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KEEPING THEIR DISTANCE: Beckett and Borges Writing after Joyce

Anthony Cordingley
Samuel Beckett Today / Aujourd'hui
Vol. 14, After Beckett / D'après Beckett (2004), pp. 131-145
Published by: Brill
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25781462
Page Count: 15
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KEEPING THEIR DISTANCE: Beckett and Borges Writing after Joyce
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Abstract

This article examines the dynamic underlying Beckett's experience of language, an attitude which focussed his prose style towards what Hugh Kenner termed Beckett's 'atom-age prose' with Comment c'est/How It Is. Beckett's desire to write in French and his compulsion to self-translate are read as evolving, integral components of this dynamic. Crucial to this trajectory is Beckett's radical, but never divorced, critique of modernist literary form in Joyce and Proust. In Spanish and Latin American literature, Jorge Luis Borges crafted a different alternative to the aesthetic of the modernist novel. Borges's ficciones are a generic riposte to Joycean modernism, and in some of these stories the scene of aesthetic contestation is beguilingly satirised.

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