Abstract

Samuel Beckett's 1981 television play, Quad, brings together the representational conventions of ritual, computational code and matheme. This television play presents a clear connection between Beckett's literary convictions, in particular his concept of the "unword" and its avant-garde possibilities, and the role of mathematics in art. The formal connections between the ritualistic, computational and allegorical dimensions of this television play, render Quad a "hyperstitional" work, one that is composed of twin formal elements: symbols without significance and superstition without belief. The relation between the television play and mathematics is thus not superficial or referential: Beckett's "hyperstitional" work produces a literary dimension that echoes the temporal and spatial stakes peculiar to twentieth century mathematics.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1464
Print ISSN
0022-281X
Pages
pp. 122-133
Launched on MUSE
2017-10-03
Open Access
No
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