Beckett and Nothing

Trying to understand Beckett

Edited by Daniela Caselli

Beckett and Nothing


  • Paperback

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-8019-7
  • Pages: 296
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £90.00
  • Published Date: May 2010
  • BIC Category: Literature & literary studies / Literature: history & criticism, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: plays & playwrights, LITERARY CRITICISM / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Ireland, Literature: history & criticism, United Kingdom, Great Britain, Literature


Beckett and nothing invites its readership to understand the complex ways in which the Beckett canon both suggests and resists turning nothing into something by looking at specific, sometimes almost invisible ways in which 'little nothings' pervade the Beckett canon.

The volume has two main functions: on the one hand, it looks at 'nothing' not only as a content but also a set of rhetorical strategies to reconsider afresh classic Beckett problems such as Irishness, silence, value, marginality, politics and the relationships between modernism and postmodernism and absence and presence. On the other, it focuses on 'nothing' in order to assess how the Beckett oeuvre can help us rethink contemporary preoccupations with materialism, neurology, sculpture, music and television.

The volume is a scholarly intervention in the fields of Beckett studies which offers its chapters as case studies to use in the classroom. It will prove of interest to advanced students and scholars in English, French, Comparative Literature, Drama, Visual Studies, Philosophy, Music, Cinema and TV studies.


Terry Eagleton, 'Nothing new'
Daniela Caselli, 'Beckett and nothing: trying to understand Beckett'
1. John Pilling, 'On not being there: going on without in Beckett'
2. Peter Boxall, 'Nothing of value: reading Beckett's negativity'
3. Mladen Dolar, 'Nothing has changed'
4. Stephen Thomson, '"A tangle of tatters": ghosts and the busy nothing in Footfalls
5. Bill Prosser, 'Nothings in particular'
6. Shane Weller, 'Unwords'
7. Jonathan Bignell, 'Into the Void: Beckett's television plays and the idea of broadcasting'
8. Derval Tubridy, 'Beckett, Feldman, Salcedo. Neither'
9. Matthijs Engelberts, 'From Film to literature: theoretical debates and the critical erasure of Beckett's cinema'
10. Catherine Laws, 'Beckett and unheard sound'
11. Russell Smith, 'It's nothing: Beckett and anxiety'
12. Laura Salisbury, '"Something or nothing": Beckett and the matter of language'
Enoch Brater, 'The no-thing that knows no name and the Beckett envelope, blissfully reconsidered'


Daniela Caselli is Senior Lecturer in Twentieth-Century Literature and Culture at the University of Manchester

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