The Drama in the Text

The Drama in the Text : Beckett's Late Fiction

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Description

The Drama in the Text argues that Beckett's late fiction, like his radio plays, demands to be read aloud, since much of the emotional meaning lodges in its tonality. In Beckett's haunting prose work the reader turns listener, collaborating with the sound of words to elucidate meaning from the silence of the universe. Enoch Brater ranges across all of Beckett's work, quoting from it liberally, and makes connections mainly with other writers, but also with details drawn from the entire Western cultural heritage. Brater serves as an authoritative and persuasive guide to the rich texture of such a difficult but compelling vocabulary, providing recognition, insight, and accessibility.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 244 pages
  • 147.3 x 223.5 x 22.9mm | 476.28g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195088921
  • 9780195088922

Review quote

Bravo for a virtuoso performance, a real tour de force. * Edward Beckett *show more

Back cover copy

In this rich and perceptive study of some of the most haunting fiction written in the late twentieth century, Beckett critic Enoch Brater continues his investigation of the tension between text and script, silence and associational sound. Brater argues with great learning that Beckett's fiction, like his radio plays, demands to be read aloud, since much of the emotional meaning lodges in its tonality. Here the rhythm of Beckett's "labouring heart" finds its performative voice as the reader, now turned listener, collaborates in the creation of a musical composition that must elucidate the stillness of the universe. The Drama in the Text is a book about reciting and recounting, about how we know and what we know when we read a lyrical "text" crafted in prose but sounding like something else instead. Brater ranges across all of Beckett's work, quoting from it liberally, and makes connections mainly with other writers, but also with details drawn from the whole Western cultural heritage. The only book that deals thoroughly with Beckett's complete late fiction, Brater's study opens to a wide literary audience the difficult and elliptical nature of Beckett's mature prose style. For those readers who find Beckett's late fiction "impossible to follow let alone describe", this book will be an authoritative and persuasive guide, providing recognition, insight, and accessibility.show more