Staging the <i>Inferno</i> in <i>How It Is</i>

Daniela Caselli

in Beckett’s Dantes

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780719071560
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701973 | DOI:
Staging the Inferno in How It Is

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This chapter addresses the argument that How It Is mobilises Inferno VII to produce a notion of reality as the unreliable outcome of repetition. It studies the canto where Virgil translates the incomprehensible gurgling that is coming from the bubbles on the surface of the river Styx into the ‘hymn’ sung by the invisible slothful damned. This discussion shows that this illustrates how ‘credence’ for the reality of such scenes is taken from the quickly diminishing ‘incontrovertibility’ of Virgil's authority. This chapter also shows that the mud in How It Is is what allows the passing of the murmuring and what prevents it.

Keywords: repetition; notion of reality; Virgil; canto; slothful damned; hymn; incontrovertibility; How It Is; Inferno VII

Chapter.  17387 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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