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The Absurd in Literature$
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Neil Cornwell

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780719074097

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719074097.001.0001

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Samuel Beckett’s vessels, voices and shades of the absurd

Samuel Beckett’s vessels, voices and shades of the absurd

(p.215) 8 Samuel Beckett’s vessels, voices and shades of the absurd
The Absurd in Literature

Neil Cornwell

Manchester University Press

This chapter explores several of Samuel Beckett's works, where one can find traces of the absurd. It first takes a look at traces of Kafka in Beckett's work, and then studies the prose fiction of Beckett's prewar period, a period that covers three works: Dream of Fair to Middling Women, More Pricks Than Kicks and Murphy. This is followed by a discussion of Beckett's foray into drama, wherein Endgame and Waiting for Godot are examined. The chapter also explores the Kharmasian trace in Beckett, views Watt as the epitome of Beckettian absurdism and considers the nature of the absurd in terms of Beckett.

Keywords:   Samuel Beckett, prose fiction, prewar period, Kharmasian trace, Beckettian absurdism, nature of absurd

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