Download e-book for kindle: Beckett and Authority: The Uses of Cliché by Elizabeth Barry

By Elizabeth Barry

ISBN-10: 0230627498

ISBN-13: 9780230627499

ISBN-10: 1349283975

ISBN-13: 9781349283972

This new booklet situates Beckett in a philosophical and literary culture that has argued for the inventive worth of stupidity, a key notion within the considering philosophers resembling Wittgenstein. It investigates the connection among verbal cliché, revealing the suggestions he used to problem highbrow and social authority in his works.

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Extra info for Beckett and Authority: The Uses of Cliché

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What is it about this event, accidental and material as it is, that gives it a spurious necessity, and invests those that approach it with the appearance of authority? The argument then emerges in line with Beckett’s work out of the long ‘siege of the room’ (Cronin, 372) that was Beckett’s exploration of the subject to examine his broader engagement with the authority of religion and religious language, perhaps the central authority with which his work wrestles. Finally, it examines the idea of the law, detached (to some extent) from its religious context, both in its exterior, social manifestation and in its internalization through the family structure.

Indeed, the nineteenth-century rhetorician Jean Fontanier suggested that we cannot do otherwise than to speak of clich´e, or metaphor itself, in these terms. There is no literal alternative to the idea of a ‘figure’ of speech, as Fontanier explains, Le mot figure n’a du d’abord se dire, a` ce qu’il paraˆıt, que des corps, ou mˆeme que de l’homme et des animaux consid´er´es physiquement et quant aux limites de leur e´ tendue. Et dans cette premi`ere acceptation, que signifie-t-il? 40 [The word figure—as it appears—must first refer only to bodies, or perhaps man and animals considered physically and in terms of their spatial limits.

A well constructed plot, therefore, must neither begin nor end at haphazard, but conform to these principles. (Poetics, 1450b28–29) Beckett’s challenge to the structure of ‘beginning, middle and end’ in his mature fiction and theatre will be explored in Chapter 3 of this book, but he first scrutinized the relationship between causality and narrative structure much earlier in his writing career. The treatment of realism in Beckett’s 1931 monograph, Proust, and his annotations of his copy of Proust’s A la recherche du temps perdu, made in the course of writing this early work of criticism, first signal his distrust of anything that is presented as knowable cause.

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Beckett and Authority: The Uses of Cliché by Elizabeth Barry

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