Samuel Beckett is one of the most important figures in the history of Irish literature, and he continues to influence successive generations of writers. In Beckett and Contemporary Irish Writing, Stephen Watt searches for the 'Beckettian' impulse in Irish literature by tracing the Nobel Prize winner's legacy through a rich selection of contemporary novelists, poets and dramatists. Watt examines leading figures such as Paul Muldoon, Brian Friel, Marina Carr and Bernard MacLaverty, and shows how Beckett's presence, whether openly acknowledged or unstated, is always thoroughly pervasive. Moving on to an exploration of Beckett's role in the twenty-first century, the study discusses ways in which this legacy can be reshaped to deal with current concerns that extend beyond literature.
List of illustrations; Acknowledgments; Introduction: Beckett, our contemporary; 1. Beckett and the 'Beckettian'; 2. The Northern Ireland 'Troubles' play and Brian Friel's Beckettian turn; 3. Bernard MacLaverty: the 'Troubles,' late modernism, and the Beckettian; 4. 'Getting round' Beckett: Derek Mahon and Paul Muldoon; 5. Specters of Beckett: Marina Carr and the 'other' Sam; Coda: on retrofitting: Samuel Beckett, tourist attraction; Bibliography; Index.