In this article I defend directorial in-direction that keeps faith with a skeptical epistemology and antirepresentational theatrics. Along with Artaud's theories, I bring into play psychopragmatic and spectator-centered principles to critique strong directorial interpretations that deny audience agency and destroy the pact between playwright and spectator. In the last part of the article I focus on the implications of my arguments for
In this essay, I investigate double consciousness by setting up a dialogue among texts by Beckett and philosophical and psychoanalytic thinkers. In examining the obsessional recurrence of the topic in Beckett, I call on Berkeley, Merleau-Ponty and Fanon to probe visibility-being and the social and psychic gap between the self and its reflection ; and I turn to Freud, Klein, Bion, Winnicott, Anzieu, and Lacan to interrogate perceptual doubleness and the voracious and disgusted eye in Murphy and Film.
Samuel Beckett situated Paul Klee among "the great of [his] time." I explore the reasons for Beckett's recognition of an artist whose distillations suggest that he is to painting what Beckett is to the written word and stage. Beckett and Klee were among the modernist writers and artists who were fascinated with genesis and child's play in opting for a willed impoverishment of unseeing and unknowing. I will investigate this shared trajectory by drawing in particular on the work of Rudolf Arnheim on visual perception and the nonrepresentational translations children make of an intersecting inner and outer world.
In this essay I explore the Prometheus complex by crisscrossing from the notions derived from religion, mythology, and Heraclitus that connect fire with intelligence, power, and the divine to the modern thought of Bachelard, Bion, and Foucault that links sexuality and power with the will to knowledge. Beckett, on the contrary, taking his cue from the gnostics, reduces such fire idolatry to ashes. In , and (to cite only these), tyrannical agents are mocked as their fire is extinguished, their thunder stolen or stilled, sapping their 'directorial' powers.
In concert with the recent transnational turn in modernist studies, this essay surveys the Parisian intellectual and literary trends echoed in Beckett's “Anglo-Irish” fiction of the thirties. Probed in particular are the extensive role André Gide played in shaping Beckett's views and practice of the modern novel and the tension between the real and the “ideal real” in the two writers' work. What would Gide's stature be in Beckett studies, one wonders, if Beckett had completed the monograph he planned to write on Gide as he had on Proust?
Reading Beckett's fictions through Racine's tragedies is facilitated by Beckett's own reading of the seventeenth-century dramatist through the lens of the modern novel. Using the notes of three students in Beckett's 1931 course at Trinity College Dublin and Jorge Luis Borges's view on the 'creation' of literary precursors, this essay examines the effect of Beckett's Racines on his own fiction.