Abstract

This paper compares the treatment of place in Beckett’s fiction of the 1940s and 1950s with that of phenomenological theorizations, focusing on the relationship between subjectivity and place. It argues that, one the one hand, the subject expands place infinitely by dint of the memories and associations he brings to it, while, at the same time he is subject to place. Thus, A. N. Whitehead holds that the subject must “conform” to the places it inhabits (qtd. in Casey 214). The paper examines this imperative through a discussion of Beckett’s Texts For Nothing, and argues that the persistently renewed demand to conform to place presents Beckett’s characters with an arduous task of incorporation that is ultimately beyond them: place contributes to the disintegration of the self; it is not “a basis of . . . life” (Merleau-Ponty 292).

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1464
Print ISSN
0022-281X
Pages
pp. 112-128
Launched on MUSE
2010-10-02
Open Access
No
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