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Chapter 3 - Buddhist and Mystic Threads in the Early Fiction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 July 2021

Angela Moorjani
Affiliation:
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
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Summary

Continuing the investigations of Beckett’s posthumously published first novel Dream of Fair to Middling Women begun in the previous chapter, the third chapter probes in greater detail the family resemblances (in the Wittgensteinian sense) between Dream’s creative asylum and space of writing in the mind and Schopenhaurian Buddhist-infused philosophy and Christian mystical thought. Further examined, beginning with his first novel, are the forerunners of Beckett’s aesthetics of emptiness and creation from nothing. The chapter’s discussion of the 1933 short story ‘Echo’s Bones’, posthumously published in 2014 and the final story about the author's fictional persona Belacqua, uncovers the Buddhist allusions kept out of sight by the story’s burlesque drift. In contrast, the reading of Murphy in this chapter counters some early commentators’ Buddhist analysis of Beckett’s second novel. This chapter concludes the investigation of Beckett’s fiction of the 1930s in relation to Schopenhauer’s relay of Eastern thought.

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Beckett and Buddhism , pp. 64 - 87
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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