A new essay collection from Columbia University Press
Falsifying Beckett Essays on Archives, Philosophy, and Methodology in Beckett Studies, ed. Matthew Feldman (Columbia University Press)
Falsifying Beckett Essays on Archives, Philosophy, and Methodology in Beckett Studies, ed. Matthew Feldman (Columbia University Press)

The dozen essays brought together here, alongside a newly-written introduction, contextualize and exemplify the recent ’empirical turn’ in Beckett studies. Characterized, above all, by recourse to manuscript materials in constructing revisionist interpretations, this approach has helped to transform the study of Samuel Beckett over the past generation. In addition to focusing upon Beckett’s early immersion in philosophy and psychology, other chapters similarly analyze his later collaboration with the BBC through the lens of literary history. Falsifying Beckett thus offers new readings of Beckett by returning to his archive of notebooks, letters, and drafts. In reassessing key aspects of his development as one of the 20th century’s leading artists, this collection is of interest to all students of Beckett’s writing as well as ‘historicist’ scholars and critics of modernism more generally. [Read More]

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Ilya Repin, Portrait of Vera Repin, the Artist's Wife (1878)
Ilya Repin, Portrait of Vera Repin, the Artist’s Wife (1878)
Rosamund Bartlett (The Guardian) on her translation of Anna Karenina

Do we really need another English translation of Anna Karenina? This is a bit like asking whether we need a new recording of Beethoven’s Ninth. There is no English translation of the 1970 Academy of Sciences edition of the novel currently in print. This version contained a host of small differences from earlier versions; these may not amount to much individually, but cumulatively they add up to a new reading. And just as conductors and performers can produce revelatory new interpretations after intense listening, so translators have the potential to allow the author to speak more clearly. It’s all about the detail.

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June 2015 · Barbican, London

A month-long season comprising nine theatrical pieces that span almost thirty years of Beckett’s career. Uniting theatre companies from across the world, the Barbican invites you to pick and choose from a range of the artists’ work; from prose and radio plays to immersive experiences and site-specific adventures.

Students can access half-price tickets to selected performances of the season, please see the ‘Ticket Info’ tab of each show page for more information.  (more…)

Codrington Library at All Souls College in Oxford
Codrington Library at All Souls College in Oxford

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An excerpt from the writer’s diaries, translated by Barbara Wright
Robert Pinget
Robert Pinget

I was still very much under the influence of the surrealists, of attempts to approach the unconscious; in short of experiments made on language in what might be called its nascent state, that’s to say: independent of any rational order. A gratuitous game with vocabulary-that was my passion. Logic seemed to me to be incapable of attaining the very special domain of literature, which in any case I still equate with that of poetry. And so it was a fascination with the possibilities, the absolute freedom of creation, an intense desire to abolish all the constraints of classical writing, that made me produce these exercises which neither the logician, nor philosopher, nor moralist, will find to his taste. That doesn’t mean to say that the imaginative reader will not be able to find something in them to his taste. A reader in love with language and with the multifarious echoes that his emotions absorb when he is attuned to words. Hence, for him, a profusion of contradictory meanings, and the feeling of being released from the prisons of rationalizing reason.

[Read more at Brooklyn Rail]