The dispeopled kingdom: the hidden self in Beckett's short fiction

John Robert Keller

in Samuel Beckett and the Primacy of Love

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print December 2002 | ISBN: 9780719063121
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700297 | DOI:
The dispeopled kingdom: the hidden self in Beckett's short fiction

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This chapter discusses first-person short fiction. It studies the primal splits within the narrative-self in the direct fiction, as well as those in the ‘created’ tales of the narrator. It starts with a section on the split of the primary nursing bond in the Nouvelles and in the Texts for Nothing. It is followed by a discussion of the central feeling-states found within the Nouvelles and how the narrator experiences aspects of the self as threatening or even hostile, as stated in Texts for Nothing. This chapter also aims to explain the hidden and unfulfilled sense of the narrative self. It also examines the use of projective identification and the splitting of the narrative-self in ‘The Lost Ones’.

Keywords: short fiction; first-person; narrative-self; primal splits; nursing bond; Nouvelles; Texts for Nothing; feeling-states; aspects of the self; projective identification

Chapter.  20474 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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