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Title: Beckett, with Sade : Sadean intertext and aesthetics in Samuel Beckett's works
Author: Baroghel, Elsa
ISNI:       0000 0004 7654 2658
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis is the first full-length study of the relevance of the Marquis de Sade to Samuel Beckett's works. While relatively little scholarship exists on this subject, the question of a Sadean presence in Beckett's oeuvre has been drawing increasing critical attention since the publication of Beckett's correspondence (e.g. Pilling: 2014). This thesis combines empirical and interpretative critical approaches in order to reconstitute and reassess Beckett's reception of Sade and show that his debt to him is more important than previously thought. The thesis identifies new evidence of Sadean intertext in Beckett's works, such as direct borrowings or references, and also retraces Beckett's indirect encounters with Sade's legacy via various secondary sources. Through a cross-examination of Sade's relevance to Beckett's documented aesthetic and intellectual preoccupations, in particular philosophy, psychology and literature, the thesis aims not simply at confirming Beckett's interest in Sade, but also at piecing together a more comprehensive picture of the reasons for that interest, demonstrating that this Sadean evidence can be used as a meaningful index for a study of the evolution of Beckett's style and aesthetics, as well as providing new insights into the intertextual dimension of his creative process. The thesis highlights Beckett's and Sade's common conflicted (and conflicting) relationship with the concept of modernity, which they both at once embrace, resist and transcend, and asks how the two authors intersect and interact within the modern history of art and ideas. It shows that Beckett's reading of Sade was from the outset conscious of his intellectual and historical context, and that his knowledge and use of Sade have important implications for his reception of Enlightenment rationalism and psychoanalytic theory, as well as for his own reflection on the human condition in the modern age. One major objective of this D.Phil is therefore to show that reading them alongside each other casts useful lights on the aesthetic, historical and intellectual implications of their respective works.
Supervisor: Maclachlan, Ian Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Beckett, Samuel, 1906-1989 ; Sade, Marquis de