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Evil, Privation and the Absent Logos in Richard Marsh‘s The Beetle
Simon Marsden

This essay explores the influence of the theological tradition of privation theory upon Richard Marsh‘s novel The Beetle (1897). Focusing on images of ontological nothingness, corruption and uncreation, it argues that the novel employs the concept of privation both in its depiction of the supernatural Other and in its parallel interrogation of its contemporary modernity. Imagery of privation in the novel is associated not only with the Beetle itself, but with the modern urban environment and weapons of mass destruction. The essay concludes by examining the corruption of language and absence of a creative logos able to respond adequately to the privations of the modern city and industrial economy.

Gothic Studies
Neal Curtis

7 Sovereignty at the limit Having addressed how sovereignty seeks to secure an identity by policing its kinship structure, in this chapter I would like to return to the spectre that haunts sovereignty, and has done so in this study since the opening chapter, namely the ‘nothingness’ out of which Carl Schmitt (2005: 32) claimed the sovereign’s legitimacy arises. Although Schmitt tried to fill this void with the divine presence of God, the Father, this only masked the fact that something limitless and potentially abyssal lies at the foundation of sovereignty

in Sovereignty and superheroes
Open Access (free)
Beckett and anxiety
Russell Smith

Beckett’s work, using as my primary example a passage from the opening of Molloy, in particular in so far as it sheds light on two broader questions: the role of ‘feeling’ in Beckett’s writing, particularly in the postwar period, and Beckett’s aesthetic preoccupation with the evocation of an unfathomable ‘nothingness’.6 A significant debate in modern clinical psychology concerns the degree to which anxiety is treatable, curable. According to Stanley Rachman, ‘anxiety’ and ‘fear’ are usually distinguished on the basis that, whereas fear is brief and intense, ‘an

in Beckett and nothing
Open Access (free)
Trying to understand Beckett

Nothing' has been at the centre of Samuel Beckett's reception and scholarship from its inception. This book explains how the Beckett oeuvre, through its paradoxical fidelity to nothing, produces critical approaches which aspire to putting an end to interpretation: in this instance, the issues of authority, intertextuality and context, which this book tackles via 'nothing'. By retracing the history of Beckett studies through 'nothing', it theorises a future for the study of Beckett's legacies and is interested in the constant problem of value in the oeuvre. Through the relation between Beckett and nothing, the relation between voice and stone in Jean-Paul Sartre and Beckett, we are reminded precisely of the importance of the history of an idea, even the ideas of context, influence, and history. The book looks at something that has remained a 'nothing' within the Beckett canon so far: his doodles as they appear in the Human Wishes manuscript. It also looks at the material history of televisual production and places the aesthetic concerns of Beckett's television plays. The book then discusses the nexus between nothing and silence in order to analyse the specific relations between music, sound, and hearing. It talks about the history of materiality through that of neurology and brings the two into a dialogue sustained by Beckett texts, letters and notebooks. The book investigates the role of nothing through three works called neither and Neither: Beckett's short text, Morton Feldman's opera, and Doris Salcedo's sculptural installation.

Open Access (free)
Reading Beckett’s negativity
Peter Boxall

period.4 Such an encounter with a nothingness which has significance and value, however, both stages a certain Beckettian becoming – as if here in contemplation of the ‘being of nothing’ both Beckett and Watt find themselves in their ‘midst at last, after so many tedious years spent clinging to the perimeter’5 – and poses a difficulty that Beckett’s writing in a sense never overcomes. For if the relentless effort to give expression to nothingness and meaninglessness might be thought of as the central task of Beckett’s writing, it is also the case that this is a task in

in Beckett and nothing
Azzedine Haddour

1 The significance of Sartre in Fanon Introduction The influence of Being and Nothingness, Anti-Semite and Jew and Black Orpheus is perceptible in the work of Fanon, and the ethical dimension of existential phenomenology is fundamental to his anticolonial project. In Existentialism Is a Humanism, Sartre writes: ‘my intimate discovery of myself is at the same time the revelation of the other as a freedom that confronts my own and that cannot think or will without doing so either for or against me. We are thus immediately thrust into a world that we may call

in Frantz Fanon, postcolonialism and the ethics of difference
Open Access (free)
The no-thing that knows no name and the Beckett envelope, blissfully reconsidered
Enoch Brater

structure, the whole arranged in ‘2 × 12 = 24 paragraphs’. Make sense who may. Beckett said he handwrote each of the 60 sentences on a separate piece of paper, mixed them all in a container, then drew them out in random order twice.10 With so many parallels to Dada composition, echoes of James Joyce, and resonances to the ‘midget grammar’ of Gertrude Stein,11 it has always been difficult to know where to place Beckett on the great modernist/postmodernist divide. Somewhere beyond minimalism, his work explores the vast terrain that separates nothing from nothingness, and

in Beckett and nothing
Open Access (free)
Beckett’s television plays and the idea of broadcasting
Jonathan Bignell

7 Into the void: Beckett’s television plays and the idea of broadcasting Jonathan Bignell In the context of a tradition of critical discussion that characterises Beckett’s plays for television (and his other work) as attempts to engage with nothingness, absence and death, this chapter argues that the television plays are critical explorations of the problematics of presence and absence inherent in the conceptions and histories of broadcasting.1 Television as a medium and a physical apparatus sets up spatial and temporal relationships between programmes and their

in Beckett and nothing
Anna Dezeuze

notions as widely different as ‘anarchy, the absurd, nonsense, zip … infinity, atmosphere, ellipsis, negation, annihilation, whiteness, blackness’ and ‘abjection’ (in addition to the ‘formlessness’ also of interest to Carpenter and Gussin).11 Within this potentially sprawling field of nothingness can be singled out some more specific strands. As a starting point, let us compare for example the above-mentioned references to George Brecht’s scores in Densité ± 0 and Fast Nichts. In Fast Nichts Brecht’s scores were inscribed within a trajectory of ‘reductive, minimalist

in Almost nothing
Abstract only
Dafydd W. Jones

‘nothing’ always present behind everything, the ‘nothing’ that is preferred to ‘something’, ‘not a will to nothingness, but a growth of a nothingness of the will … Being as being, and nothing more.’2 The absence of Arthur Cravan with which we are now faced is a vibrant and unceasing dispersal of names and fictions. There is no final death to recover, no single narrative, far less meaning, to emerge from a life of perpetually unstable power-relations and the relentless struggle for domination; there is no power, only the process of a will to power and (for the multiply

in The fictions of Arthur Cravan