Since Beckett: Contemporary Writing in the Wake of Modernism

October 30, 2020
Since Beckett: Contemporary Writing in the Wake of Modernism

Samuel Beckett is widely regarded as 'the last modernist', thewriter in whose work the aesthetic principles which drove themodernist project dwindled and were finally exhausted. And yetdespite this, it is striking that many of the most importantcontemporary writers, across the world, see their work as emergingfrom a Beckettian legacy. So whilst Beckett belongs, in one sense,to the end of the modernist period, in another sense he is the wellspring from which the contemporary, in a wide array of guises, canbe seen to emerge.Since Beckett looks at a number of writers, in differentnational and political contexts, tracing the way in which Beckett'swriting inhabits the contemporary, while at the same time readingback through Beckett to the modernist and proto-modernist forms heinherited. In reading Beckett against the contemporary in this way,Peter Boxall offers both a compelling re-reading of Beckett, and apowerful new analysis of contemporary culture.