Beckett's Masculinity

Hardcover | November 15, 2009

byJennifer M. Jeffers

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From Murphy to Rockaby to Worstward Ho, Beckett’s Masculinity illustrates how Samuel Beckett’s work functions as a testament to the site of memory for the historically erased twentieth-century Protestant, Anglo-Irish community. Jennifer Jeffers ably shows how Beckett converted his own personal traumatic loss of a masculine, patriarchal national identity into a sustained group of obsessive images in his texts. As Beckett’s work matured, he utilized the strategies of emasculation and gender distortion to dismantle Western masculinity. Beckett’s Masculinity shows that Western hegemonic masculinity was a source of private trauma and anxiety for Beckett; yet, he eventually transformed the twentieth-century literary landscape by harnessing the power of parodied masculinity and perverted gender in his work. 

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From Murphy to Rockaby to Worstward Ho, Beckett’s Masculinity illustrates how Samuel Beckett’s work functions as a testament to the site of memory for the historically erased twentieth-century Protestant, Anglo-Irish community. Jennifer Jeffers ably shows how Beckett converted his own personal traumatic loss of a masculine, patriarchal...

Jennifer Jeffers is Professor of English at Cleveland State University.

other books by Jennifer M. Jeffers

Samuel Beckett: A Casebook
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Samuel Beckett: A Casebook
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Format:HardcoverDimensions:216 pages, 8.45 × 5.63 × 0.66 inPublished:November 15, 2009Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230615287

ISBN - 13:9780230615281

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Table of Contents

Introduction * Traumatized Masculinity and Beckett’s Return * The Masculine Protest:  Murphy and Watt * Return in the Postwar Fiction * Embodying Lost Masculinity in Waiting for Godot and Endgame * Rewinding Krapp’s Last Tape: The Return of Anglo-Irish Masculinity * The Not I of Gender Identity in the Women-Centered Plays * “The churn of stale words in the heart again”: Beckett’s Final Return * Conclusion: Masculine Dead Masculine

Editorial Reviews

"Jeffers' Beckett's Masculinity makes a significant and original contribution to criticism on Beckett in advancing the argument that his subversion of traditional gender roles reflects Beckett's own sexual and cultural trauma." - Tony Bradley, co-editor of Gender and Sexuality in Modern Ireland. "Jeffers makes a major contribution to this progressive re-evaluation of Beckett and his work by illustrating how he struggled to represent the collapsing identity of a specific kind of man in the wake of what Beckett experienced as a catastrophic shift in power after the Irish War of Independence. By re-reading his work in terms of his struggle to negotiate the irreversible loss of patriarchal privilege he had been raised to assume as a given, Jeffers connects Beckett's work with the exciting field of Masculinity Studies; perhaps more importantly, however, she re-positions his texts as valuable artifacts in the analysis of twentieth century Irish history, politics, and culture." - Stephen John Dilks, Associate Professor of English and Irish Literature, University of Missouri-Kansas City "Among the high points of this volume is its consideration of the importance of Beckett's brother Frank's illness in understanding works like Endgame, in which Hamm often obsesses about the timing and taking of his painkillers and other aspects of being cared for." -History and Psyche