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BECKETT, GERMAN FASCISM, AND HISTORY: The Futility of Protest

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image of Samuel Beckett Today / Aujourd'hui

Accessing his letters and German diaries, this article argues that Beckett changes his aesthetic response to the rise of fascism during and after his trip to Nazi Germany in 1936-37. Before the trip Beckett satirises a stereotypical modernism's inability to counter the rise of totalitarianism; when confronted with Nazi totalising narratives of art and history, however, Beckett reevaluates the capacity of modernism to frustrate increasingly irrational fascist narratives. He even posits his German diaries as a documentary alternative to fascist histories. Not until he returns, however, does Beckett manage to formulate in his creative work a satisfying aesthetic response.

10.1163/18757405-015001011
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/content/journals/10.1163/18757405-015001011
2005-11-01
2018-04-25

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