Abstract

This essay historicizes Beckett‘s early story “Echo’s Bones” to reveal a rich satire of recent Irish revolutionary history in the context of longer European literary and political traditions. The long-archived story engages with an enlightenment and counter-enlightenment tradition: interested in comically overthrowing societal expectations, coded as rigid sexual mores and abuses, Beckett’s work is also uncertain about the benefits and basis for securing morality, freedom, or fulfillment through revolutionary politics and sexual liberation. Beckett’s story formally models political and historical crises. He targets W. B. Yeats’s Anglo-Irish sympathies and engages James Joyce’s work as well.

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