Sex And Aesthetics In Samuel Beckett's Work

Hardcover | July 15, 2011

byPaul Stewart

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Sex and Aesthetics in Samuel Beckett’s Works places sex and sexuality firmly at the heart of Beckett’s ouevre. From the earliest prose to the late plays, Paul Stewart uncovers a profound mistrust of procreation and a surprising variety of non-reproductive forms of sex— the solitary, the homoerotic, and the geriatric—which challenge established notions of propriety and identity politics. Sex informs Beckett’s search for a means of aesthetic creation not infected by aspects of natural procreation, and the suffering and death which it entails, in the hope that the tyranny of Schopenhauer’s will-to-live might be overcome. Paul Stewart ably and amply shows that sex, so long overlooked, is an integral, and troubling, facet of Beckett’s art.

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Sex and Aesthetics in Samuel Beckett’s Works places sex and sexuality firmly at the heart of Beckett’s ouevre. From the earliest prose to the late plays, Paul Stewart uncovers a profound mistrust of procreation and a surprising variety of non-reproductive forms of sex— the solitary, the homoerotic, and the geriatric—which challenge est...

Paul Stewart is an Associate Professor of Literature at the University of Nicosia. He is the author of Zone of Evaporation: Samuel Beckett’s Disjunctions, as well as numerous articles on facets of Beckett’s works for such journals as The Journal of Beckett Studies and Samuel Beckett Today / Aujourd’hui.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:238 pages, 8.67 × 5.76 × 0.78 inPublished:July 15, 2011Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230108814

ISBN - 13:9780230108813

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“Here, finally, is the first comprehensive study of sex in Beckett’s work, and Stewart tackles this fascinating and complex topic with intellectual dexterity, scholarly rigor, and necessary wit. Whether dealing with erudite references, textual details, or larger philosophical concerns, this book shows fine critical judgment in examining the role sex and sexuality plays in Beckett’s aesthetic thinking.”--Mark Nixon, Director, Beckett International Foundation, University of Reading “Stewart's compelling book is the best study currently available of how ‘the material of art comes from the mixed world of matter.’ He negotiates the familiar pathways and the less frequented back roads with admirable fluency, flexibility, and flair, and opens up a whole new field both for the Beckett beginner and for seasoned performers misguided enough to suppose they knew their Beckett well.”--John Pilling, Emeritus Professor of English and European Literature, University of Reading “Stewart's book is a milestone in our understanding of sexuality in Beckett's work. Stewart brings a sane, informed, and judicious eye to assessing the varieties of sexual representation, from the early to the late writings, linking them to key themes of death, desire, deviancy, and the discontents of artistic creativity. A penetrating and refreshing analysis.”--Rónán McDonald, Australian Ireland Fund Chair of Modern Irish Studies, University of New South Wales