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Still : Samuel Becketts Quietism

By: Wimbush, Andy

3838213696 / 9783838213699
Paperback / softback
Published 30/04/2020
150 x 210 mm, 0 grams 290 pages
General (US: Trade)  Learn More

In the 1930s, a young Samuel Beckett confessed to a friend that he had been living his life according to an abject self-referring quietism. Andy Wimbush argues that quietisma philosophical and religious attitude of renunciation and will-lessnessis a key to understanding Becketts artistic vision and the development of his career as a fiction writer from his early novels Dream of Fair to Middling Women and Murphy to late short prose texts such as Stirrings Still and Company.

Using Becketts published and archival material, Still: Samuel Becketts Quietism shows how Beckett distilled an understanding of quietism from the work of Arthur Schopenhauer, E.M.

Cioran, Thomas a Kempis, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and Andre Gide, before turning it into an aesthetic that would liberate him from the powerful literary traditions of nineteenth-century realism and early twentieth-century high modernism.

Quietism, argues Andy Wimbush, was for Beckett a lifelong preoccupation that shaped his perspectives on art, relationships, ethics, and even notions of salvation.

But most of all it showed Beckett a way to renounce authorial power and write from a position of impotence, ignorance, and incoherence so as to produce a new kind of fiction that had, in Molloys words, the tranquility of decomposition.


HRAB Philosophy of religion

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