Spring 2020 catalog cover

The Penn Press list for spring 2020 includes hardcover releases, first-time paperbacks, and ebook editions intended for scholars, students, and serious general readers worldwide. Click here to explore our forthcoming books, grouped by subject area.

Unwording the World
Sameil Beckett's Prose Works After the Nobel Prize

Carla Locatelli

288 pages | 6 x 9
Ebook 2016 | ISBN 9781512808865 | Buy from De Gruyter $79.95 | €69.95 | £70.50
This book is available under special arrangement from our European publishing partner De Gruyter.
An Anniversary Collection volume

This comprehensive study of Beckett's art proposes a doubly contextualized reading of his later works: Carla Locatelli reads late Beckett through his previous writings, and relates them to the literary, philosophical, and critical community which surrounds him. To appreciate his contribution as an epistemological rhetorician, she proposes a multidisciplinary approach that draws upon a remarkably wide range of theorists, including Kierkegaard, Husserl, Heidegger, Peirce, Jakobson, Deleuze, Lacan, and Derrida.

In Part One of this study, Locatelli traces the evolution of Beckett's writing, proposing that his principal concern devolves more and more upon the essential character of representation and its role in the constitution and signification of the subject. Part One also provides a history of this thematic, showing how Beckett's writing effects a radical displacement of representation from function to object of discourse. In Part Two, Locatelli focuses on Beckett's fiction after the Nobel Prize of 1969 , and on the epistemological and aesthetic issues in Company (1980), ill seen ill said (1981), and Worstward Ho (1983). She examines his "unwording" in this "Second Trilogy," and defines it as a process of subtraction that probes into the most basic mode of our being in the world. Here Beckett proposes, as Locatelli suggests , a very real hermeneutics of experience, beyond the "schools of suspicion" which are still influencing some postmodernist thinking. This volume will be of particular value to scholars and students of twentieth­-century English literature, French literature, and literary theory .

Carla Locatelli is Senior Lecturer in Italian Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

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