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Beckett and Aesthetics

Beckett and Aesthetics


  • Date Published: December 2003
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521829083

£ 67.00

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About the Authors
  • Beckett and Aesthetics, first published in 2003, examines Samuel Beckett's struggle with the recalcitrance of artistic media, their refusal to yield to his artistic purposes. As a young man Beckett hoped that writing could provide psychic authenticity and true representation of the physical world; instead he found himself immersed in artificialities and self-enclosed word games. Daniel Albright argues that Beckett escaped from this bind through allegories of artistic frustration and through an art of non-representation, estrangement and general failure. He arrived, Albright shows, at some grasp of fact through the most indirect route available. Albright explores Beckett's experimentation with the notion that an artistic medium might itself be made to speak. This powerful and highly original book explores Beckett's own engagement with radio, film, and television, prose and drama as part of an attempt to escape the confines of the aesthetic. Albright's Beckett becomes a sophisticated theorist of the very notion of the aesthetic.

    • A major study of Beckett's engagement with aesthetics, this is first book of its kind
    • Written by an established figure in the field of Modernism
    • Will be of interest to specialists in drama, modernism, Irish studies and media studies
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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2003
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521829083
    • length: 188 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.45kg
    • contains: 7 b/w illus. 8 music examples
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Music examples
    Introduction: Beckett and surrealism
    1. Stage: resisting failure
    2. Tape recorder, radio, film, television: resisting the human image
    3. Music: losing the will to resist.

  • Author

    Daniel Albright, Harvard University, Massachusetts
    Daniel Albright is Professor of English and American Literature at Harvard University. He is the author of many books on music and modernist literature, including Quantum Poetics: Yeats, Pound, Eliot, and the Science of Modernism (Cambridge University Press, 1997), Untwisting the Serpent: Modernism in Music, Literature, and the Visual Arts (2000) and Modernism and Music: An Anthology of Source Materials (2003).

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