Abstract

Abstract:

By examining two late works by Samuel Beckett, the play Not I and the poem "What is the Word," one can understand his longstanding obsession with the concept of Nothing through the philosophy of Henri Bergson. For Bergson, with whom Beckett was familiar, Nothingness does not constitute a void, but rather a form of ontological co-dependency that, for Beckett, manifests itself not as an absence, but as the striving toward absence. The preoccupation that many Beckett characters have with reaching out or toward a double (whether it be another character or some fictionalized self) will be shown to be characteristic of a Bergsonian approach to Nothingness.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1464
Print ISSN
0022-281X
Pages
pp. 38-50
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-03
Open Access
No
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