Beckett's Political Imagination

Product Details
Cambridge University Press
Publish Date
6.54 X 9.4 X 0.34 inches | 1.29 pounds

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About the Author
Emilie Morin is Senior Lecturer in the Department of English and Related Literature at the University of York. She works on modern literature, theatre history and forms of political writing. She has published widely on the work of Samuel Beckett, including a monograph entitled Samuel Beckett and the Problem of Irishness (2009), and has co-edited Theatre and Ghosts: Materiality, Performance and Modernity (2014), and Theatre and Human Rights after 1945: Things Unspeakable (2015).
'This book is a revolution in Beckett studies: one will speak of before and after Emilie Morin. Thanks to her skills at unearthing forgotten archives, a new Beckett emerges, not just a political Beckett, but also a writer whose art, steeped in politics, preoccupied by the burning issues of the moment, never forgets the ethical limits it sets to itself. Here is an indispensable guide for all Beckett lovers.' Jean-Michel Rabaté, University of Pennsylvania
It seemed for a long while that a book able to address the difficult question of Beckett's politics would, like Godot, never arrive. Emilie Morin's Beckett's Political Imagination offers a series of finely wrought and formidably well-researched reflections on the ways in which Beckett's work is woven into its rich political contexts. In doing so, it produces a definitive account of the texture and purchase of his political imagination, which will have a transformative impact on our understanding of Beckett's writing.' Peter Boxall, University of Sussex
'A work of passion and truth, in which the forms and styles of Beckett's art are unerringly linked to his search for liberation. An audaciously social interpretation of this deeply personal writer.' Declan Kiberd, University of Notre Dame, Indiana
'Rather than re-reading Beckett in conjunction with new theories of literary, political and theatrical import, we are better off exploring how Beckett leads us to an understanding and defiance of the brokenness of humanity and the short-comings of political ideas and contingent processes. Morin is an excellent guide to take us along this path. As she explains at the outset, defining Beckett's politics remains a perilous exercise, but I for one say that it is an exploration well worth undertaking.' David Cowan, Books Ireland (
'... the case is built by Morin's patient accumulation of telling details across two-hundred and fifty pages until finally the conclusion seems inescapable: Samuel Beckett was a political animal.' Anthony Roche, Dublin Review of Books
'... Morin, in her richly illuminating study, shows more comprehensively than anyone else has the plain untruth of the notion of a Beckett who walked away from any political conversation. ... Indeed, Morin's superbly researched book is so convincing in its meticulous recreation of Beckett's political worlds that it raises an entirely new question: why, given all of this immersion in oppression, propaganda, totalitarianism, colonialism, and racism, is Beckett's artistic work not more explicitly engaged?' Fintan O'Toole, The New York Review of Books
'This reading of Beckett through political history helps clarify the enduring importance of his work ... Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty.' J. S. Baggett, Choice