The Unhappy Consciousness: The Poetic Plight of Samuel Beckett An Inquiry at the Intersection of Phenomenology and Literature / Edition 1

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Kaelin's essay furnishes a methodical alternative to the intuitionistic criticism of standard cultural historians, as well as a strongly argued defence against arguments that have labeled Beckett, along with Ionesco and Pinter, as a dramatist of the absurd. He argues that absurdity there is in Beckett's work, but it is not a celebration of the irrationality human beings often fall heir to; absurdity, rather, is one of the marks of the human condition which imposes on man the necessity of acting in order to become what he in some sense already is. According to Kaelin, philosophy in Beckett's writings is a tool for the creation of a positive value that is all the more poignant for evolving from the negative values haunting the human condition. And further, Kaelin argues, Beckett may be seen as having used a number of philosophical notions from Cartesian dualism and Schopenhauer's idealism to Hegelian dialectic and existentialist self-confrontation.

This book offers a highly original perspective to the body of Beckett scholarship. By articulating the process by which Beckett's view of the relationship between philosophy and literature is carried over into his own works, Kaelin brings us closer toward an adequate, balanced view of his literary achievement.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'This monograph offers a highly original perspective to the body of Beckett scholarship. It will interest philosophers involved with aesthetics, phenomenology, and literature, literary critics, and those concerned with literary studies and poetics.'
The Modern Schoolman (November 1983)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789027713131
  • Publisher: Springer Netherlands
  • Publication date: 11/30/1981
  • Series: Analecta Husserliana Series , #13
  • Edition description: 1981
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 356
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Table of Contents

I Introduction The Babel of Criticism.- I.- II In The Beginning, The Word.- III Apprenticeship in Sorcery.- IV The Gift of Tongues.- V Through Streets Wide and Narrow.- VI “I was my Father and I was my Son”.- VII Voices in the Mud.- II.- VIII Creating a Scene.- IX Voices, in English, on the Air.- X English Voices for the Stage.- XI The Limits of Theater.- XII Soul made Light, and Sound.- XIII Sound, Sense and Sound.- XIV Closure.- References.

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