Abstract

Samuel Beckett's novels and plays are filled with lively vessels: emergent sites of subjectivity that blur the borderline between the human and nonhuman. When Malone Dies is read next to anthropological theories of the homunculus, a protocol of container animation emerges. Vital to this process is André Breton's image of the communicating vessels, a visual metaphor Beckett revises in The Unnamable. By adopting material containers as surrogate bodies, or by imagining life in hollow vessels, Beckett's characters encounter a self that exceeds the limits of the body—a form of projective identification that anticipates psychoanalyst Wilfred Bion's theorizing of the "container-contained."

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1464
Print ISSN
0022-281X
Pages
pp. 75-89
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-03
Open Access
No
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