Representation and Resistance: Beckett as Reader and Critic

  • Tim Lawrence


This chapter details the Kantian philosophical tradition’s manifestations in Beckett’s essay Proust (1931) and his novel Murphy (1938), before considering their relationship to Beckett’s novel Watt (1945) and the essays written in the immediate post-war period, such as “Peintres de l’empêchement” (1948). Lawrence discusses the significance of visual perception in these texts, arguing that vision, for Beckett, operates against the representational demands of Enlightenment rationality. The chapter analyses this theme in connection to Arthur Schopenhauer’s conception of the “subject–object relation,” Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s perceptual consciousness and Georges Bataille’s concept of “unknowing.”

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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tim Lawrence
    • 1
  1. 1.University of YorkYorkUK

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