Acasă Articole RTR Samuel Beckett and E. M. Cioran: The Passion for Ruins

Samuel Beckett and E. M. Cioran: The Passion for Ruins


Abstract: In this article I will focus on three major intersections between Samuel Beckett’s and E. M. Cioran’s works, irrespective of the fact that Beckett chose mainly the medium of prose and theatre, while Cioran chose the philosophical essay. Starting from several biographical encounters mentioned in Beckett’s Letters and Cioran’s Cahiers and the section on Beckett from Anathemas and Admirations, I will first explore autobiography as a “figure of reading” (Paul de Man), and use my role as a reader to become a sort of judge who looks into the different ways in which Beckett and Cioran wrote a type of autobiography always veiled through what I will call Facing / Defacing / Figuring / Disfiguring, also searching for possible reasons why they insisted on believing that in life one must keep on trying against all odds. The second comparison will delve into Beckett’s and Cioran’s “absentheism” (a concept I borrow from Jean-Luc Nancy) and negative theology. The third analogy will deal with the way in which Beckett and Cioran performed failure in their works.

Keywords: Samuel Beckett, E. M. Cioran, stylistic proximities, autobiography, disguise, “absentheism,” negative theology, failure


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