1st Edition

Samuel Beckett’s Italian Modernisms Tradition, Texts, Performance

    304 Pages 24 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    In the wake of both Joycean and Dantean celebrations, this volume aims to investigate the fecund influence of Italian culture on Samuel Beckett’s work, with a specific focus on the Twentieth Century.

    Located at the intersection of historical avant-garde movements and a renewed interest in tradition, Italian modernism reimagined Italy and its culture, projecting it beyond the shadow of fascism. Following in Joyce’s footsteps, Samuel Beckett soon became an attentive reader of Italian modernist authors. These had a profound effect on his early work, shaping his artistic identity. The influence of his early readings found its way also into Beckett’s postwar writing and, most poignantly, in his theatre. The contributions in this collection rekindle the debate around Beckett as modernist author through the lenses of Italian culture.

    This study will be of particular interest to students and scholars in Theatre and Performance Studies, Italian Studies, English Studies, Comparative Literature.

    List of Contributors




    Davide Crosara, Becketts Italian Modernity



    Part I. Beckett and Italian Interwar Culture


    Stanley E. Gontarski, Becketts Dystopian Trilogy, Part I: Lucky's ‘Cerebral physiology’ and the Irrelevance of Godot


    Andre Furlani, Leopardi in Becketts Late Modernist Romanticism


    Livia Sacchetti, Mirroring Acts. Dramatic Form in Pirandello and Beckett



    Part II. Beckett, Modernism and Tradition: Absurdism and Purgatorial Shadows


    Daragh O’Connell, Analogymongering: Dante and Vico in Beckett


    John McCourt, ‘Denti Alligator’ or ‘airtight alligator’: Reading Dante with Joyce and Beckett


    Dirk Van Hulle, Beckett and Ariosto: Nominalist Irony, ‘perhaps’


    Manfred Pfister, Becketts Kickoff: Orlando Furioso as Theatre of the Absurd


    Part III. Beckett, Italian Modernism and Late Modernism: Theatre, Intermediality and Testimony


    Annamaria Cascetta, Samuel Beckett and Italian Culture: from Dantesque Scenarios to the Theatre Scene of the 2000s.


    Corinna Salvadori Lonergan, Samuel Beckett's Not I – Purgatorially Merciful?


    Grazia D’Arienzo, ‘A theatre of concrete visual images, a theatre of poetic images.’ The Staging of  Neither by the Italian Video-Artistic Group Studio Azzurro


    Luigi Pinton, ‘Company’: Tabucchi, Beckett and Testimony





    Enoch Brater, Aging with Beckett in Italy, Online and Elsewhere





    Michela Bariselli is a Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Reading, Department of Philosophy.

    Davide Crosara is a Research Fellow in English Literature at the University of Rome, Sapienza. 

    Antonio Gambacorta is a translator and a literary scholar with a PhD from the University of Reading.

    Mario Martino is Professor of English Literature at the University of Rome, Sapienza.