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From Murphy’s Irrational Heart to Beckett’s Worsening Word

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image of Samuel Beckett Today / Aujourd'hui

In his 1937 letter to Axel Kaun, Beckett says that he is setting off for the beyond of the “word surface.” This trajectory is diverted when he goes on to indicate that he is also drawn to working with that surface itself when it is considered as having the plasticity of a fabric. Reading Murphy with “Comment Dire” / “What is the Word,” this paper proposes that the Beckettian text, of whatever period, can be taken as enacting this diversion: from the quest for a truth beyond to making present that fabric which is produced, immediately to hand, by the very act of writing.

Affiliations: 1: Psychoanalyst, Melbourne


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