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Samuel Beckett
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Book description

While providing a critical introduction for the student of Samuel Beckett's work and for other readers and theatre-goers who have been influenced by it, this study also presents an original perspective on one of the twentieth century's greatest writers of prose fiction and drama. Andrew Kennedy links Beckett's vision of a diminished humanity with his art of formally and verbally diminished resources, and traces the fundamental simplicity and coherence of Beckett's work beneath its complex textures. In the section on the plays, Dr Kennedy stresses the humour and tragicomic humanism alongside the theatrical effectiveness; and in a discussion of the fiction (the celebrated trilogy of novels) he relates the relentless diminution of 'story' to the diminishing selfhood of the narrator. An introduction outlines the personal, cultural and specifically literary contexts of Beckett's writing, while a concluding chapter offers up-to-date reflections on his œuvre, from the point-of-view of the themes highlighted throughout the book. This study, complete with a chronological table and a guide to further reading, will prove stimulating for both new and advanced students of Beckett.

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