Abstract

Critics interested in viewing Bowen from a perspective other than that of mannered social realism have frequently resorted to suggesting points of similarity between her work and that of her fellow Irish Protestant writer, Samuel Beckett. This essay takes a survey of these suggested affinities as its starting point, and uses them as a basis for a comparison between Bowen's petrified ingénues and Beckett's moribunds, their shared interest in inertia, waiting and ritual, an imagery of ruination and syntactically contorted English, and an investment in cultural dislocation linked by many commentators to their shared lack of the "credentials" of Irishness.

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