Samuel Beckett and the Language of Subjectivity

Tubridy, Derval. 2018. Samuel Beckett and the Language of Subjectivity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781316981221 [Book]

[img] Text (Derval Tubridy monograph chapter three of Samuel Beckett and the Language of Subjectivity)
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Samuel Beckett and the Language of Subjectivity is a groundbreaking study of how Beckett’s prose and theatre examines the self’s extension into the world, drawing the reader, and the audience, into an aporia that opens up a space for the ethical and points towards a consideration of subjectivity beyond the human. It is the first sustained exploration of aporia a vital, subversive, and productive figure within Beckett’s oeuvre as it moves between prose and theatre. It contextualises Beckett’s intellectual development within his cultural and philosophical milieu. Informed by key developments in analytic and continental philosophies of language it argues for a re-consideration of the relation between Beckett’s prose and drama, asking:

How are Beckett’s translations­––between languages, between genres, between bodies––a productive betrayal of the aporia outlined in his early aesthetics?
How is this betrayal figured through a corporeal resistance to the translation of voice, and the insistent (and resistant) materiality of the body and of language?

The primary modes of the self’s extension into the world are linguistic (speaking, listening) and material (engaging with bodies, spaces and objects). Yet what we mean by language has changed in the twenty-first century. Beckett’s concern with words must be read through the information economy upon which twenty-first century identities are forged. Language is digital. Subjectivities are constructed through the complex materialities of big data. Samuel Beckett and the Language of Subjectivity provides the groundwork for further developments in our thinking of Beckett in terms of the posthuman: the materialist, vitalist and relational subject cathected within differential mechanisms of power.

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English and Comparative Literature


30 June 2018

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Date Deposited:

28 Nov 2017 11:42

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22 Feb 2022 06:57


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