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Critical Likes and Dislikes: Barthes, Beckett and the Resistance to Reading

Critical Likes and Dislikes: Barthes, Beckett and the Resistance to Reading Writers, readers, critics all have strong personal preferences. Roland Barthes was a case in point. Many were the texts he chose to affirm. Others he rejected, while some were left to hover in the margins of his thinking. Still others barely feature at all, among which, conspicuous by their absence, are the novels and plays of Samuel Beckett. This article examines the political, theoretical and affective reasons for Barthes’s apparent indifference to a writer who, despite early hostility on the part of the literary establishment, came to be seen as the abiding embodiment of late modernity. It contrasts Barthes’s limited response to Beckett with that of another leading critic of the period, Maurice Blanchot. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Paragraph Edinburgh University Press

Critical Likes and Dislikes: Barthes, Beckett and the Resistance to Reading

Paragraph , Volume 45 (2): 15 – Jul 1, 2022

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Edinburgh University Press
ISSN
0264-8334
eISSN
1750-0176
DOI
10.3366/para.2022.0393
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Writers, readers, critics all have strong personal preferences. Roland Barthes was a case in point. Many were the texts he chose to affirm. Others he rejected, while some were left to hover in the margins of his thinking. Still others barely feature at all, among which, conspicuous by their absence, are the novels and plays of Samuel Beckett. This article examines the political, theoretical and affective reasons for Barthes’s apparent indifference to a writer who, despite early hostility on the part of the literary establishment, came to be seen as the abiding embodiment of late modernity. It contrasts Barthes’s limited response to Beckett with that of another leading critic of the period, Maurice Blanchot.

Journal

ParagraphEdinburgh University Press

Published: Jul 1, 2022

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