Beckett seminar

Course Code :2002FLWTLE
Study domain:Literature
Academic year:2019-2020
Semester:1st semester
Contact hours:45
Study load (hours):168
Contract restrictions: Exam contract not possible
Language of instruction:English
Exam period:exam in the 1st semester
Lecturer(s)Dirk Van Hulle
Olga Beloborodova

3. Course contents *

Samuel Beckett was not only a famous playwright, but also a great novelist. He also wrote poems and critical essays. Starting from his early stories and novels in English, his texts in French, his self-translations, up until his last text (1989) Beckett never stopped trying to find new forms to “allow the chaos” and “accommodate the mess”. His prose fiction gradually became shorter, and yet his later short prose does not belong to the category of the short story. His later works seem to resist all forms of categorization. Similarly, his drama oeuvre became much more multimedial, as he turned to radio, film and television in his quest for non-linguistic means of aesthetic expression. The central question is whether these experimental innovations are little more than eccentric tryouts and literary dead-ends, or whether they did manage to leave their mark on literary history and in what way they had an impact on contemporary literature.

Course Outline

27 September: Introduction + info research paper + 'Dante and the Lobster'

4 October: Murphy

11 October: Molloy

18 October: Malone Dies

25 October: The Unnamable 

1 November: No class (All Saints public holiday)       

8 November: Endgame

15 November: Radio Plays (guest lecture by Pim Verhulst)

22 November: No class

29 November: Krapp’s Last Tape; Happy Days

6 December: PlayFilm; Eh Joe

13 December: Not I, That Time, Come and Go (guest lecture by James Little)

20 December: Company; Worstward Ho; what is the word