본문 바로가기
  • Home

“The Pure Incoherence”: A Look at the Inauguration of the Cognitive Beckett Studies

  • Journal of Modern English Drama
  • Abbr : JMBARD
  • 2020, 33(3), pp.155-186
  • Publisher : 한국현대영미드라마학회
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Literature > Contemporary English Drama
  • Received : November 15, 2020
  • Accepted : December 14, 2020
  • Published : December 31, 2020

Lee, Jooyeup 1

1University of Reading

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The Journal of Beckett Studies, vol. 17, issue 1-2, published in 2008, made a monumental contribution to Beckett Studies in that it compellingly testified to the importance of neurological and psychological perspectives to the study of Beckett’s works for the first time as a journal project. This paper tries to introduce this inaugural case of applying the methodologies of cognitive literary studies to the study of Beckett’s literature by way of sorting as well as summarizing the three papers among those published in the issue that mark out the largest conceptual and analytical picture. Connor’s “Beckett and Bion” not only examines Beckett’s poetics of transposing the psychoanalytic processes into his writing, but also shows that Klein’s and Bion’s psychoanalytic concepts can effectively be applied to Beckett’s entire oeuvre. Salisbury’s “‘What Is the Word’: Beckett’s Aphasic Modernism” presents the mode peculiar to aphasia as the most appropriate articulation of Beckett’s ideas of poetics and situates Beckett’s aphasic modernism between the elaborate form of experimental psychology and the full-fledged poststructuralism’s play of signifiers in the cultural history of technology. Lastly, Oppenheim’s “A Twenty-First Century Perspective on a Play by Samuel Beckett” argues that Beckett’s preoccupations with neuro-psychoanalytic disorders lead to the accurate depiction of those impediments peculiar to his writing as well as the multifaceted vicissitudes in self-recognition patterned after that depiction, bringing about as a result the therapeutic equilibrium and stability in his work as well as for himself. What these papers suggest in common is that Beckett’s specific neuro-psychoanalytic anchorage in his writing becomes the focus in the poetics of complexity and compositeness, which mirrors such neuro-psychoanalytic workings of the mind and is characteristic of his work. As this cognitive approach to Beckett’s works progresses, it is expected that the nature of the poetics in Beckett’s works, elusive owing to the latter’s complexity and compositeness, would be defined in a more definite manner.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.