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The introduction outlines key features in Samuel Beckett’s critical writing. Tim Lawrence discusses some of the main trends in Beckett studies, noting the emphasis placed on archival material as well as the lack of attention paid to other areas in the “grey canon”—especially Beckett’s critical writing—and to the unique status of representation and the figural in these texts. This introduction also traces the importance of unknowability to the Beckettian, noting how Joyce’s influence on Beckett’s style hinges on the aesthetic value of ignorance. Lawrence thus contends that questions of philosophical and aesthetic influence can best be understood by studying the figural and visual texture of Beckett’s critical writing.