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Introduction

Introduction CLAIRE LOZIER,ANDY STAFFORD AND JIVITESH VASHISHT ‘Waiting’, ‘Silence’, ‘Fade Out’, ‘The Absent One’: these figures from Roland Barthes’s A Lover’s Discourse (1977) are some of the most recursive tropes and preoccupations of Samuel Beckett’s fictional, dramatic and poetic oeuvre, just as the latter is, quite plausibly, an essential constituent of the cultural ‘Image-repertoire’ on and within which many of Barthes’s own discursive writings operate. And yet, the kinship between these two iconic twentieth-century figures — nourished in turn by a dense network of shared cultural, intellectual and political influences — has remained largely unrecognized. Barthes, for his part, engaged with Waiting for Godot (1952) in both ‘“Godot” adulte’ (1954) and ‘Le théâtre français d’avant-garde’ (1961); although Leslie Hill expresses surprise that ‘in the whole of Barthes there are less than a dozen mentions of Beckett, almost all referring to En attendant Godot and dating back to the period before 1965’. On the other hand, while Beckett’s reading of contemporary French thinkers such as Georges Bataille, Jacques Derrida and Maurice Blanchot is well documented, he cannot be said to have reciprocated even Barthes’s minimal gesture of acknowledgement of his work. ‘Roland Barthes’ is a name that remains conspicuously missing not http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Paragraph Edinburgh University Press

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Edinburgh University Press
ISSN
0264-8334
eISSN
1750-0176
DOI
10.3366/para.2022.0392
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

CLAIRE LOZIER,ANDY STAFFORD AND JIVITESH VASHISHT ‘Waiting’, ‘Silence’, ‘Fade Out’, ‘The Absent One’: these figures from Roland Barthes’s A Lover’s Discourse (1977) are some of the most recursive tropes and preoccupations of Samuel Beckett’s fictional, dramatic and poetic oeuvre, just as the latter is, quite plausibly, an essential constituent of the cultural ‘Image-repertoire’ on and within which many of Barthes’s own discursive writings operate. And yet, the kinship between these two iconic twentieth-century figures — nourished in turn by a dense network of shared cultural, intellectual and political influences — has remained largely unrecognized. Barthes, for his part, engaged with Waiting for Godot (1952) in both ‘“Godot” adulte’ (1954) and ‘Le théâtre français d’avant-garde’ (1961); although Leslie Hill expresses surprise that ‘in the whole of Barthes there are less than a dozen mentions of Beckett, almost all referring to En attendant Godot and dating back to the period before 1965’. On the other hand, while Beckett’s reading of contemporary French thinkers such as Georges Bataille, Jacques Derrida and Maurice Blanchot is well documented, he cannot be said to have reciprocated even Barthes’s minimal gesture of acknowledgement of his work. ‘Roland Barthes’ is a name that remains conspicuously missing not

Journal

ParagraphEdinburgh University Press

Published: Jul 1, 2022

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