The Trotskyite Joyce!

Specific Criticism
Beckett Translating/Translating Beckett

Alan W, Friedman, Charles Rossman, & Dina Sherzer, editors.
Pennsylvania State University Press, 1987, ISBN 0271004800; Hardcover, Out of Print. [
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We do not have any information regarding this work, and would welcome any reviews or other material.

Beckett and Zen: A Study of Dilemma in the Novels of Samuel Beckett

Paul Foster
Wisdom Publications, 1988, ISBN 0861710592; Paperback $18.95. [
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From the publisher:

Applies an understanding of Zen Buddhism to the 'absurdity' of Beckett, which is seen as an expression of deepest spiritual anguish

The Irish Beckett

John P. Harrington
Syracuse University Press, 1991, ISBN 0815625286; Hardcover $39.95 [
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We do not have any information regarding this work, and would welcome any reviews or other material.

Women in Samuel Beckett's Prose and Drama

Mary Bryden
Rowman & Littlefield Publishing, 1993, ISBN 0389210056; Hardcover $76.50 [
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From the publisher:

This book is a study of the evolving role of women throughout Beckett's work. Beckett's early writing is structured upon very sharply defined gender polarities-objects of alarm, lust, derision, or indifference. Beckett's shift from fiction to stage and media drama -- giving a voice to women -- unsettles this adversarial structure. In later prose and drama, gender qualifies Beckett's people for neither fear nor favor. Mary Bryden's analysis drawing on the insights of such French writers as Deleuze and Guattari, and Helene Cixous, traces how gender dualisms are undermined over the course of Beckett's writing career. She examines the status of sexual indeterminacy in Beckett's work, and concludes with a remarkable case study: that of the mother figure, whose profile alters from dread to tenderness. The book embraces not only Beckett's published prose and drama, but also a number of unpublished and draft manuscripts from Reading University's Beckett Archive.

Contents: Introduction; Space Invaders: Women of the Early Fiction; Beckett and Deleuze: Gender in Process; Undoing the "Not": Women of the Early Drama; "No Better than Shades No Worse": Women of the Later Drama; Nomad Selves: Women of the Later Prose; Otherhood/Motherhood/Smotherhood: The Mother in Beckett's Writing; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.

Samuel Beckett's Hidden Drives: Structural Uses of Depth Psychology

J. D. O'Hara & S. E. Gontarski
University Press of Florida, 1997, ISBN 0813015278; Hardcover $55.00 [
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From the University of Florida's "Crosscurrents: Comparative Studies in European Literature and Philosophy." From the publisher:

While much has been written on the subject of Joyce's uses of sources and models, little has been written about Samuel Beckett's similar preference for using formal systems of thought as scaffolding for his own work. In the most comprehensive study of his use of source material, J. D. O'Hara examines specifically Beckett's almost obsessive concern with psychological sources and themes and his use of Freudian and Jungian narrative structures.

Beginning with Beckett's early monograph, Proust, O'Hara traces Beckett's preference for Schopenhauer's philosophy as the system of thought most appropriate for thinking and writing about Proust. O'Hara then examines Beckett's shift from philosophical to psychological models, specifically to Freudian and Jungian texts. Beckett used these, as O'Hara demonstrates, for characterization and plot in his early writings.

Beckett's use of depth psychology, however, in no way allows the reader to hang either a"Freudian" or "Jungian" tag on Beckett. O'Hara cautions his readers against inferring "truth value" from what is more properly understood as scaffolding -- a temporary arrangement used during the construction of his own absolutely unique art form. O'Hara analyzes this scaffolding in the novel Murphy, the story collection More Pricks Than Kicks, the short works "First Love" and "From an Abandoned Work," and the radio play All That Fall. He concludes with the most comprehensive and detailed reading of Molloy available anywhere. No serious reader of Beckett will want to be without this book.

Beckett and the Idea of God

Mary Bryden
Palgrave Macmillan, 1998, ISBN 0312212852; Paperback. [
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We do not have any information regarding this work, and would welcome any reviews or other material.

The Insanity of Samuel Beckett's Art

Stephenson, Richard J. and David E. Harmon
Paintbrush Press, 1998, ISBN 1878406167; Paperback $12.56. [
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From the back of this rather interesting book:

The extraordinary story of twentieth century literature is that critics canonize Samuel Beckett's writings as works of genius when they are records of atrophy brought about by Beckett's mental illness.

Samuel Beckett is not a great writer; he is not even a good writer. He is a failed writer.

Beckett, not his characters, not his narrative voice, Beckett himself hated art. Hated it. Hated it as he hated life. After having tried to kill imagination in "Imagination Dead Imagine" in 1965, after having, for sixty years, destroyed plot and characterization and theme and setting, now in Ill Seen Ill Said, 1981, Beckett attacks the very paper on which he writes.

Beckett and Philosophy

Richard Lane, editor.
Palgrave Macmillan, 2002, ISBN 0333918797; Hardcover $59.95. [
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From the Publisher:

Beckett and Philosophy examines and interrogates the relationships between Samuel Beckett's works and contemporary French and German thought. There are two wide-ranging overview chapters by Richard Begam (Beckett and Postfoundationalism) and Robert Eaglestone (Beckett via Literary and Philosophical Theories), and individual chapters on Beckett, Derrida, Foucault, Deleuze, Badious, Merleau-Pointy, Adorno, Hebermas, Heidegger and Nietzsche. The collection takes a fresh look as issues such as postmodern and poststructuralist thought in relation to Beckett studies, providing useful overview chapters and original essays.

Go To:

Criticism Main Page -- Returns you to the Main Criticism page and the Quick Reference Card of titles.

Biography -- Beckett's life and times, as well as letters, conversations, and anecdotes.

General Criticism -- General literary criticism or commentary on Beckett and his writing.

Prose -- Guides and criticism for specific works of prose, critique, and poetry.

Drama -- Guides and criticism for specific dramatic works and stage pieces.

Theatre & the Arts -- Criticism and biography relating to Beckett in performance and non-print media.

Comparative -- Studies of Beckett in context with other authors or artists.


--Tim Conley
& A. Ruch
8 March 2003




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