‘Execrations on another plane’: Film Theory in Close Up and Beckett’s Late Prose

  • Galina Kiryushina
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Modern European Literature book series (PMEL)


Beckett’s correspondence of the 1930s reveals his awareness of the artistic possibilities offered by film, and a particular interest in the optical manipulation of the image achieved both in the camera and at the editing bench. This interest grew stronger as his critical taste developed by immersive reading in film theory in 1936, the year he wrote an application to study with Sergei Eisenstein in Moscow. His extensive theoretical knowledge came from the pages of the modernist film magazine Close Up (1927–33), where the first English translations of Eisenstein’s essays appeared, and which epitomized a significant cultural meeting point of literature and cinema. Taking Eisenstein’s writing on film published in Close Up and the magazine’s overall cultural project as points of departure, this paper explores the traces of early cinematic forms and editing theories in Beckett’s late text, Ill Seen Ill Said (1981).


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Galina Kiryushina
    • 1
  1. 1.Charles UniversityPragueCzech Republic

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