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Beckett, Modernism and the Material Imagination


  • Date Published: June 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107629110

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About the Authors
  • Steven Connor, one of the most influential critics of twentieth-century literature and culture, has spent much of his career writing and thinking about Samuel Beckett. This book presents Connor's finest published work on Beckett alongside fresh essays that explore how Beckett has shaped major themes in modernism and twentieth-century literature. Through discussions of sport, nausea, slowness, flies, the radio switch, religion and academic life, Connor shows how Beckett's writing is characteristic of a distinctively mundane or worldly modernism, arguing that it is well-attuned to our current concern with the stressed relations between the human and natural worlds. Through Connor's analysis, Beckett's prose, poetry and dramatic works animate a modernism profoundly concerned with life, worldly existence and the idea of the world as such. Lucid, provocative, wide-ranging, and richly informed by critical and cultural theory, this book is required reading for anyone teaching or studying Beckett, modernism and twentieth-century literary studies.

    • Lively, unexpected essays on a major author from a pre-eminent scholar and critic of twentieth-century culture and literature
    • New and challenging argument about the importance of the idea of a mundane or worldly modernism
    • Essential reading for scholars and students of Samuel Beckett, modernism, and twentieth-century English literature more broadly
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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107629110
    • length: 240 pages
    • dimensions: 227 x 152 x 12 mm
    • weight: 0.31kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: Beckett's finitude
    Part I. Bodies:
    2. 'My fortieth year had come and gone and I still throwing the javelin': Beckett's athletics
    3. The nauseous character of all flesh
    4. Making flies mean something
    Part II. Timepieces:
    5. 'I switch off': the ordeals of radio
    6. Looping the loop: tape-time in Burroughs and Beckett
    7. 'In my soul I suppose, where the acoustics are so bad': writing the white noise
    8. Slow going
    Part III. Worlds:
    9. Beckett's low church
    10. The loutishness of learning
    11. Beckett and the world
    12. 'On such and such a day… in such a world'.

  • Author

    Steven Connor, University of Cambridge
    Steven Connor is Grace 2 Professor of English and Fellow of Peterhouse, University of Cambridge. He is the author of many books in the fields of literature, philosophy and culture, including Samuel Beckett: Repetition, Theory and Text (1988, 2nd edition 1993), which remains one of the most influential titles in Beckett studies.

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