The Pentimenti Principle

The Draft and the Draff in Beckett’s Critique of Narrative Reason

In: Samuel Beckett Today / Aujourd'hui
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  • 1 University of Antwerp, Department of Literature, Belgium

Abstract

Considering deleted passages in a manuscript as a draft’s “draff,” this article investigates the status of such cancelled passages. Since they did not make it into the published text, are they still part of that work, or where do they belong? The proposed pentimenti model suggests a possible answer to this question by comparing cancelled passages to what in the visual arts are the visible traces of earlier painting beneath the top layer. The manuscripts of Beckett’s Fin de partie / Endgame in the recent digital genetic edition of the Beckett Digital Manuscript Project serve as a case study to illustrate this pentimenti model.

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