Samuel Beckett's How it Is

Samuel Beckett's How it Is

By Anthony Cordingley



The first sustained exegesis of a neglected masterpiece of twentieth-century literature, Samuel Beckett's How It Is This book maps out the novel's complex network of intertexts, sources and echoes, interprets its highly experimental writing and explains the work's great significance for twentieth-century literature. It offers a clear pathway into this remarkable bilingual novel, identifying Beckett's use of previously unknown sources in the history of Western philosophy, from the ancient and modern periods, and challenging critical orthodoxies. Through careful archival scholarship and attention to the dynamics of self-translation, the book traces Beckett's transformation of his narrator's 'ancient voice', his intellectual heritage, into a mode of aesthetic representation that offers the means to think beyond intractable paradoxes of philosophy. This shift in the work's relation to tradition marks a hiatus in literary modernism, a watershed moment whose deep and enduring significance may now be appreciated. Key Features Offers the first comprehensive treatment of Beckett's most poorly understood novel, identifying the breadth of its philosophical and literary sources Makes extensive use of manuscript evidence and newly accessible notes from Beckett's reading in philosophy Guides the reader through Beckett's philosophical and theological sources, highlighting his innovative and original dialectics between the pre-Socratics, Plato, Aristotle, the Ancient Stoics, the early Church Fathers and desert mystics, seventeenth-century mystics and Rationalists

ISBN: 9781474440615


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