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Samuel Beckett’s Media Works – Genesis and Evolution

Class at Faculty of Arts |


7.10.              Introduction ‘quaquaquaqua’ 14.10.             The Blind Medium and All That Fall   21.10.             Sound and Vision: Krapp’s Last Tape 28.10.             No Class 4.11.               Krapp, Beckett, and the Archive – Dr Mark Nixon (University of Reading) 11.11.             Just (a) Play?: Play 18.11.             I vs. ‘The Eye’: Film 25.11.             Technological Torturers in Eh Joe 2.12.                ‘whole body like gone’: Not I 9.12.                Quad, a ‘Ballet Mécanique’ 16.12.             What is What Where and Where Does It Belong?

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This course focuses on Samuel Beckett’s shorter texts for radio, theatre, cinema and television (1956–1987). Considering these works in the context of their respective media will allow students to explore the concepts of medium-specificity, intermediality, and adaptation.

By working with a variety of supplementary materials – such as Beckett’s correspondence, manuscript drafts, production notes and audio-visual recordings – alongside the published texts, students will be able to examine the genesis of, and variation in, Beckett’s work. Attention will also be paid to more recent productions, the texts’ ‘afterlife’ and Beckett’s legacy in the 21st century.

Additionally, the resources of the Beckett Digital Manuscript Project ( will be used to introduce students to the potentials and benefits of archival research. Previous familiarity with Beckett’s life and work is desirable but not essential.

Study programmes