Title

Portrait of a descriptive phenomenologist: a stylistic approach to Beckett

Poster Number

8

Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Artist Statement

It seems evident to most readers that Beckett’s writing captures and expresses many philosophical dilemmas, both epistemic and ontological. What remains undiscovered is how these complex issues arise through Beckett’s use of form. It is the hypothesis of this project that Samuel Beckett employs form in a purposeful way to reinforce content and, further, to impress upon the reader the conflicted state of personal identity as it unfailingly appears to our cognition, reflection, and consciousness. In this project, the form of Beckett’s writing has been mapped out in an effort to uncover how specific linguistic deviations sensitize the reader to this predicament. This stylistic approach uses several linguistic modes of analysis, including pragmatics and schema theory. These methods have produced distinct results according to the two genres examined. In Beckett’s poem, “the vulture,” Beckett establishes this particular effect through deviant syntax, namely the literal and non-literal erasure of the subject. In Beckett’s short prose work, “Dante and the Lobster,” Beckett establishes the same effect through the speech and thought presentation of the narration.

Location

Pacific Geosciences Center

Start Date

24-4-2004 9:00 AM

End Date

24-4-2004 5:00 PM

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Apr 24th, 9:00 AM Apr 24th, 5:00 PM

Portrait of a descriptive phenomenologist: a stylistic approach to Beckett

Pacific Geosciences Center

It seems evident to most readers that Beckett’s writing captures and expresses many philosophical dilemmas, both epistemic and ontological. What remains undiscovered is how these complex issues arise through Beckett’s use of form. It is the hypothesis of this project that Samuel Beckett employs form in a purposeful way to reinforce content and, further, to impress upon the reader the conflicted state of personal identity as it unfailingly appears to our cognition, reflection, and consciousness. In this project, the form of Beckett’s writing has been mapped out in an effort to uncover how specific linguistic deviations sensitize the reader to this predicament. This stylistic approach uses several linguistic modes of analysis, including pragmatics and schema theory. These methods have produced distinct results according to the two genres examined. In Beckett’s poem, “the vulture,” Beckett establishes this particular effect through deviant syntax, namely the literal and non-literal erasure of the subject. In Beckett’s short prose work, “Dante and the Lobster,” Beckett establishes the same effect through the speech and thought presentation of the narration.