The author defines and analyzes the new type of theatrical
perspective invented by Samuel Beckett. She begins with an overview of the
changes of the definition of twentieth century-knowledge (e.g, art, science,
philosophy, and psychology) then discusses the concepts of time, space, and
movement which underlie Beckett's notion and use of perspective in the theater.
The Broken Window shows how Beckett translates a number of twentieth-century
esthetic and philosophical concerns - the impossibility of separating subject
and object, the indeterminacy of time and space, the inevitability of movement
and change - into specific dramatic techniques and traces their evolution
through close textual analyses of six plays. Hale is the first critic to define Beckett's theatrical
techniques in terms of the notion of perspective and to link them to similar
innovations in the plastic arts. In addition, no critic has so exhaustively
elaborated Beckett's premises of indeterminacy, the inevitability of
perception, and the breakdown of the subject/object relationship.
Publisher: Purdue University Press
Weight: 499 g
Dimensions: 241 x 165 x 19 mm
"This is a valuable study for its
concentration on an important theme in Beckett's work and for its lucid though
relatively brief discussion of the philosophical background to Beckett's
treatment of that theme."
"Hale derives a metaphor from the history of painting. The
Renaissance invention of perspective, as she says, was applauded as scientific
but took hold because it corresponded to deep assumptions about where the
viewer was in relation to the viewed . . . . [The author] argues that Beckett's
conception of theater has responded to a similar change; we're no longer sure
of knowing where we stand with respect to everything . . . .
"[Hale] works her way through the canon with the aid of this
guiding metaphor . . . . To have found a way to talk about those [late, very
stark, very short pieces, like A Piece of Monologue and Rockaby] is to have
accomplished something impressive."
--Hugh Kenner (07/31/2018)
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