By Cohn, Ruby; Beckett, Samuel
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First released in 1997. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.
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Additional resources for A Beckett canon
Beckett admires Proust for elevating art above experience, and yet his monograph reveals how absorbed he was in the intensity of the ‹ctionalized experience. He sees in Proust’s Marcel a volatile self at the mercy of time, and the instability of the self will haunt Beckett throughout his writing career. The last division of Beckett’s seven-part analysis, which I have labeled “Art,” is a catchall. It is almost as though Beckett gathered up a series of disconnected notes. He argues that Proust is an impressionist and not an allegorist; he then pins other labels on Proust, de‹ning them for his immediate purposes.
The typescript of it is at NhD; a photocopy is at RUL. An excerpt, “Jem Higgins’ Love-Letter to the Alba,” appeared in New Durham (June 1965), but Beckett resisted requests to publish the complete youthful novel. It was ‹rst published in 1992, by the Black Cat Press, Dublin, with some acrimony between the editor, Eoin O’Brien, and the British and American publisher, John Calder. Page numbers refer to Calder’s Riverrun edition, 1993. 37 a beckett canon: 1932–33 [Belacqua] was bogged in indolence, without identity, impervious alike to its pull and goading.
The work of art as neither created nor chosen, but discovered, uncovered, excavated, pre-existing within the artist, a law of his nature” (64). Less than half of Beckett’s Joyce essay focuses on Joyce, but the whole Proust monograph is centered on Proust, including frequent paraphrase and nearly forty quotations. Sensitive to Proust’s language, Beckett declares: “For Proust the quality of language is more important than any system of ethics or aesthetics” (67). In spite of that sentence, Beckett accords more attention to the thematics than to the style of Proust’s long novel, however he insists upon the union 19 a beckett canon: 1929–31 of form and content.
A Beckett canon by Cohn, Ruby; Beckett, Samuel