Voiding the Subject: Bowen and Beckett

  • Michael McAteerEmail author
Part of the New Directions in Irish and Irish American Literature book series (NDIIAL)


Michael McAteer provides a new reading of the fiction of Elizabeth Bowen and Samuel Beckett through a consideration of excess as negation in their fiction. Noting also Heidegger’s and Sartre’s ideas on nothingness, McAteer addresses language, circumstance and character in Bowen’s novel The Heat of the Day in terms of the connection that Badiou draws between excess and the void. He observes the affinities between Bowen’s and Beckett’s fiction in relation to key aspects of Badiou’s theory of the event. Engaging these ideas in conjunction with Derrida’s notion of ‘the hinge’ in signification, McAteer shows how the language of non-saying in Bowen and Beckett is a language of excess in the face of the void that it is employed to convey.


Void Nothingness Event War Minimal Negative Negation Subject 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of English Literatures and Cultures, Institute of English and American StudiesPázmány Péter Catholic UniversityBudapestHungary

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