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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 Two. Existence as Correction

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Chapter Two

Existence as Correction

Two possibilities: making oneself infinitely small or being so. The second is perfection, that is to say, inactivity, the first is beginning, that is to say, action.310

– Franz Kafka

Still holds a special place in Beckett’s work.311 In no other piece of his short prose (perhaps with the exception of Ping) did he reach such a level of intensity, with such a strong effect of language resounding in such an incredibly limited form of expression. For that reason, the work is not only mysterious but also realizes the previously described strategy of searching for the total idiom of writing in which linguistic invention undergoes the work of consciousness that pertains to the pure potentiality of sense. The image of subjectivity is incredibly strong there – its importance becomes, almost entirely, contained within the process of searching for an ultimately certain condition of the possibility of expression. A work read from that perspective turns out to be a poetic reflection on entrapment in the antinomies of language that determine an order of expression and establish the rules in which reality abides.

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