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Samuel Beckett and the Visual Arts is the first book to comprehensively assess Beckett's knowledge of art, art history and art criticism. In his lifetime Beckett thought deeply about visual culture from ancient Egyptian statuary to Dutch realism, from Quattrocento painting to the modernists and after. Drawing on a wide range of published and unpublished sources, this book traces in forensic detail the development of Beckett's understanding of painting in particular, as that understanding developed from the late 1920s to the 1970s. In doing so it demonstrates that Beckett's thinking about art and aesthetics radically changes in the course of his life, often directly responding to the intellectual and historical contexts in which he found himself. Moving fluently between art history, philosophy, literary analysis and historical context, Samuel Beckett and the Visual Arts rethinks the trajectory of Beckett's career, and reorients his relationship to modernism, late modernism and the avant-gardes.Read more
- Draws on a wide range of new sources, both published and unpublished
- Demonstrates the changes in Beckett's thinking about art and aesthetics over his career
- Reorients Beckett's relationships with modernism, late modernism and the avant-gardes
Reviews & endorsements
'Samuel Beckett and the Visual Arts convincingly shows that knowledge about Beckett’s engagement with visual art will be essential for how future critics will answer these questions.' Kevin Brazil, The Review of English Studies
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- Date Published: April 2018
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9781108422772
- length: 272 pages
- dimensions: 235 x 157 x 18 mm
- weight: 0.53kg
- contains: 10 b/w illus.
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
Introduction: Beckett and the image
1. A poetics of the image: Paris and Dublin 1929–1932
2. The politics of the image: Dublin, Paris, London 1931–1936
3. Beckett's German Renaissance
4. 'Terrifying materiality': Watteau, Yeats, Picasso, Duchamp
5. Impossible image: Watt and failed ekphrasis
6. From Bram van Velde to The Unnamable
7. 'Sordid abstraction': prose, plays, paintings.
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