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Nicholas Royle

phrase comes from ‘The Tower’, a poem by W. B. Yeats published in 1926. Samuel Beckett thought it one of Yeats’s most beautiful lines and he wrote a play about it, also called ‘…but the clouds …’ (1976). Beckett put three dots before and three dots after, suggesting the cloudlike nature of dots themselves, as well as the importance of ellipsis and aposio–– Yeats’s ‘The Tower’ is about an imagined future of study – being a sun machine student, if I can say that. (Yeats, like Bowie and Blyton, had no university

in David Bowie, Enid Blyton and the sun machine
Samuel Beckett’s theatrical bodies
Nicholas Taylor-Collins

after its long bondage to false conventions. … Samuel Beckett has pioneered an analogous reform in our own day, trying to revive an art that has rotted in its own pomp by stripping away all theatrical tinsel, so as to get back to the bedrock of reality[.] ( Barish, 1985 : 135–6) Barish

in Shakespeare, memory, and modern Irish literature
The rhetoric of ideology in postcolonial Irish fiction

The rhetoric of ideology haunts Irish fiction. In this book, I map these rhetorical hauntings across a wide range of postcolonial Irish novels, and define the specter as a non-present presence that simultaneously symbolizes and analyzes an overlapping of Irish myth and Irish history. By exploring this exchange between literary discourse and historical events, Haunted Historiographies provides literary historians and cultural critics a theory of the specter that exposes the various complex ways in which novelists remember, represent, and reinvent historical narrative. Haunted Historiographies juxtaposes canonical and non-canonical novels that complicate long-held assumptions about four definitive events in modern Irish history—the Great Famine, the Irish Revolution, the Second World War, and the Northern Irish Troubles—to demonstrate how historiographical Irish fiction from James Joyce and Samuel Beckett to Roddy Doyle and Sebastian Barry is both a product of Ireland’s colonial history, and also the rhetorical means by which a post-colonial culture has emerged.

The Theatre of the Absurd
Neil Cornwell

This chapter studies the concept of the Theatre of the Absurd, which is based on the precepts of Antonin Artaud, and goes on to describe Artaud as the bridge between the present Theatre of the Absurd and the pioneers of the concept. It then identifies the five major dramatists of the absurd: Arthur Adamov, Eugène Ionesco, Harold Pinter, Samuel Beckett and Jean Genet. The chapter focuses on the works of these dramatists – except for Beckett – and views the Theatre of the Absurd in (Soviet) Russia and in east Europe (during the Cold War).

in The absurd in literature
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Mariko Hori Tanaka
Yoshiki Tajiri
, and
Michiko Tshushima

to ‘memory’ in the 1980s, in part stimulated by the work of Pierre Nora and David P. Jordan (2009) and Yosef Yerushalmi’s influential book Zakhor: Jewish History and Jewish Memory (1982). Michel Foucault, too, invoked a politics of memory and, tracing this out, Ian Hacking explored what he named ‘memoro-politics’. This turn to memory involved a rediscovery and translation of Maurice Halbwachs’s work from the 1920s on collective memory (Halbwachs was murdered at Buchenwald in 1945). This shift in 2 ­ Samuel Beckett and trauma historical discourse seems not only

in Samuel Beckett and trauma
Towards a poetics of adaptation
Pim Verhulst

Experimental Beckett , Jonathan Heron and Nicholas Johnson point out: ‘There is almost no prohibition that Beckett made in one case that was not transgressed in another. Partly on these grounds, we challenge the discourse that Samuel Beckett's drama is not already a terrain for experimental practice’ ( 2020 : 2). This claim could very well be generalised to his entire body of work so that the phenomenon of adaptation is not anathema to it, as often seems to be the perception, but actually constitutes its natural or logical extension. Beckett and

in Beckett’s afterlives
Open Access (free)
Balazs Rapcsak
Mark Nixon

Given the never-ending debates about the definition of the concept in media studies, it may seem peculiar that in Beckett studies the term ‘media’ has acquired a relatively stable meaning. When Linda Ben-Zvi published her insightful essay ‘Samuel Beckett's Media Plays’ in 1985 , it consolidated an understanding of the term that has dominated discussions ever since. On the one hand, this understanding promises to be abundantly clear: ‘plays written for a medium other than the stage: seven for radio, five for television, and one for film’ (22

in Beckett and media
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Farewell to the old lutist
Daniela Caselli

the Prose of Samuel Beckett (Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1999), p. 14. 2 Samuel Beckett, Company (London: Calder, 1980), p. 30; ‘sur le chemin de A à Z’. Samuel Beckett, Compagnie (Paris, Les Éditions de Minuit, 1985), p. 30. 3 Lucia Boldrini, Joyce, Dante and the Poetics of Literary Relations (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), p. 6; Dominic Manganiello, T. S. Eliot and Dante (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1989), p. 165; Steve Ellis, Dante and English Poetry (Cambridge: Cambridge

in Beckett’s Dantes
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Theatre plays on British television
Editors: and

In this edited collection, scholars use a variety of methodologies to explore the history of stage plays produced for British television between 1936 and the present. The volume opens with a substantial historical outline of the how plays originally written for the theatre were presented by BBC Television and the ITV companies as well as by independent producers and cultural organisations. Subsequent chapters analyse television adaptations of existing stage productions, including a 1937 presentation of a J. B. Priestley play by producer Basil Dean; work by companies including the Royal Shakespeare Company, Stoke-on-Trent’s Victoria Theatre and the Radical Alliance of Poets and Players; the verbatim dramas from the Tricycle Theatre and National Theatre of Scotland; and Mike Leigh’s comedy Abigail’s Party, originally staged for Hampstead Theatre and translated to the Play for Today strand in 1977. Broadcast television’s original productions of classic and contemporary drama are also considered in depth, with studies of television productions of plays by Jacobean dramatists John Webster and Thomas Middleton, and by Henrik Ibsen and Samuel Beckett. In addition, the volume offers a consideration of the contribution to television drama of the influential producer Cedric Messina who, between 1967 and 1977, oversaw BBC Television’s Play of the Month strand before initiating The BBC Television Shakespeare (1978–85); the engagement with television adaptations by modern editors of Shakespeare’s plays; and Granada Television’s eccentric experiment in 1969–70 of running The Stables Theatre Company as a producer for both stage and screen. Collectively, these chapters open up new areas of research for all those engaged in theatre, media and adaptation studies.

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This book provides a lucid, wide-ranging and up-to-date critical introduction to the writings of Hélène Cixous (1937–). Cixous is often considered ‘difficult’. Moreover she is extraordinarily prolific, having published dozens of books, essays, plays and other texts. Royle avoids any pretence of a comprehensive survey, instead offering a rich and diverse sampling. At once expository and playful, original and funny, this micrological approach enables a new critical understanding and appreciation of Cixous’s writing. If there is complexity in her work, Royle suggests, there is also uncanny simplicity and great pleasure. The book focuses on key motifs such as dreams, the supernatural, literature, psychoanalysis, creative writing, realism, sexual differences, laughter, secrets, the ‘Mother unconscious’, drawing, painting, autobiography as ‘double life writing’, unidentifiable literary objects (ULOs), telephones, non-human animals, telepathy and the ‘art of cutting’. Particular stress is given to Cixous’s work in relation to Sigmund Freud and Jacques Derrida, as well as to her importance in the context of ‘English literature’. There are close readings of Shakespeare, Emily Brontë, P. B. Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe, Lewis Carroll, Virginia Woolf, James Joyce and Samuel Beckett, for example, alongside in-depth explorations of her own writings, from Inside (1969) and ‘The Laugh of the Medusa’ (1975) up to the present. Royle’s book will be of particular interest to students and academics coming to Cixous’s work for the first time, but it will also appeal to readers interested in contemporary literature, creative writing, life writing, narrative theory, deconstruction, psychoanalysis, feminism, queer theory, ecology, drawing and painting.