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Beckett's Art of Mismaking

Durantaye, Leland De La

Published by Harvard University Press
ISBN 10: 0674504852 / ISBN 13: 9780674504851
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Beckett's Art of Mismaking

Publisher: Harvard University Press

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: New


Leland de la Durantaye helps us understand Beckett s strangeness and notorious difficulty by arguing that Beckett s lifelong campaign was to mismake on purpose not to denigrate himself, or his audience, or reconnect with the child or savage within, but because he believed that such mismaking is in the interest of art and will shape its future." Num Pages: 188 pages. BIC Classification: 2AB; DSBH; DSK. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). . . 2016. 1st Edition. Hardcover. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780674504851

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Readers have long responded to Samuel Beckett?s novels and plays with wonder or bafflement. They feature babbling figures in jars or garbage cans, crawling along forest floors or rolling in mud. These characters are blind, lame, maimed creatures cracking whips and wielding can openers?often very funny when they should be chilling, cruel when we expect them to show tenderness. And then his works seem not to conclude but to stop. Readers legitimately ask: what does it all mean?

In a lively and enlivening study of a singular creative spirit, Leland de la Durantaye helps us better understand Beckett?s strangeness and notorious difficulty. He argues that Beckett?s lifelong campaign was to mismake on purpose?not to denigrate himself, or his audience, nor even to reconnect with the child or the savage within, but because he believed that such mismaking is in the interest of art and will shape its future. Whether called ?creative willed mismaking,? ?logoclasm,? or ?word-storming in the name of beauty,? Beckett meant by these various terms an art that attacks language and reason, unity and continuity, art and life, with wit and venom.

Beckett?s Art of Mismaking explains Beckett?s views on language, the relation between work and world, and the interactions between stage and page, as well as the motives guiding his sixty-year-long career?his strange decision to adopt French as his literary language, swerve from the complex novels to the minimalist plays, determination to ?fail better,? and principled refusal to follow any easy path to originality.

About the Author: Leland de la Durantaye is Professor of Literature at Claremont McKenna College.

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