Residual Figuration in Samuel Beckett and Alberto Giacometti

Lin Li

Studies In Comparative Literature 53

Legenda

7 June 2022  •  128pp

ISBN: 978-1-781886-62-5 (hardback)  •  RRP £85, $115, €99

ISBN: 978-1-781886-66-3 (paperback, forthcoming)

ISBN: 978-1-781886-70-0 (JSTOR ebook)

Access online: Books@JSTOR

ModernFrenchDramaArt


In 1945, Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966) brought back to Paris six matchboxes filled with the work of his war years: minute figurines that crumbled upon a single touch. Around this time, Irish playwright Samuel Beckett (1906-1989) began writing plays, first Eleutheria and then Waiting for Godot. When they came together in 1961 to collaborate on a re-staging of Godot, both had turned their attention to different types of figures: Giacometti to lanky, attenuated figures that seem to erode into their environment, and Beckett to increasingly disembodied characters, such as Henry and Ada in Embers. What can we make of this turn in depicting figures that seem to make and unmake themselves in our processes of perceiving them? Through a close examination of Beckett’s dramatic works and Giacometti’s art, Lin Li traces the development of this peculiar type of figuration and uncovers its implications on personhood, rhetoric and inter-medial reading.

Lin Li is research associate at the University of Antwerp.

Reviews:

  • ‘In this ambitious yet focused study of the relationship between certain formal characteristics in Samuel Beckett’s dramatic works and Alberto Giacometti’s art, Lin Li not only clarifies these two artists’ shared milieu, but also sheds light on new ways to understand both subjecthood and reading more generally.’ — Charlie Clements, Modern Language Review 2024, 119.1, 139-41 (full text online)

For a contents listing, see this volume at JSTOR.

Bibliography entry:

Li, Lin, Residual Figuration in Samuel Beckett and Alberto Giacometti, Studies In Comparative Literature, 53 (Legenda, 2022)

First footnote reference: 35 Lin Li, Residual Figuration in Samuel Beckett and Alberto Giacometti, Studies In Comparative Literature, 53 (Legenda, 2022), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Li, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Li, Lin. 2022. Residual Figuration in Samuel Beckett and Alberto Giacometti, Studies In Comparative Literature, 53 (Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Li 2022: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Li 2022: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


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