beckett's legacy, a legacy which delivers us, in Moran's phrase, to an 'atmosphere' of 'finality without end'.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of English > English
Depositing User: Peter Boxall
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 18:25
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2012 12:12
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/16239
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