Critical and Scholarly Studies
Beckett Writing Beckett: The Author in the Autograph. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1996. Elaborates a theory of ‘autography’, a mode of writing which generates selfhood between autobiography and fiction..
Beckett's Later Fiction and Drama: Texts for Company. London: Macmillan, 1987. Useful collection of essays on the later works. and (eds.).
Samuel Beckett. London: Fontana, 1973. Part of the Fontana Modern Masters series. Well-written introduction.
Samuel Beckett and the Mythology of Psychoanalysis. London: Macmillan, 1997. Historically locates the psychoanalytical influences on Beckett..
God, the Quest, the Hero: Thematic Structures in Beckett's Fiction. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1988. Traces the ‘God-idea’ as thematic and structural influence. Especially notable on Gnostic and Manichaean dimensions..
Samuel Beckett and the End of Modernity. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1996. Historically situates the debate about Beckett's position in modernity and postmodernity..
Samuel Beckett. Boston: Twayne, 1986. An introductory survey covering all the work..
Beckett: ‘Waiting for Godot’. Plays in Production. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001. Part of an innovative series looking at the history of production of key plays..
Beyond Minimalism: Beckett's Late Style in the Theatre. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987..
The Drama in the Text: Beckett's Late Fiction. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994. Both key studies of the later works.
Women in Samuel Beckett's Fiction and Drama: Her Own Other. London: Macmillan, 1993. Theoretical investigation of representations of women in Beckett..
Samuel Beckett and the Idea of God. Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1998. A judicious assessment of religious overtones and their significance.
A Beckett Canon. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2001. An indispensable and learned overview of the entire Beckett corpus, across all genres, drawing on a lifetime's scholarship. Cohn has published vastly on Beckett for over forty years..
Samuel Beckett: Repetition, Theory and Text. Oxford: Blackwell, 1992. An important contribution to Beckett and post-structuralism, focusing on the function of repetition in Beckett's work. (ed.).
‘Waiting for Godot’ and ‘Endgame’. New Casebooks. New York: St Martin's Press, 1992. Brings together eleven theoretically informed essays.
Beckett and Myth: An Archetypal Approach. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1988. A Jungian reading strongly informed by postmodern theory..
Samuel Beckett: A Collection of Critical Essays. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1965. A highly influential early collection of critical essays. (ed.).
Samuel Beckett: Waiting for Godot, Krapp's Last Tape and Endgame. London: Faber and Faber, 2000. A useful annotated commentary on these three major plays..
Beckett Translating/Translating Beckett. University Park: Pennsylvania University Press, 1987. Collection of essays on the important topic of translation. et al. (eds.).
The Intent of Undoing in Samuel Beckett's Dramatic Texts. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1985. A key scholarly work on the evolution of Beckett's dramatic manuscripts.
Samuel Beckett: The Critical Heritage. London, Henley and Boston: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1979. A very useful anthology of contemporary reviews and criticism of Beckett's works, including reproductions of some of his rare interviews. and (eds.).
The Irish Beckett. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1991. One of the few full-length treatments of the Irish allusions especially in the early prose.
Samuel Beckett: Poet and Critic. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1970. A key text in Beckett criticism, not least because of the unusual cooperation given by Beckett himself. The extended treatment of Beckett's poetry especially valuable..
The Shape of Chaos: An Interpretation of the Art of Samuel Beckett. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1971. An in-depth philosophical study..
Beckett in Performance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989. Addresses Beckett's plays from the point of view of staging and performance, drawing on personal experience as a director and several interviews with theatre professionals..
Samuel Beckett: A Critical Study. London: John Calder, 1962. Possibly the most influential early study, especially on the Cartesian influences on Beckett. Well written and still engaging..
Light and Darkness in the Theatre of Samuel Beckett. London: Turret Books, 1972. Treats dualism and the Manichaean dimension..
Happy Days: The Production Notebook of Samuel Beckett. London and Boston: Faber and Faber, 1985. A precursor to the series of theatrical notebooks published under Knowlson's general editorship. and (ed.).
Frescoes of the Skull: The Later Prose and Drama of Samuel Beckett. London: John Calder, 1979. Pioneering study of the later Beckett, with some treatment of earlier, then unpublished works like Eleutheria. and .
The Theatrical Notebooks of Samuel Beckett, vol. I: Waiting for Godot. London: Faber and Faber, 1994. Part of a valuable series publishing and annotating the various production notebooks Beckett kept while directing his plays. See also vol. III on Krapp's Last Tape, 1992. S. E. Gontarski edited vol. II: Endgame, 1992 and vol. IV: The Shorter Plays, 1999. and (eds.).
Unwording the Word: Samuel Beckett's Prose Works after the Nobel Prize. Philadelphia: University of Philadelphia Press, 1990. Challenging analysis of semiotics and representation in Beckett, influenced by deconstruction..
Beckett in the Theatre, vol. I: The Author as Practical Playwright and Director. London: John Calder, 1988. Rigorous account of Beckett's practice in the theatre. and .
Theatre on Trial: Samuel Beckett's Later Drama. London: Routledge, 1993. Very useful study of Beckett's later drama informed by various critical theories..
Reconstructing Beckett: Language for Being in Samuel Beckett's Fiction. Toronto: Toronto University Press, 1990. Challenges orthodox critical understanding by positing a complex ‘realism’ and moral seriousness in Beckett's prose. Detailed and enlightening on post-trilogy prose.
The Beckett Country: Samuel Beckett's Ireland. Dublin: Black Cat Press, 1992. A collection of photographs of the Irish landscape that inspired many of Beckett's works. Introduction by James Knowlson..
The Painted Word: Beckett's Dialogue With Art. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2000. Deals with Beckett's relationship with visual arts and his general intellectual context..
Samuel Beckett and the Arts: Music, Visual Arts and Non-Print Media. New York: Garland, 1998. A pioneering collection of essays in this important field. (ed.).
Samuel Beckett. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1976. Especially good on the cultural and intellectual contexts..
Beckett Before Godot: The Formative Years, 1929–1946. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998. Authoritative and learned treatment of Beckett's early work and influences.
The Cambridge Companion to Samuel Beckett. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994. A useful collection of essays on various aspects of Beckett's work. Treats the whole oeuvre. (ed.).
Pountney, Rosemary. Theatre of Shadows: Samuel Beckett's Drama 1956–76 (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe; Totowa, New Jersey: Barnes and Noble, 1988). A judicious, scholarly and thorough investigation of the drama of this period with rich use of manuscript material.
Beckett's Dying Words. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993. Based on his 1990 Clarendon lectures delivered at Oxford University, Ricks argues that Beckett's works are marked by a longing for death and oblivion..
The Shape of Paradox: An Essay on Waiting for Godot. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978. Excellent formalist reading of the play, alert to the Edenic overtones.
Engagement and Indifference: Beckett and the Political. New York: State University of New York Press, 2001. An edited collection which looks at the political and ethical dimensions to Beckett from a variety of critical approaches. and (eds.).
Into the Breach: Samuel Beckett and the Ends of Literature. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990. Early deconstructive study refuting the phenomenological bias of earlier criticism..
Beckett and Poststructuralism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. Draws on French philosophers including Derrida, Foucault, Deleuze and Guattari..
Paradox and Desire in Samuel Beckett's Fiction. London: Macmillan, 1991. Draws on Lacanian theory and post-structuralism..
Samuel Beckett's Theatre: Life-Journeys. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999. A highly readable, personal account of working on Beckett from a scholar who has also directed Beckett's plays in the theatre..
Beckett and Broadcasting: A Study of the Works of Samuel Beckett for and in Radio and Television. Åbo Akademi, 1976. Authoritative and scholarly treatment of Beckett's work in radio and television..