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For a Migrant Art: Samuel Beckett and Cultural Nationalism

Weller, Shane (2018) For a Migrant Art: Samuel Beckett and Cultural Nationalism. Journal of European Studies, 48 (2). pp. 168-182. ISSN 0047-2441. (doi:10.1177/0047244118767822) (KAR id:66895)


This essay charts Samuel Beckett’s linguistic migration from English to French at the end of the Second World War, locating this within the context of other twentieth-century literary migrations. It then proceeds to identify some of the principal ways in which Beckett seeks to resist forms of cultural nationalism (Irish, French and German). The distance that Beckett takes from these European forms of cultural nationalism is reflected not only in the migrant status of his characters, but also in the way in which he deploys national-cultural references. The essay argues that Beckett’s aim in this respect bears comparison with that of the ‘good European’ as defined by Nietzsche. An important difference, however, is that in Beckett’s case the emphasis falls not upon cosmopolitanism but rather upon a perpetual migrancy that is captured above all in his movement between languages.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/0047244118767822
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN851 Comparative Literature
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Culture and Languages
Depositing User: Shane Weller
Date Deposited: 02 May 2018 13:13 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 16:55 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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