“Before the Door that Opens on my Story”: Samuel Beckett and Narrative as Detritus
The article weaves Lacanian psychoanalysis with narratology. It explores the Beckettian logic of narrative detritus in The Trilogy by examining stories, progressively “worsened” with every act of narration. Reading these obsessive-compulsive moments of narrative as failure, it sheds light on the various techniques and implications of this experiment that range from freezing a narrative into stasis to pushing it toward the limits of speculation and from forcing the narrative to revolve around its exterior to underlining its artifice through narratorial intrusions. The article focuses on the vestigial story-function to underscore the paradoxical status of Beckett’s narrative impulse and demonstrates how the drift of these narrations relocates storytelling from the subjective pole of the “I” to the opacity of language as a field of the Other and finally into the originary and the terminal silence that conditions narrative. The article reads Beckett’s assaults on the realistic narrative logic of the novel in tandem with an aporetic narrative logic that emerges from Lacanian psychoanalysis with its emphasis on the Real, as opposed to realism.
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