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On Beckett

On Beckett

Essays and Criticism

Edited by S. E. Gontarski, Introduction by S. E. Gontarski

“On Beckett: Essays and Criticism” is the first collection of writings about the Nobel Prize–winning author that covers the entire spectrum of his work, and also affords a rare glimpse of the private Beckett.

Hardback, 350 Pages

ISBN:9780857286635

December 2012

£70.00, $115.00

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  • About This Book
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About This Book

“On Beckett: Essays and Criticism” is the first collection of writings about the Nobel Prize–winning author that covers the entire spectrum of his work, and also affords a rare glimpse of the private Beckett.

More has been written about Samuel Beckett than about any other writer of this century – countless books and articles dealing with him are in print, and the progression continues geometrically. “On Beckett” brings together some of the most perceptive writings from the vast amount of scrutiny that has been lavished on the man; in addition to widely read essays there are contributions from more obscure sources, viewpoints not frequently seen. Together they allow the reader to enter the world of a writer whose work has left an impact on the consciousness of our time perhaps unmatched by that of any other recent creative imagination.

The contributors include the names of most of the minds of the twentieth century who have grappled in print with the meaning of the Beckett phenomenon. Among them are many of the artists who had a major role in bringing Beckett’s work to the stage and who worked side-by-side with Beckett, such as Alan Schneider, Roger Blin, Herbert Blau and Jackie MacGowran. Also included are some of the foremost writers of our time, whose encounter with the work of Beckett has produced lasting commentary, such as Georges Bataille, Maurice Blanchot and Martin Esslin. Among the noted Beckett scholars found here are Ruby Cohn, Walter D. Asmus, and James Knowlson. An interview with Susan Sontag and William S. Burroughs completes the book.

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Author Information

S. E. Gontarski is a writer, scholar and director, at whose request Samuel Beckett wrote the short play “Ohio Impromptu” (1981). Gontarski is the Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of English at Florida State University, where he specializes in twentieth-century Irish studies, in British, US and European modernism, and in performance theory.

Series

Anthem Studies in Theatre and Performance

Table of Contents

The Essential Beckett: A Preface to the Second Edition – S. E. Gontarski; A Beckett Chronology; Acknowledgments; Crritics and Crriticism: “Getting Known”– introduction by S. E. Gontarski; PRELIMINARIES: Beckett and “Merlin” – Richard W. Seaver; Samuel Beckett and the Visual Arts: The Embarrassment of Allegory – Dougald McMillan; When is the End Not the End? The Idea of Fiction in Beckett – Wolfgang Iser; THE PAGE: “Murphy” and the Uses of Repetition – Rubin Rabinovitz; “Watt” – Lawrence E. Harvey; “Mercier and Camier”: Narration, Dante, and the Couple – Eric P. Levy; Molloy’s Silence – Georges Bataille; Where Now? Who Now? – Maurice Blanchot; The Voice and Its Words: “How It Is”– J. E. Dearlove; The Unnamable’s First Voice? – Chris Ackerley; Between Verse and Prose: Beckett and the New Poetry – Marjorie Perloff; “Worstward Ho” – Dougald McMillan; THE STAGE: MacGowran on Beckett – interview by Richard Toscan; Blin on Beckett – interview by Tom Bishop; Working with Beckett – Alan Schneider; Notes from the Underground: “Waiting for Godot” and “Endgame” – Herbert Blau; Beckett Directs “Godot” – Walter D. Asmus; Beckett Directs: “Endgame” and “Krapp’s Last Tape” – Ruby Cohn; Literary Allusions in “Happy Days”  – S. E. Gontarski; Counterpoint, Absence, and the Medium in Beckett’s “Not I” – Paul Lawley; Rehearsal Notes for the German Premiere of Beckett’s “That Time” and “Footfalls” – Walter D. Asmus; “Footfalls” – James Knowlson; Samuel Beckett and the Art of Radio  – Martin Esslin; Light, Sound, Movement, and Action in Beckett’s “Rockaby”  – Enoch Brater; Beckett’s “Ohio Impromptu”: A View from the Isle of Swans – Pierre Astier; “Quad” and “Catastrophe” – S. E. Gontarski; CODA: Burroughs with Beckett in Berlin – edited by Victor Bockris; Notes on Contributors 

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