The Camera Eye



In the early twentieth century, when modernism flourished, the newly invented media technologies were permeating human life. The senses were more and more mediated by these technologies, and what I call the ‘prosthetic senses’ emerged. The senses were not simply technologically heightened but profoundly transformed in quality. Vision was no doubt heightened by photography, film and X-ray, but at the same time, the quality of human vision changed significantly. This chapter aims to situate Beckett’s art in the broad cultural context in which such a change in human vision occurred. Beckett was certainly one of the most important modernists who explored the new possibilities opened up by the camera eye. The camera eye is so representative of prosthesis for vision that it can almost be considered synonymous with prosthetic vision. I am going to examine how the camera eye as prosthesis is incorporated into Beckett’s work. In the process, a new type of interplay between the inside and the outside will come in sight as an aspect of the prosthetic body.


Human Vision Female Voice Television Play Mental Space Television Version 
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© Yoshiki Tajiri 2007

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