Beethoven's Haunting of Beckett's 'Ghost Trio'

Laws, Catherine (2003) Beethoven's Haunting of Beckett's 'Ghost Trio'. In: Drawing on Beckett: Portraits, Performances, and Cultural Contexts. Assaph, Tel Aviv, Israel, pp. 197-214. ISBN 9659062508

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Abstract / Summary

Part of Laws’s Beckett-related research is concerned with the significance of music in his work. This essay focuses on a late television play, examining the complex role of music in the interrogation of the relationship between the body, the imagination and subjectivity. Beckett deconstructs Beethoven as a symbol of Romantic creativity and authority, and subtly edits and re-structures Beethoven’s ‘Ghost’ Trio to scrutinise the relationship between watching and listening, interior and exterior, past and present, selfhood and otherness. Beckett’s television plays are somewhat neglected and, specifically his use of music and its significance for questions of form and meaning in late twentieth-century arts practices, have barely been explored. This project developed from Laws’s previous publications on music in Beckett’s earlier work. It is part of her long-term study of the extent to which Beckett’s attitude towards language and literature (and his testing of their limits) was formed in relation to his knowledge and understanding of music and musical philosophy, and the ways in which his use of music as a comparative model relates to and differs from the idealisation of music commonly apparent in Modernist literature.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional Information: In 1998 Laws was invited to join the ‘Beckett Working Group’ (BWG), a small, international, inter-disciplinary group which meets biennially, usually at International Forum for Theatre Research conferences. This paper was initially presented at the Amsterdam BWG meeting, June 2002, and subsequently requested for this volume. The book draws together international theorists and practitioners from the fields of literature, theatre, performance, music, philosophy, film, television, and media, and gained permission to reproduce a range of portraits of Beckett by Avigdor Arikha. The editor (Linda Ben-Zvi) and a number of contributors (especially Ruby Cohn, Enoch Brater, Mary Bryden, and Angela Moorjani) are amongst the most notable of Beckett scholars.
ISBN: 9659062508
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Depositing User: Ex Falmouth Staff
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2014 15:28
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2014 15:31
URI: http://repository.falmouth.ac.uk/id/eprint/474

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