This project examines the accomplishment of Samuel Beckett, particularly in his plays, in discovering new ways of registering interiority in an age marked by catastrophe, and the religious, social and psychological upheaval that was its result. Beckett’s achievement is viewed as grounded in and an extension of the new approaches to literary representation found in the work of his Modernist predecessors – T.S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, Ezra Pound, and W.B. Yeats. Like his forbearers, Beckett jettisoned sequential narrative and relied on images and techniques of fragmentation to engage directly with interiority and with themes of isolation, alienation and death. The study concentrates on contextualizing Beckett’s plays through modernist texts rather than through scholarly ones. It pays special attention to Beckett’s work as theatre, to the vital, unencumbered and inescapable interaction of theatrical performance, communicating as it does through the senses and nerves of the audience rather than debating with their intellectual responses.
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