Beckett at 100: Revolving it All

Paperback | January 29, 2008

byLinda Ben-Zvi, Angela Moorjani

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The year 2006 marked the centenary of the birth of Nobel-Prize winning playwright and novelist Samuel Beckett. To commemorate the occasion, this collection brings together twenty-three leading international Beckett scholars from ten countries, who take on the centenary challenge of "revolvingit all": that is, going "back to Beckett"-the title of an earlier study by critic Ruby Cohn, to whom the book is dedicated-in order to rethink traditional readings and theories; provide new contexts and associations; and reassess his impact on the modern imagination and legacy to future generations. These original essays, most first presented by the Samuel Beckett Working Group at the Dublin centenary celebration, are divided into three sections: (1) Thinking through Beckett, (2) Shifting Perspectives, and (3) Echoing Beckett. As repeatedly in his canon, images precede words. The book openswith stills from films of experimental filmmaker Peter Gidal and unpublished excerpts from Beckett's 1936-37 German Travel Diaries, presented by Beckett biographer James Knowlson, with permission from the Beckett estate. Renowned director and theatre theoretician Herbert Blau follows with his personal Beckett "thinking through." Others in Part I explore Beckett and philosophy (Abbott), the influences of Bergson (Gontarski) and Leibniz (Mori), Beckett and autobiography (Locatelli), and Agamben on post-Holocausttestimony (Jones). Essays in Part II recontextualize Beckett's works in relation to iconography (Moorjani), film theoretician Rudolf Arnheim (Engelberts), Marshall McLuhan (Ben-Zvi), exilic writing (McMullan), Pierre Bourdieu's literary field (Siess), romanticism (Brater), social theorists Adornoand Horkheimer (Degani-Raz), and performance issues (Rodriguez-Gago). Part III relates Beckett's writing to that of Yeats (Okamuro), Paul Auster (Campbell), Caryl Churchill (Diamond), William Saroyan (Bryden), Minoru Betsuyaku and Harold Pinter (Tanaka) and Morton Feldman and Jasper Johns (Laws).Finally, Beckett himself becomes a character in other playwrights' works (Zeifman). Taken together these essays make a clear case for the challenges and rewards of thinking through Beckett in his second century.

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The year 2006 marked the centenary of the birth of Nobel-Prize winning playwright and novelist Samuel Beckett. To commemorate the occasion, this collection brings together twenty-three leading international Beckett scholars from ten countries, who take on the centenary challenge of "revolvingit all": that is, going "back to Beckett"-th...

Linda Ben-Zvi is Professor of Theatre Studies, Tel Aviv University and Professor emerita, English and Theatre, Colorado State University. Among her twelve books are Susan Glaspell: Her Life and Times (Oxford UP, 2005). She is a recipient of the George Freedley Special Jury Prize, Theatre Library Association, and was a John Stern Disti...

other books by Linda Ben-Zvi

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Kobo ebook|Apr 28 2005

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 6.1 × 9.09 × 0.91 inPublished:January 29, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195325486

ISBN - 13:9780195325485

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Table of Contents

Images: For Ruby CohnPeter Gidal: Still for RubyJames Knowlson: Beckett the Tourist: Bamberg and WurzburgPart I. Thinking through BeckettHerbert Blau: Apnea and True Illusion: Breath(less) in BeckettDavid Houston Jones: From Contumacy to Shame: Reading Beckett's Testimonies with AgambenCarla Locatelli: Projections: Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape and Not I as AutobiographiesH. Porter Abbott: "I am Not a Philosopher"S. E. Gontarski: Recovering Beckett's BergsonismNaoya Mori: No Body Is at Rest: The Legacy of Leibniz's Force in Beckett's OeuvrePart II. Shifting PerspectivesAngela Moorjani: Bounded Boundlessness: Reflecting on Counterpoint and Iconography in Beckett's PlayEnoch Brater: Beckett's RomanticismMatthijs Engelberts: Film and Film: Beckett and Early Film TheoryAnna McMullan: Beckett's Theatre: Embodying AlterityJurgen Siess: Beckett's Posture in the French Literary FieldIrit Degani-Raz: The Spear of Telephus in Krapp's Last TapeAntonia Rodriguez-Gago: Refiguring the Stage Body through the Mechanical Re-Production of MemoryPart III. Echoing BeckettMinako Okamuro: Words and Music,...but the clouds..., and Yeats's "The Tower"Catherine Laws: Beckett--Feldman--JohnsMariko Hori Tanaka: Ontological Fear and Anxiety in the Theatre of Beckett, Betsuyaku, and PinterMary Bryden: The Mid-Century Godot: Beckett and SaroyanLinda Ben-Zvi: Beckett, McLuhan, and Television: The Medium, the Message, and "the Mess"Elin Diamond: Beckett and Caryl Churchill along the Moebius StripJulie Campbell: Beckett and Paul Auster: Fathers and Sons and the Creativity of MisreadingHersh Zeifman: Staging Sam: Beckett as Dramatic CharacterContributorsIndex

Editorial Reviews

"A compendium of treats! From significant biographical revelations drawn from the writer's unpublished German diaries to astute investigations of his work viewed on its own and in relation to that of other verbal and visual artists, Beckett at 100 offers fresh insights into one of the twentieth century's most creative minds. In its breadth of vision, it's a fitting gift for the doyenne of Beckett criticism; in its wealth of new material, it's a generous gift for us all."--Louis Oppenheim, Montclair State University "This book succeeds in bringing Beckett's work into dialogue with a wide range of writers, thinkers, and artists." David Bradby, Royal Holloway, University of London "The essays...succeed in getting into the depth of Beckett's work...Recommended."--Choice