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Literature of Consciousness

Samuel Becket – Subject – Negativity


Jakub Momro

The questions the writer Samuel Beckett posed in his dramas, his prose and his poetry are the central questions asked by the most outstanding thinkers of modernity. Samuel Beckett, therefore, is the central figure in this book, but he is not alone. This study is not only a precise literary analysis, but it also traces transformations in terms of subjectivity and tries to conceptualize them. It universalizes the issues that emerge from the friction between the consciousness and the world, or, in other words, from the history of the struggle between the modern subject and that which negates: death, nothingness, the absence of meaning and the deception of living.
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Chapter Two. Between Nameless and Unnamable


Chapter Two

Between Nameless and Unnamable

All human errors are impatience, a premature breaking off of methodical procedure, an apparent fencing-in of what is apparently at issue130

– Franz Kafka

One of the first signs of beginnings of understanding is the wish to die. This life appears unbearable, another unattainable. One is no longer ashamed of wanting to die; one asks to be moved from the old cell, which one hates, to a new one, which one will only in time come to hate. In this there is also a residue of belief that during the move the master will chance to come along the corridor, look at the prisoner and say: “This man is not to be locked up again. He is to come with me.” 131

– Franz Kafka

Our salvation is death, but not this one. 132

– Franz Kafka

The perspective imposed on Beckett by Blanchot is – of course – a strong, conscious and meticulously constructed interpretation, and from it emerges a changed work. But the philosophy and practice of Beckett are also presented in a different light. It seems that there is no escaping from that double bond but it also forces the readers of both authors to remain cautious. Blanchot appears to be accompanying Beckett in his work of reduction only to a certain degree. In particular, to a point where Blanchot decides to stand by “relieving” consciousness, neutralizing one’s own idiom...

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