Peter Boxall
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Nothing of value
Reading Beckett’s negativity

This chapter focuses on some of the ways in which Samuel Beckett's own gaze has been reflected in work by J. M. Coetzee and W. G. Sebald. The way in which Beckett's nothingness is accorded value can be seen as an index to the critical mode in which he is approached. The emptiness that inhabits Beckett's writing suggests and provokes an affinity with the reader, allows the reader to find his or her self reflected in Beckett's work, as reader and listener reflect each other in Ohio Impromptu, as Murphy is reflected in Mr Endon. This emptiness allows for and provokes such affinity, but it is also just this negativity that is eradicated as affinity gives way to stifling proximity, to a becoming one.

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Beckett and nothing

Trying to understand Beckett



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