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Samuel Beckett and the Primacy of Love$
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John Keller

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780719063121

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719063121.001.0001

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This emptied heart: Watt's unwelcome home

This emptied heart: Watt's unwelcome home

Chapter:
(p.90) 3 This emptied heart: Watt's unwelcome home
Source:
Samuel Beckett and the Primacy of Love
Author(s):

John Robert Keller

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719063121.003.0004

This chapter takes a look at the early scenes that reflect failed psychic birth, such as the actual birth of Larry Nixon and Watt's arrival into the fiction. The chapter first presents a detailed reading of Arsene's speech to Watt; this speech suggests initial anxiety situations. It then discusses Watt's stay in the house. This section also considers the absence of emotional connection between the two characters, and Watt's reaction to the failed attempt at forming a primary attachment. The chapter concludes with a section on the different symbols that suggest early maternal failure, disruptions in nurturing, and Watt's need for control by alternative maternal figures.

Keywords:   psychic birth, Watt, anxiety situations, emotional connection, primary attachment, early maternal failure, nurturing, maternal figures

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