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Literature of Consciousness

Samuel Becket – Subject – Negativity

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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 Three. Objective Suffering

Extract

Chapter Three

Objective Suffering

Mad Moment

Laughter and screams constitute two modalities of the event that – as I am trying to prove – are the most important elements around which the sense of Beckett’s works is organized. So far, I have been considering the ontological and epistemological character of his works. Now, it is time to look at its anthropological dimension as revealed by the event. The question seems extremely complicated because, starting with the title, Beckett effectively sabotages all forms of subjectival cohesiveness. The paradox is built on a systematic breaking of the separate character of the individual, a process which is confirmed by the poetics of the text for the sake of the impersonal form of language and accompanied by an attempt to tell a story about a particular existence. Beckett juxtaposes and confronts both conscious and existential possibilities of subjectivity. While the first is concerned with the process of constituting individuality, based on the change in the position of subjectivity when confronted with the event, the second case is about representing the experience of a particular degree of intensity. In other words, the transfer from the event to experience is equivalent to the change of perspective from the epistemological-ontological to the existential. Not I could be read as a recording of an experience of existence, a figure that illustrates its innate characteristics: exposition, openness and – what is my primary interest – ecstasy.248 I am interested in its philosophical, rather than religious-mystical, interpretation. George...

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