Publication details

Beckett's 'Mongrel Mime' : Politics and Poetics


LITTLE James Joseph

Year of publication 2018
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Journal of Beckett Studies
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Keywords confinement; ‘Mongrel Mime’; poetics; politics; Rick Cluchey
Description This article analyses Beckett's unpublished and unperformed prison play ‘Mongrel Mime’, written for ex-San Quentin inmate Rick Cluchey in 1982–83. Drawing on Shane Weller's concept of Beckett's ‘anethics’, Dirk Van Hulle's model of authorial pentimenti and Anne Ubersfeld's semiotics of theatre space, it argues that close analyses of Beckett's manuscripts can give us a clearer picture of the politics of his work. While dominant models of Beckett's poetics focus on his ‘vaguening’ and ‘undoing’ of spatial detail, this article contends that Beckett's creative engagement with spaces of coercive confinement demonstrates a variety of working methods. The key role of carceral space in ‘Mongrel Mime’, an important though underexamined example of Beckett's use of confinement, presents a politics which is far from vague.
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