Abstract

In Malone Dies, Beckett introduces narrative contingency into the heart of the ethical relation between self and other, which complicates Levinas’s concept of the other’s precise, irreplaceable singularity. Beckett shows how narrating to and about others involves ethical binding and responsibility, but only ironically, within the explicitly thematized contingency and exchangeability of narrative decisions that undermine the committed specificity of ethical relations. Beckett thereby develops a narrative poetics of ethical frustration that engages the reader’s desire to banish the irreducible contingency of elements within a narrative system.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1464
Print ISSN
0022-281X
Pages
pp. 65-81
Launched on MUSE
2009-08-26
Open Access
No
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