SAMUEL BECKETT by Ruby Cohn

SAMUEL BECKETT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

For critic Ruby Cohn, in her excellent, expertly detailed explication de texte, Beckett's world is a Tower of Babel that is either toppling or has toppled. Probably more than anyone else, Beckett is the precursor of the anti-novel, anti-play, anti-hero, which historically is nothing more than a new form of anti-intellectualism, a kind of parody or paradox capable of full enjoyment only by the extraordinarily educated, the 20th century intelligential, a cultural bureaucracy which negates itself more and more. For Beckett, the truth of man is one of puns, thus the constant creation of an anti-language which reaches with its scenic metaphors (scorched earth in Happy Days; mud in Comment ) pseudo-personae (the tramps of Godot; the cripples of Watt) and abstract gadgetry (chamberpots, broken beds, ashcans) the foutiste hysteria of the tragic. Heckett creates a chain of events, reducing characters to the absurdity of both experience and art where ""form content, content form""; Beckett is ""not writing about something, he is writing something"". Just how long his neo-acholastic sophistication can go on is anybody's guess, but the Beckett bandwagon is becoming and critic Cohn, along with Hugh Kenner, proves the best of the current drummers. But along with the sometimes mind-splitting ""wordy-gurdy"" of depth and ""dizzying transparency"", there are many insights.

Publisher: Rutgers Univ. Press