Late and Belated Modernism: Duchamp…Stein.Feininger..Beckett

  • Conor Carville
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Modern European Literature book series (PMEL)


In conversation with Charles Juliet Beckett said that he had seen ‘a lot’ of Marcel Duchamp on moving to Paris in 1938. He also spent time with Duchamp after fleeing Paris in 1939. Beckett and Duchamp’s careers cross in other ways in the early 1930s and the two men had many shared interests and enthusiasms. Drawing on well-known sources such as the Kaun letter and ‘Les Peintures des van Veldes’, together with archival sources such as Duchamp’s ‘Notes’ for ‘The Large Glass’ and essays from the surrealist magazine The London Bulletin, this essay will contend that avant-garde positions associated with Duchamp are detectable in Beckett’s novel Watt. Focusing on issues of nominalism, serialism, and an ambivalent relationship with Kant, I will read selected passages from the novel in order to demonstrate my argument. The essay will finish with some reflections on what this connection means for notions of Beckett’s Modernism.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Conor Carville
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ReadingReadingUK

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