Beckett seminar

Course Code :2002FLWTLE
Study domain:Literature
Academic year:2017-2018
Semester:2nd semester
Contact hours:45
Study load (hours):168
Contract restrictions: Exam contract not possible
Language of instruction:English
Exam period:exam in the 2nd semester
Lecturer(s)Dirk Van Hulle
Pim Verhulst
Olga Beloborodova

3. Course contents *

Samuel Beckett was not only a famous playwright, but also a great novelist and poet. 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. 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


Handbook: The New Cambridge Companion to Samuel Beckett, ed. Dirk Van Hulle (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015).


12 February     Introduction

19 February     ‘Dante and the Lobster’

26 February     Murphy

5 March           Watt

12 March         Molloy

19 March         Malone Dies

26 March         The Unnamable         

23 April            Radio Plays (All That Fall, Embers, Rough for Radio II)

7 May               Krapp’s Last Tape; Happy Days

14 May             Feedback session for research papers

21 May            Lessness; Company; Worstward Ho