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Samuel Beckett (New Edition) (Bloom's Modern Critical Views) by Harold Bloom

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By Harold Bloom

Irish dramatist and novelist Samuel Beckett bought the 1969 Nobel Prize in Literature for his hugely acclaimed physique of labor, together with the play Waiting for Godot, his best-known paintings and a staple of the fashionable degree. part a century after it was once first released, the play is taken into account the forerunner of the performs of Ionesco, Pinter, Stoppard, and others. Harold Bloom introduces this quantity of latest serious essays approximately Beckett and his works, that is entire with a chronology of the author's lifestyles, a bibliography of his works, and an index.

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Extra resources for Samuel Beckett (New Edition) (Bloom's Modern Critical Views)

Example text

VLADIMIR:╇ Were you not there? ESTRAGON:╇ I can’t have been listening. €. Nothing very definite. ESTRAGON:╇ A kind of prayer. VLADIMIR:╇ Precisely. ESTRAGON:╇ A vague supplication. VLADIMIR:╇ Exactly. ESTRAGON:╇ And what did he reply? VLADIMIR:╇ That he’d see. ESTRAGON:╇ That he couldn’t promise anything. VLADIMIR:╇ That he’d have to think it over. ESTRAGON:╇ In the quiet of his home. VLADIMIR:╇ Consult his family. ESTRAGON:╇ His friends. VLADIMIR:╇ His agents. ESTRAGON:╇ His correspondents.

Both Joyce and Beckett question the authority of the traditional omniscient narrator, but do so in ways expressed through opposite stylistic assumptions and techniques. Two examples from Ulysses illustrate how the questionable authority of interior monologue is replaced by a secular version of the controlling narrator, the author himself as manipulator of language. Such a narrator is too apt to call our attention to himself and his handiwork to be considered godlike. But, if not omniscient, he is at least omnipresent in terms of style.

Yet he too gets no further than “I. AM. 1246–65). 4. 490–92; Gifford 47). Since “mother” appears together with “new year” when Stephen thinks about Tennyson, the text he is recollecting must be the opening of “The May Queen”: “call me early mother dear; / Tomorrow’ll be the happiest time of the glad New-year” (lines 1–2), probably in its setting as a popular song (Gifford 47). So, with Tennyson recently on his mind, when Stephen sees the ship after having been thinking about a drowned man, he is prepared to recall Tennyson’s better-known reference to the new year as the hopeful turning point in In Memoriam (stanza 106).

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