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Samuel Beckett’s Abstract Drama

Works for Stage and Screen- 1962-1985


Erik Tonning

Contents: Beckett and abstraction: documented attitudes – Beckett’s aesthetics: from Schopenhauer’s irrational Will to the inexpressible ‘incoherent continuum’ – Weakness, failure, distress and the original sin of having been born – Formal disintegration in The Unnamable and the pre-Play drama – Abstract form in Play: foregrounding the inhuman system – Beckett’s analogy with Schoenberg and Kandinsky – The search for form: drafts of Play and Come and Go – Instructive failures at abstraction in Film and Eh Joe – Not I, That Time and Footfalls: staging insubstantial states of self – Beckett’s reshaping of Expressionist images – Depth psychology as structural template – Presenting ghostly images: Ghost Trio and ...but the clouds... – Vermeer as formal model – Beethoven, Yeats and Romantic ‘Sehnsucht’ – Ritualised desire and the unattainable Lady – Leibnizian monadology as formal model in A Piece of Monologue, Ohio Impromptu, Rockaby, Quad (I & II), Nacht und Träume and What Where – ‘Like something out of Beckett’: staging the creative self as monad.