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A Cultural Geography of “the Sweet Old Style”: Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days

  • Journal of Modern English Drama
  • Abbr : JMBARD
  • 2013, 26(1), pp.293-312
  • Publisher : 한국현대영미드라마학회
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Literature > Contemporary English Drama

Noh, Aegyung 1

1고려대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

One among a series of Beckett’s English plays from the late 1950s through the 1960s produced after a decade of his French writings, Happy Days engages with English tradition, which seems relevant to the writer’s return to the language. Yet the play’s cultural geography is rather ambiguous, particularly when compared with All That Fall, a radio play set in an Irish town and the first in the aforementioned series of plays written first in English. While critics have ascribed the play’s heroine to Irish ancestry, this article argues that such a persistent retrospection of “the old style” with its atmospheric opulence, parties, and romances as performed by Winnie seems to echo the postwar British nostalgia for the splendor of Edwardian England. By identifying the geographical origin of the old culture adumbrated in Happy Days, this article attempts to undo Beckett’s “intent of undoing” with respect to its geographical details.

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