The representation and experience of embodiment is a central preoccupation of Samuel Beckett’s drama, one that he explored through diverse media. McMullan investigates the full range of Beckett’s dramatic canon for stage, radio, television and film, including early drama, mimes and unpublished fragments. She examines how Beckett’s drama composes and recomposes the body in each medium, and provokes ways of perceiving, conceiving and experiencing embodiment that address wider preoccupations with corporeality, technology and systems of power. McMullan argues that the body in Beckett’s drama reveals a radical vulnerability of the flesh, questioning corporeal norms based on perfectible, autonomous or invulnerable bodies, but is also the site of a continual reworking of the self, and of the boundaries between self and other. Beckett’s re-imagining of the body presents embodiment as a collaborative performance between past and present, flesh and imagination, self and other, including the spectator / listener.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments 1: Introduction 2: Dehiscent Bodies: From ‘Le Kid’ to Eleutheria 3: Intercorporeal Performances and the Hauntings of History in Waiting for Godot and Endgame 4: ‘This visible flesh’: Krapp’s Last Tape and Happy Days 5: Mimes and Fragments: Corporeal Laboratories 6: Radiophonic Embodiments 7: The Flesh of the Screen and the ‘eye of prey’: Beckett’s Film 8: Unhomely Semblances and the Televisual Matrix 9: The Late Theatre: Performing Traces of Embodiment 10: Mutated Bodies: Stage Performances of Beckett’s Late Prose Texts Conclusion: Re-embodying Beckett’s Drama in the Twenty-first Century Notes Bibliography Index
Anna McMullan is Chair in Drama at Queen’s University Belfast.