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Beckett and Animals


Mary Bryden, Shane Weller, Yoshiki Tajiri, David Wheatley, Naoya Mori, Ulrika Maude, Yoshiyuki Inoue, Jean-Michel Rabaté, Linda Ben-Zvi, Steven Connor, Joseph Anderton, Angela Moorjani, Chris Ackerley, Julie Campbell, Maximilian de Gaynesford, Brigitte Le Juez
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  • Date Published: November 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107019607

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About the Authors
  • The animals that appear in Samuel Beckett's work are diverse and unpredictable. They serve as victim and persecutor, companion and adversary, disconcerting observers and objects oblivious to the human gaze. Bringing together an international array of Beckett specialists, this is the first full-length study to explore the significance of the animals that populate Beckett's prose, drama and poetry. Essays theorise a broad spectrum of animal manifestations while focusing on the roles that distinct animal forms play within Beckett's work, including horses, sheep, cats, dogs, bees, insects and others. Contributors situate close readings within a larger literary and cultural context, drawing on thinkers ranging from Aristotle to Deleuze, Foucault and Agamben, and on authors such as Flaubert, Kafka and Coetzee. The result is an incisive and provocative collection that traverses disciplinary boundaries, revealing how Beckett's creatures challenge conventional notions of species identity and, ultimately, what it means to be human.

    • This is the first full-length study to apply current debates about animality to the work of Samuel Beckett
    • Brings together an international line-up of Beckett specialists to examine animality in Beckett's work from an interdisciplinary perspective
    • Covers the whole range of Beckett's writing: prose, drama, poetry and film/television, as well as drawing upon archive holdings and correspondence
    • Offers a broader consideration of questions of animality, bringing in approaches from literary criticism, philosophy, psychology and cultural theory
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Given the range of perspectives and the conspicuous erudition throughout the essays in this extraordinary collection, readers will surely never look at Beckett's animals - now more noticeable and memorable than ever before - or actual animals in the former way ever again.' William Hutchings, James Joyce Literary Supplement

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2013
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107019607
    • length: 248 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.54kg
    • contains: 2 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of contributors
    List of abbreviations
    Introduction Mary Bryden
    Part I. Animality:
    1. Forms of weakness: animalisation in Kafka and Beckett Shane Weller
    2. Beckett, Coetzee, and animals Yoshiki Tajiri
    3. The Beckettian bestiary Mary Bryden
    4. 'Quite exceptionally anthropoid': species anxiety and metamorphosis in Beckett's humans and other animals David Wheatley
    5. An animal inside: Beckett/Leibniz's stone, animal, human, and the unborn Naoya Mori
    6. Pavlov's dogs and other animals in Samuel Beckett Ulrika Maude
    7. Little animals in the brain: Beckett's 'porteurs de la mémoire' Yoshiyuki Inoue
    Part II. The Specificity of Animals:
    8. 'Think, pig!': Beckett's animal philosophies Jean-Michel Rabaté
    9. Beckett's 'necessary' cat(s) Linda Ben-Zvi
    10. Making flies mean something Steven Connor
    11. 'Hooves!': the equine presence in Beckett Joseph Anderton
    12. The dancing bees in Samuel Beckett's Molloy: the rapture of unknowing Angela Moorjani
    13. Despised for their obviousness: Samuel Beckett's dogs Chris Ackerley
    14. Beckett and sheep Julie Campbell
    15. 'Eyes in each other's eyes': Beckett, Kleist, and the fencing bear Maximilian de Gaynesford
    16. Words without acts: Beckett's parrots Brigitte Le Juez.

  • Editor

    Mary Bryden, University of Reading
    Mary Bryden is Professor of French Literature at the University of Reading and Co-Director of the Beckett International Foundation.


    Mary Bryden, Shane Weller, Yoshiki Tajiri, David Wheatley, Naoya Mori, Ulrika Maude, Yoshiyuki Inoue, Jean-Michel Rabaté, Linda Ben-Zvi, Steven Connor, Joseph Anderton, Angela Moorjani, Chris Ackerley, Julie Campbell, Maximilian de Gaynesford, Brigitte Le Juez

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