Beckett and Badiou : the pathos of intermittency by Badiou, Alain; Beckett, Samuel; Gibson, Andrew

By Badiou, Alain; Beckett, Samuel; Gibson, Andrew

The prime modern French thinker Alain Badiou has been a lifelong devotee of Beckett's paintings. This ground-breaking learn offers a whole advent to and critique of Badiou's philosophy, politics, ethics and aesthetics, and his interpretation of the Irish author, as a foundation for a tremendous new interpreting of the Beckett corpus. - ;Beckett and Badiou bargains a provocative new studying of Samuel Beckett's paintings on Read more...

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The major modern French thinker Alain Badiou has been a lifelong devotee of Beckett's paintings. This ground-breaking learn presents a whole advent to and critique of Badiou's philosophy, Read more...

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Extra resources for Beckett and Badiou : the pathos of intermittency

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Moran’s ‘dehiscence’¹³⁷—which overwrites more or less the whole of his narrative, since he recounts his story having already ‘dehisced’—is the breakup of a ‘fictional imposition of a unity’ upon an actual infinity. What Moran must learn is the paradoxical coexistence of limit and infinity on which set theory insists: . . when of the innumerable attitudes adopted unthinkingly by the normal man all are precluded but two or three, these are enhanced. . Yes, when you can neither stand nor sit with comfort, you take refuge in the horizontal, like a child in its mother’s lap.

True, where Badiou writes of the ‘absolute pulverulence’ of Being,¹⁰⁰ Beckett writes of art as ‘a disfaction, a d´esuni, an Ungebund . . a blizzard of electrons’ (DI, 49). But a shared concern with atomization is not a sufficient link. For Badiou, set theory provides us with an expression of actual infinity. Beckett’s interest in mathematics has long been recognized. Ackerley in particular has shown how pervasive mathematical references are in his work. It is by no means immediately clear, however, that we can jump from scattered if widespread tokens of interest in mathematics in general to the idea that Beckett provides us with a literary equivalent of the set-theoretic universe.

In ‘Philosophie et math´ematique’ (1989), he restricted himself to calling for the spread of modern mathematical concepts beyond mathematics itself. ⁶⁰ He suggests that, in much modern art and music—Schoenberg, Malevich, and Duchamp, for example—‘the infinite is nothing other than the finite itself’ (LS, 219). It would not be hard to find literary equivalents of this; indeed, it would not be hard to construct a tradition of literary versions of actual infinity running from Mallarm´e, Kafka, and Finnegans Wake through Roussel, Borges, and the nouveau roman to Perec and Ashbery.

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