Abstract

The analysis of Beckett's work offered here suggests that the Bergsonian spirit—his metaphysics, his anti-empirical emphasis on intuition, his critique of language and representation, his emphases on image and the act of perception and his exteriorization of memory, all of which infused much of modernism—infused Beckett and his work as well. Writing to his confidant, Thomas McGreevy, on 31 January 1938, Beckett offers some faint praise of McGreevy's essay on Jack Yeats, telling him that he has provided a clue "to the kind of people who in the phrase of Bergson can't be happy till they have 'solidified the flowing.'" Krapp may be one of those people, one who struggles to arrest the flow of dureé with concepts or symbols. "Metaphysics is therefore the science which claims to dispense with symbols," Bergson tells us in The Creative Mind, or as the narrator of Beckett's seminal, liminal Watt has noted, perhaps reluctantly disclosing something of an aesthetics, "No symbols where none intended."

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1464
Print ISSN
0022-281X
Pages
pp. 65-75
Launched on MUSE
2011-04-14
Open Access
No
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