Beckett and Badiou: The Pathos of Intermittency

Hardcover | February 11, 2007

byAndrew Gibson

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Beckett and Badiou offers a provocative new reading of Samuel Beckett's work on the basis of a full, critical account of the thought of Alain Badiou. Badiou is the most eminent of contemporary French philosophers. His devotion to Beckett's work has been lifelong. Yet for Badiou philosophy mustbe integrally affirmative, whilst Beckett apparently commits his art to a work of negation. Beckett and Badiou explores the coherences, contradictions, and extreme complexities of the intellectual relationship between the two oeuvres. It examines Badiou's philosophy of being, the event, truth, andthe subject and the importance of mathematics within his system. It considers the major features of his politics, ethics, and aesthetics and provides an explanation, interpretation, critique, and radical revision of his work on Beckett. It argues that, once revised, Badiou's version of Beckettoffers an extraordinarily powerful tool for understanding his work.Badiou and Beckett are instances of a vestigial or melancholic modernism; that is, in the teeth of a contemporary culture that dreams ever more ambitiously of plenitude, they commit themselves to a rigorous concept of limit and intermittency. Truth and value are occasional and rare. It is seldomthat the chance event arrives to disturb the inertia of the world. For Badiou, however, it is the event and its consequences alone that matter. Beckett rather insists on the common experience of intermittency as destitution. His art is a series of limit-figures, exquisitely subtle and nuanced formsfor a world whose state of seemingly rigid paralysis is also always volatile, delicately balanced.

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Beckett and Badiou offers a provocative new reading of Samuel Beckett's work on the basis of a full, critical account of the thought of Alain Badiou. Badiou is the most eminent of contemporary French philosophers. His devotion to Beckett's work has been lifelong. Yet for Badiou philosophy mustbe integrally affirmative, whilst Beckett a...

Lecturer in Comparative Literature at University of Hong Kong, 1973-76. Appointed Lecturer in English at the University of London in 1977. Currently Research Professor of Modern Literature and Theory at Royal Holloway, University of London. Was awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship (2003-2005) to write iBeckett and Badiou/i. Truste...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 1.06 inPublished:February 11, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199207755

ISBN - 13:9780199207756

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Badiou (i): Being, Event, Subject, Truth2. Badiou (ii): Politics, Ethics, Aesthetics3. Badiou, Beckett, and Contemporary Criticism4. The Break with iDoxa: Murphy, Watt/i5. The Event of the Event: iThe Unnamable/i6. The Thought of the Good: iEnough/i, iThe Lost Ones/i, iIll Seen Ill Said/i, iWorstward Ho/i7. The Sparkle Hid in Ashes: Beckett's PlaysConclusion: The Pathos of Intermittency