Beckett’s Voices / Voicing Beckett


Beckett’s Voices / Voicing Beckett uses ‘voice’ as a prism to investigate Samuel Beckett’s work across a range of texts, genres, and performance cultures. Twenty-one contributors, all members of the Samuel Beckett Working Group of the International Federation for Theatre Research, discuss the musicality of Beckett’s voices, the voice as ‘absent other’, the voices of the vulnerable, the cinematic voice, and enacted voices in performance and media. The volume engages not only with Beckett’s history and legacy, but also with many of the central theoretical issues in theatre studies as a whole. Featuring testimonies from Beckett practitioners as well as emerging and established scholars, it is emblematic of the thriving and diverse community that is twenty-first century Beckett Studies.

Contributors: Svetlana Antropova, Linda Ben-Zvi, Jonathan Bignell, Llewellyn Brown, Julie Campbell, Thirthankar Chakraborty, Laurens De Vos, Everett C. Frost, S. E. Gontarski, Mariko Hori Tanaka, Nicholas E. Johnson, Kumiko Kiuchi, Anna McMullan, Melissa Nolan, Cathal Quinn, Arthur Rose, Teresa Rosell Nicolás, Jürgen Siess, Anna Sigg, Yoshiko Takebe, Michiko Tsushima

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Laurens De Vos is Associate Professor in Theatre Studies at the University of Amsterdam. He authored Cruelty and Desire in the Modern Theater: Antonin Artaud, Samuel Beckett, and Sarah Kane (2011) and Shakespeare (2016). He edited Sarah Kane in Context (2010).

Mariko Hori Tanaka is Professor of English at Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo. She has published widely on Samuel Beckett and has co-edited Samuel Beckett and Pain (2012), Samuel Beckett and Trauma (2018) and Influencing Beckett / Beckett Influencing (2020).

Nicholas E. Johnson is Associate Professor of Drama at Trinity College Dublin, where he co-directs the Trinity Centre for Beckett Studies. His publications include Experimental Beckett (2020), Bertolt Brecht’s David Fragments (2020) and two special issues of the Journal of Beckett Studies (2014, 2020).
Preface and Acknowledgements
List of Figures
Notes on Contributors
‘All the Dead Voices’: Introduction Laurens De Vos, Mariko Hori Tanaka and Nicholas E. Johnson
Listening to the Inner Voice in Watt: Innovations in Narrative Form Julie Campbell

Musicality of Voices

Sound Matters in Beckett Linda Ben-Zvi
Revealing the Limit of Language in Relation to Music Michiko Tsushima
Embers: A Polyphonic Piece for Radio Jürgen Siess

Voices of an Absent Other

Samuel Beckett, Quickening the ‘Dead Voices’: From Waiting for Godot to That Time Llewellyn Brown
Scratching the Surface: The Dramaturgical Oxymoron in Beckett’s Silences Laurens De Vos
Why Is ‘Listener’ Named ‘Souvenant’?: The Role of the Spectator in a Bilingual Reading of That Time/Cette fois Kumiko Kiuchi
Un-bodied Voices, the Thing Itself and Beckett’s Neural Theatre S. E. Gontarski

Voices of the Vulnerable

Pacing as Repressed Memory of Embodiment and Enactment in Footfalls Svetlana Antropova
‘Rock Her Off’: The Paradoxical Tension of the Split Voice in Rockaby Teresa Rosell Nicolás
Technology and the Voices of the More than Human in Beckett’s All That Fall Anna McMullan
A Creamy Work: Schiller and Beckett Arthur Rose

Cinematic Voices

Filmic Perspectives in Speaker’s Narrative of A Piece of Monologue Mariko Hori Tanaka
Cinematic Adaptations of Beckett’s Breath Anna Sigg
Translating Silence: Ashish Avikunthak’s Cinematographic Version of Come and Go Thirthankar Chakraborty

Enacted Voices in Performance and Media

Without Colour: Beckett and the Stage Voice Nicholas E. Johnson and Cathal Quinn
Beckett in Performance: The Body of a Beckettian Actor Melissa Nolan
Translating Beckett’s Voices in Different Cultures Yoshiko Takebe
Articulations of Voice and Medium in Beckett’s Screen Work Jonathan Bignell
All That Fall as a Case Study in the Possibilities and Problematics of Re-routing Samuel Beckett’s Radio Plays for Performance in Other Media Everett C. Frost
Researchers and students of Beckett Studies and theatre and performance studies, and general readers curious about Beckett, especially theatre practitioners.
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