Beckett's Restlessness

Herschel Farbman

in The Other Night

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print January 2008 | ISBN: 9780823228652
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235780 | DOI:
Beckett's Restlessness

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This chapter discusses Samuel Beckett's concept of recklessness in his writing. The discussion shows that writing is the center of the action in Beckett's trilogy: Molloy; Malone Dies; and The Unnamable. In the trilogy, Beckett's speakers relentlessly press permutations of one question: Who, in the final instance, is speaking here? No response ever sticks. Because Beckett's self-reflexive fictions present this restlessness as a writing problem, the chapter argues that the problem belongs only to the writer and not to the reader — that the writer wrestles heroically with a special restlessness from which the reader may remain free. The chapter claims that Beckett's writings display the difference between the temporality of writing and the temporality of performance, and the temporality of production.

Keywords: Samuel Beckett; recklessness; The Unnamable; Molloy; Malone Dies; temporality; writing; performance; production

Chapter.  8477 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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