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Beckett’s DantesIntertextuality in the Fiction and Criticism$
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Daniela Caselli

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780719071560

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719071560.001.0001

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Staging the Inferno in How It Is

Staging the Inferno in How It Is

(p.148) 7 Staging the Inferno in How It Is
Beckett’s Dantes

Daniela Caselli

Manchester University Press

This chapter addresses the argument that How It Is mobilises Inferno VII to produce a notion of reality as the unreliable outcome of repetition. It studies the canto where Virgil translates the incomprehensible gurgling that is coming from the bubbles on the surface of the river Styx into the ‘hymn’ sung by the invisible slothful damned. This discussion shows that this illustrates how ‘credence’ for the reality of such scenes is taken from the quickly diminishing ‘incontrovertibility’ of Virgil's authority. This chapter also shows that the mud in How It Is is what allows the passing of the murmuring and what prevents it.

Keywords:   repetition, notion of reality, Virgil, canto, slothful damned, hymn, incontrovertibility, How It Is, Inferno VII

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