Publication details

The Making of Samuel Beckett's Not I / Pas moi, That Time / Cette fois and Footfalls / Pas

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LITTLE James Joseph

Year of publication 2021
Type Monograph
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description This volume of the BDMP series charts the genesis of three iconic Beckett plays: Not I (1973), That Time (1976) and Footfalls (1976), all translated into French by their author. Including analyses of abandoned archival precursors – the 'Kilcool' drafts (1963) and the 'Petit Odéon' Fragments (1967–1968) – the book covers a crucial period in Beckett's playwriting career, during which his long-held ambition to stage a mouth babbling in the dark became a catalyst for some of his most innovative work. This volume provides a comprehensive guide to the history of the three plays, tracking their development from compositional manuscripts through to publication and performance. The book contends that these plays should be seen as stagings of the subject–object breakdown explored in Beckett's early writing. Drawing on the notes he took on psychology and psychoanalysis in 1934–1935, it examines the many psychological and psychoanalytic concepts that are used in the author's later stagings of the mind. The plays are analysed through the lens of enactive cognition: not as representations of particular psychological conditions, but as pieces which encourage active interpretation on the part of their audiences. By staging minds in states of breakdown that resist diagnosis, Not I / Pas moi, That Time / Cette fois and Footfalls / Pas enact the subject–object breakdown that is such a key part of Beckett's aesthetics.
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