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Title: Samuel Beckett : the aesthetics of shortness
Author: Hepburn, Kingsley
ISNI:       0000 0004 5920 2424
Awarding Body: Ulster University
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2015
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'Samuel Beckett: The Aesthetics of Shortness' sets out to answer the question: What does Beckett's prose achieve through its convention defying approach to expression? The project explores this phenomenon through an examination of a range of Beckett's prose, which includes a selection of less well-known texts by the author. Seemingly, the further from 'convention' a text is the less likely it is to attract the attention of critics. By prioritising these texts the project contributes to knowledge by inviting discussion of those that have generated less critical debate, whilst also framing the more predominant texts within the wider Beckett oeuvre. The thesis uses a narratological methodology to provide a theoretical vocabulary for distinguishing the component parts of fiction which Beckett reduces and removes through his experimentation. It argues that the fewer narrative components a text has the more unconventional it is and, by extension, the more challenging it is to read. Nevertheless, by using aesthetic theory it is possible to assess the success of each text as a piece of literature. These appraisals form the basis of the investigation. The research question is posed to each of the texts analysed in the main body of the thesis and a summary of the findings is provided in the conclusion. The thesis found that the success of each artwork, in relation to traditional models of aesthetic value, varied considerably. The contrast between Beckett's early work in the conventional modern short story in English is contrasted with his subsequent transition into aesthetically short postmodern stories in French.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available