Mary Junker, Beckett: The Irish Dimension (Wolfhound Press 1995), 199pp.

Understanding Beckett; [Becket’s Literary and Cultural Heritage] The Joycean Influence; The irish literary Tradtion; The French Literary Tradition; His Protestant Hheritage; ‘The Irish Dimension in the Five Selected Plays] Location; Evocation; Language; personal mythology; poetic diction; meaning and mutability; [Waiting for Godot] Production and Reception; Location; Evocation; Language; arcance langauge; Irish language; Hiberno-English; [The Text and the Technique; Godot: the mystery and the mirage; The word Godot is made flesh; the flesh is made word; [All That Fall] Locaation; Evocation; The gentility syndrome; Language; [krapp’s Last Tape] Synopsis; Productions and Reception .... [Eh Joe]; [That Time]; Conclusion.

Quotes Anthony Roche on SB’s use of radio and television: ‘demonstrating how the formal techniques of these media - camera movement adn perspective in film, voice-over and close-up in television - provide multiple ways to stge a self-cofnrontation’ (‘Beckett’s contexts’, Hermethena, CXLI, p.74.)

The irishness in Beckett’s work seems part of its vital core: the element which he himself sees as constituting in any work of art, its “condensing spiral of need”. (Eoin O’Brien, The Beckett Country, p.xxiii.)

argues that the increasing ‘lessness’ of his later work and the difficult aspect of his technique - opacity, obscurity, ambivalence - is lessened by a fuller understanding of the language, lore and ‘soul-landscape’ of his Irish plays.’

Mercier remarks that he comes from ‘the same rather philistine Irish Protestant background’ as Beckett (B/B, p.x.)

‘But Ireland is most important to Beckett as an inheritance to deny, or a set of appearances to go behind, or a range of authorities to disagree with.’ (J. C. C Mayes, ‘‘Young Beckett’s Irish Roots’, in IUR, Spring 1984, p.21

‘Beckett’s entire literary oeuvre embodies a modern critique of traditional notions of “identity” - whether it concerns the self, being, languge, God or one’s sense of national belonging. His aim, I suggest, is less a nihilistic deconstruction of sense into non-sense than a playful wish to expose the inexhaustible comedy of existence.’ Kearney, ‘Beckett: The Demythologising Intellect’, in Kearney ed., The Irish Mind, p.293.

Ellmann,’Nayman of Noland’, in Four Dubliners, 1987.

Belaqua a ‘barely fictionalised Beckett’ (Bair, 130ff.)

Joyce and Beckett: ‘professor and trusted research assistant’ (Bair, 67.)

Joyce to Power: ‘You are Irishmen and ayou must write in your own tradition. Borrowed styles are no good. You must write what is in your bloood and not what is in your brain. ... For myself, I always write abut Dublin because if I can get to the heart of Dublin I can get to the heart of all the cities of the world. In the particular is contained the universal.’ (Quoted in Bair, p.130.)

‘Christianity is a mythology with whcih I am perfectly familiar, and so I use it. But not in this case!’ (on Godot; Bair, p.327.)

bibl, Kenner, ‘Beckett at 80’, in Irish Times, Sat. 12 April 1986.

‘For the Protestant ethic of work, he has substituted the Puritan ethic of relentless self-exploration, and produced the most striking testimony of our times to the need for human sufferings to be at once experience and unexplained.’ (Kiberd, The Genius of Irish Prose, 129-30.); also, ‘Beckett’s plays are a slow-motion re-enactment of the puritan closing-down of the theatres’ (ibid., 124.)

NOTE; ‘the skull the skull in Connemara’ (Luckys speech) the Toroe Stone,

Hugh Kenner, Samuel Beckett: A Critical Study (Calder 1961), 207pp;.; ded. Mercier, ‘polymath’; Contents, The Man in the Room; The Rational Domain; The Cartesian Centaur; Life in the Box; Voices in the Dark.

‘Waiting for Godot reflects in its dusty but accurate mirror the Noh drama (tree, journey, concatenated rituals), Greek theater (two actors, messangers, expectation of a deus ex machina), and commedia dell’arte (unflagging improvisation rond a theme), while Endgame beats its bleak light on Shakespeare’s stage, dominated by a prince of players named Hamm. novels and plays alike recapitulate the past fo their art, so sparely that if we stare at a parallel it vanishes, so casually that if we ask Beckett the meaning of all this incumbent tradition he can cry with Dan Rooney, “it is the thing I carry about with me!” Yet its presence contributes to the powerful sense - irradiating his inert material - that he has gotten at the form’s central source of energy, and looks into a long tradition with X-ray eyes.’ [67]

The crucial place of Ireland in the recent history of Western literary art is accounted for in the historical fact that Ireland escaped the humanist dogma. Consequently the great Irish nihilists (for so they appear in a humanisit perspective) have been the persistent reformers of the fictional imagination. [69]

... the point of the ... exhaustiveness of Ulysses, that next great Irish book, is to characterise Mr Leopold Bloom as a lost mind immersed tot he eyes in quantifiable matter. The number of things to the squre inch of Joce;s text defies computation [69]


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