"A distinguished gathering of Beckett commentary. . . . All of the critics in Gontarski's collection excel."--Melvin J. Friedman, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
"Original, well thought out, and unique contributions to the field of Beckett scholarship."--Brian Finney, University of Southern California
For fifteen years the Journal of Beckett Studies attracted (and maintained the loyalty of) superb Beckett scholars. Because of the journal's irregular publication schedule, however, back issues of the original series are virtually impossible to come by. This collection makes available for the first time in book form those essays of exceptional merit that have never been reprinted.
Samuel Beckett is one of the stellar figures in post-World War II English and European literature. This collection contains fresh perspectives on such fundamental themes in his work as the idea of the "absurd," the Manichean tension of light and dark, and the Cartesian split of mind and body, self and other. Specific essays offer, for instance, an existential reading of the short mime Act Without Words, I; an analysis of the Jungian libido operating in the novel Molloy; a study of Beckett's play with language in the radio play Embers; and a critique of a central question in Beckett studies, his relationship to the philosophical tradition of solipsism.
In 1992, Florida State University made a commitment to regular publication of the JBS in a new series under S. E. Gontarski's editorship. This collection offers important essays from the first phase of the journal (1976-91).
"The Journal of Beckett Studies, The First Fifteen Years: An Introduction," by S. E. Gontarski
"Beckett's Proust," by John Pilling
"'Birth Astride of a Grave': Samuel Beckett's Act without Words I," by S. E. Gontarski
"Belacqua as Artist and Lover: 'What a Misfortune,'" by Jeri L. Kroll
"Watt: Language as Interdiction and Consolation," by Thomas J. Cousineau
"Murphy's Metaphysics," by James Acheson
"Embers: An Interpretation," by Paul Lawley
"The Orphic Mouth in Not I," by Katherine Kelly
"Jung and the Molloy Narrative," by J. D. O'Hara
"Imagination Dead Imagine: The Imagination and Its Context," by James Hansford
"Watt: Music, Tuning, and Tonality," by Heath Lees
"Quoting from Godot: Trends in Contemporary French Theater," by Anne C. Murch
"'Imaginative Transactions' in La Falaise," by James Hansford
"Beckett and the Temptation of Solipsism," by Ileana Marcoulesco
S. E. Gontarski, professor of English at Florida State University, edits the Journal of Beckett Studies and is the author of Samuel Beckett's Happy Days: A Manuscript Study; The Intent of Undoing in Samuel Beckett's Dramatic Texts; On Beckett: Essays and Criticism; and editor of volumes 2 (Endgame) and 4 (The Shorter Plays) of The Theatrical Notebooks of Samuel Beckett.
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