Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

Samuel Beckett and Indian Literature

Chakraborty, Thirthankar (2017) Samuel Beckett and Indian Literature. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.59865) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:59865)

Language: English

Restricted to Repository staff only
Contact us about this Publication
[thumbnail of 65Samuel Beckett and Indian Literature - Thirthankar Chakraborty.pdf]
Official URL:


Godot ke Intezar Mein (Hindi), Godor Pratikshay (Bengali), Eppo Varuvaru (Tamil), Kalpo Ke Kalpana Mari Parvari Chhe (Gujarati), Edin Ahibo Teu (Assamese), Su Yee (Kashmiri): these are just some of the translations and adaptations of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot into Indian languages. They reveal how Beckett's chef d'oeuvre has reached every corner of the country, from Tamil Nadu in the South, to Kashmir in the North, Assam in the East, and Gujarat in the West. Just as Honoré de Balzac's fictitious Godeau returns prosperously from 'Les Indes' in Le Faiseur (1848), Beckett's Godot gains from the remarkable dissemination through a multilingual, multicultural, social, and political space of post-independence India.

This thesis, divided into three parts, is a comparative study of the relation between Samuel Beckett's works and Indian prose fiction, drama, and cinema, from the moment when Beckett's oeuvre was first introduced in India. Engaging with recent debates on the concept of world literature, it assesses three phases that are pertinent to the three parts and the circulation of Beckett's works through India: 1) the topical-planetary phase: Beckett's influence on Anglo Indian novelists, starting with Salman Rushdie; 2) the world-making phase: the circulation of Beckett's works amongst Indian playwrights, based on themes, writing techniques and style; and 3) the canonical phase: Beckett's pervasive presence rather than direct influence in Indian mainstream and experimental cinema. Put together, these three parts form a three-phase evolution, and a conceptual framework for world literature.

In exploring Beckett's influence, circulation, and pervasive presence in Indian literature, alongside adaptations and re-creations of Beckettian motifs, characters, and stylistic techniques, this thesis not only re-conceives of Beckett's place in world literature today, but it also presents a process by which his works achieve canonicity. Starting with the works of Rushdie, the thesis charters new territories where Beckett's works have found a place, while the comparative approach draws attention to the heterogeneous and complex nature of modern Indian literature.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Weller, Shane
Thesis advisor: Baldwin, Thomas
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.59865
Additional information: The author of this thesis has requested that it be held under closed access. We are sorry but we will not be able to give you access or pass on any requests for access. 08/09/21
Uncontrolled keywords: World Literature, Samuel Beckett, Indian Literature, Comparative Literature, Modernism, Postcolonialism
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Culture and Languages
Funders: [UNSPECIFIED] Funded by a University of Kent 50th Anniversary Scholarship, University of Kent
Depositing User: Users 1 not found.
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2017 12:00 UTC
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2021 13:27 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Chakraborty, Thirthankar.

Creator's ORCID:
CReDIT Contributor Roles:
  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.