In Dialogue with Godot: Waiting and Other Thoughts

Overview

In Dialogue with Godot: Waiting and Other Thoughts, edited by Ranjan Ghosh, PhD, puts together thirteen new essays on Beckett’s most popular and widely read play, Waiting for Godot. Chapters are envisaged as dialogues with Godot, keeping in mind the event of waiting and other issues related to this Godot-Waiting phenomenon. The merit of this book lies in exploring this play from thirteen fresh perspectives introducing some important themes that have not been dealt previously. Contributors explore the play in ...
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Overview

In Dialogue with Godot: Waiting and Other Thoughts, edited by Ranjan Ghosh, PhD, puts together thirteen new essays on Beckett’s most popular and widely read play, Waiting for Godot. Chapters are envisaged as dialogues with Godot, keeping in mind the event of waiting and other issues related to this Godot-Waiting phenomenon. The merit of this book lies in exploring this play from thirteen fresh perspectives introducing some important themes that have not been dealt previously. Contributors explore the play in reference to topics as varied as Hindu philosophy, Agamben, Kristeva, Derrida, the absence of women in the play, Aristotleanism in structural reading, and anti-existentialism. Essays ask, can we make claims to read this play outside the ‘absurd tradition’? Is it an anti-existential play? Can Beckett possibly be ‘Indianised’? How can the dialectic between ‘waiting’ and ‘delay’ be problematized? If Beckett was up to de-structure conventional modes of drama-writing, what connection could he possibly have with Aristotle and his normative modes? Can the Vladimir-Estragon relationship be critiqued psychoanalytically? Can questions of political commitment be challenged anew, resisting easy propositions to considering it a Resistance play? Can the Godot / Resistance collocation be examined through torture (the series of beatings that structures the play), through relationship (the pseudo-couple), and finally through language (the insistent coupling of violence and meaning)? In Dialogue with Godot offers a refreshingly new and varied approach to Samuel Beckett’s most popular play.
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Editorial Reviews

Sidney Homan
Godot’s 'Underground Ancestry,' 'Vladimir’s Tragic Recognition,' 'The Feminine' in play, motifs of 'Speculation' and 'Infantile Politics,' editor’s Ghosh’s own placing the theme of work and play within what he has called elsewhere 'the wordling of the drama'—what a rich collection of approaches to Waiting for Godot! And as someone who works in the theatre, I also find this commentary wonderfully suggestive for both actors and directors.
Robert Gordon
This varied and provocative collection of essays on Beckett's most famous play animates new and productive dialogues with an extraordinary array of thinkers. Situating the writing and performance of Godot in a range of historical contexts, the essays involve Marx, Freud, Benjamin, Hindu philosophy, Adorno, Gramsci, Brecht, Derrida, Sontag, Foucauld, Aristotle and Agamben in intertextual engagement with this profoundly though perversely allusive drama.
CHOICE
Ghosh has assembled 13 outstanding essays that review Beckett's most popular drama. The volume's contributors engage the play in meaningful contexts that have important implications for performance, production, and scholarship. Standout essays explore the political contexts of site-specific productions in Sarajevo and post-Katrina New Orleans; the affinities and contrasts of Godot to classical Greek tragedy; Beckett and allegory; and the psychodynamics of friendship and coupling. Beckett's attempt to redefine theater in postwar Europe is also explored, as are the ways in which Beckett's experiences in the French resistance suffuse this play and his other postwar writing. The essays contemplate the drama within a range of political and philosophical contexts, including issues of torture and human rights, Marxist and psychoanalytic thought, philosophical reflections on the eternal return, Aristotle's Poetics, poststructuralism, and Hindu philosophy. Taken together they shed contemporary light on this drama in ways that are suggestive for actors, directors, and scholars, and provide valuable insights into the criticism and practices of this most popular of Beckett's plays. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals.
Robert Gordon
This varied and provocative collection of essays on Beckett's most famous play animates new and productive dialogues with an extraordinary array of thinkers. Situating the writing and performance of Godot in a range of historical contexts, the essays involve Marx, Freud, Benjamin, Hindu philosophy, Adorno, Gramsci, Brecht, Derrida, Sontag, Foucauld, Aristotle and Agamben in intertextual engagement with this profoundly though perversely allusive drama.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739177396
  • Publisher: Lexington Books
  • Publication date: 8/22/2013
  • Pages: 236
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Ranjan Ghosh teaches in the Department of English at the University of North Bengal. He is widely published in journals like The Oxford Literary Review, History and Theory, parallax, Rethinking History, South Asia, SubStance, symploke, The Comparatist and others. Among his recent books include Lover’s Quarrel with the Past: Romance, Representation, Reading (Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2012), Edward Said, the Literary, Social and the Political World (New York: Routledge, 2009), Making Sense of the Secular (New York: Routledge, 2012), Presence: Philosophy, History and Cultural Theory for the 21st Century (Cornell University Press, 2013, with Ethan Kleinberg).
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Table of Contents

Introduction: Dialogic-Godotic
Ranjan Ghosh

The Politics of Identification in Waiting for Godot
Graley Herren

“What have I said?” Vladimir’s Tragic Recognition
Mark S. Byron

Alone and Together: The Psychic Structure of the Couple in Waiting for Godot
Mary Catanzaro

Beckett contra Aristotle: A Choral Reading of Waiting for Godot
Tom Cousineau

Waiting upon each other: work and play in waiting for Godot
Ranjan Ghosh

Rien à faire: The Para-Messianics of Delay in Godot
Stephen Barker

Waiting For Nothing: Commitment, Resistance, and Godot’s Underground Ancestry
Paul Sheehan

Scrutinizing the feminine in Waiting for Godot: Vladimir and Estragon await their couples counsellor
Art Horowitz

Beckett’s Lucky Chance: Speculation in Waiting for Godot
Eyal Amiran

Samuel Beckett’s Playland: The Profane and Infantile Politics of Waiting for Godot
Maria Margaroni

‘Who is Godot?’ Beckett and Allegory
Shane Weller

Culture, Politics and Human Rights in Waiting for Godot
Wanda Balzano

Index
About the Authors

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