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Samuel Beckett's Modernist Politics

  • Journal of Modern English Drama
  • Abbr : JMBARD
  • 2006, 19(3), pp.161-180
  • Publisher : 한국현대영미드라마학회
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Literature > Contemporary English Drama

Noh, Aegyung 1

1고려대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Noh, AegyungThis essay defines primarily what is political in Samuel Beckett's work and life, hence offering a certain corrective to the imbalance in current Beckett criticism, which has often dismissed the writer's political dimension as a marginal and even irrelevant topic for serious critical discussions. Reading through such plays as Waiting for Godot, Endgame, Catastrophe, and the posthumously published Eleuth ria, it suggests working in Beckett's oeuvre is 'individualism' resisting the potentially totalitarian impulse lurking within any social collective. This tendency features again in his life―Beckett's interaction with a radically anarchic mentor at Trinity college, his involvement in Resistance during the war, and finally, the political gestures taken throughout his career, for instance―and one can trace it back to what David Weir termed the "anarchic" politics of modernism, the artistic origin of the writer. The essay overall tries to overcome the prohibitive limitations in the range of the subject matters of current Beckett studies by extending its political spectrum.

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