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Title:  Samuel Beckett: Repetition, Theory and Text Author:  Steven Connor Series: Critical Studies in the Humanities Imprint:  The Davies Group, Publishers 260 pp. soft cover USD 24.00 ISBN 9781888570885 November, 2006 Steven Connor’s Samuel Beckett, Repetition, Theory and Text, is the first book to have presented an extended poststructuralist reading of Beckett’s work. Drawing on the theories of Jacques Derrida and Gilles Deleuze to show the centrality of repetition in Beckett’s work, Connor explored the paradoxical forms and effects of repetition across a wide range of Beckett’s texts, from the early fiction through to the most recent drama. Connor considered Beckett’s translations of his own works (both to and from French and English) and Beckett’s practice as a director of his own plays, and examined the way in which repetition functions within critical discourse to create and sustain the mythology that has grown up around Beckett’s work. This reissue (unavailable since the mid-1990s) has been subjected to a very detailed revision. The author says in a new, provocative preface, “Writing a preface of this kind is a frankly self-indulgent thing to be allowed to do. One does not often have the chance of acting as one’s own resurrectionist in this way … I find myself having planted in the book itself a motto for this whole procedure. ‘Repetition always leaves some active residue; in coming full circle, the book ends up in a different place from where it had begun, leaving the desire to begin again as strong as ever.’ … I have taken the opportunity to remedy grogginess, pomposity, fuss and nagging where they seemed to be intolerable or remediable. Though the book’s main arguments have had to be left to fend for themselves, I hope that, as a result, their exposition may now seem clearer, more candid and more lenient.” Contents Preface Acknowledgements Abbreviations and Editions Cited 1. Difference and Repetition 2. Economies of Repetition Murphy Watt 3. Repetition in Time: Proust and Molloy 4. Centre, Line, Circumference: Repetition in the Trilogy Malone Dies The Unnamable Centre, Line, Circumference: The Novellas 5. Repetition and Self-Translation: Mercier and Camier, First Love, The Lost Ones 6. Presence and Repetition in Beckett’s Theatre The Doubling of Presence: Waiting for Godot, Endgame Voice and Mechanical Reproduction: Krapp’s Last Tape, Ohio Impromptu, Rockaby, That Time 7. What? Where? Space and the Body What? Where? Fundamental Sounds — Language and the Body: Not I, Acts Without Words, Quad 8. Repetition and Power Textual Power Producing Power Notes Index About the Author Steven Connor is Professor of Modern Literature and Theory at Birkbeck College and Academic Director of the London Consortium Masters and Doctoral Programme in Humanities and Cultural Studies. He is an accomplished writer, critic and broadcaster, and the author of books on Dickens, Beckett, Joyce, ventriloquism, skin, flies, and other topics in literary and cultural history.
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