Samuel Beckett and the Politics of Aftermath (Hardback)James McNaughton (author)
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Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of pages: 240
Weight: 522 g
Dimensions: 242 x 163 x 19 mm
Rescuing Beckett from the existentialist void, James McNaughton shows how the language and formal structures of his texts engage actively and consequentially with some of the major political challenges of his time: the establishment of the Irish Free State, the rise of Nazism in Germany, and the effects of the second world war. McNaughton tells his story with wit, verve, and an urgency that compels us to recognize Beckett as an emphatically political writer who asks us to think long and hard about the implications of our own interpretative choices. A model of critical acumen and assiduous research, Samuel Beckett and the Politics of Aftermath is an indispensable book for Beckett specialists and for scholars and students of the wider field of aesthetic modernism. * Adam Parkes, University of Georgia *
McNaughton's unfailingly clear-eyed, immensely suggestive book is founded on a recognition that Beckett's early and mid-period work is a protracted meditation, not only on the intractable truth, but our necessary and continuing evasions of it, and that the result is a pervasively and irreducibly ironical aesthetic. McNaughton drastically rethinks many of the most established emphases in Beckett criticism. But the book's major achievement is to show in compelling detail how far the Beckettian will to abstraction which has determined so many accounts of him is in fact itself deliberately, ironically mined, punctuated and nuanced by the traces of political history. No-one has better glossed Beckett's extraordinary - and extraordinarily subtle - political intelligence, sensitivity and scruple. * Andrew Gibson, University of London *
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