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Samuel Beckett and Painting

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Michael Coffey reviews Beckett’s Thing–Painting and Theatre by David Lloyd (Edinburgh University Press)

Coffey writes: “David Lloyd, in his long-awaited book on Samuel Beckett and the visual arts, arrives, in his closing chapter, at this electrifying thought: ‘The political effect of Beckett’s work in general takes place not at the level of statement, but in its steady dismantling of the regime of representation.’ (p. 222). Although Lloyd, here, is talking about the very late Beckett plays … it is clear, thanks to the argument he has built throughout the book, that the wellhead of Beckett’s literary aesthetic lay in his intense, life-long devotion to looking at what he called “pictures,” specifically those by painters who were mounting their own assaults on representation.”

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