Living Flesh: The Human-Nonhuman Proximity in Beckett’s Four Stories

Anderton, Joseph (2020) Living Flesh: The Human-Nonhuman Proximity in Beckett’s Four Stories. Samuel Beckett Today/Aujourd’hui, 32 (2). pp. 192-206. ISSN 1875-7405

[img] Text
ANDERTON 'living flesh' Human-Nonhuman Proximity-2.pdf - Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only until 30 July 2021.

Download (640kB) | Request a copy

Abstract

This essay examines the human-nonhuman proximity emerging from Beckett’s representation of a deconstructed human being and his encounters with nonhuman animals in the “The Expelled,” “The Calmative,” “The End” and “First Love.” With reference to Simone Weil’s categories from The Need for Roots, I show how Beckett’s narrator is lacking physical, psychological, socio-political and philosophical aspects associated with normative human being, which result in a precarious, imprecise identity. In light of this dehumanisation, I close read passages featuring nonhuman animals to argue that while they emphasise the narrator’s marginalisation from human community, they also reveal profound alienation from other animals too. The destabilisation of specific identity, I argue, initiates a reevaluation of the narrator’s place among living beings in general and prefigures the multispecies connectedness advocated in twenty-first century ecocritical reviews of the human-nonhuman divide, such as Donna Haraway’s ‘chthulucene.’

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** From Crossref via Jisc Publications Router ** History: ppub 30-07-2020; issued 30-07-2020.
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1163/18757405-03202004
Date: 30 July 2020
Uncontrolled Keywords: dehumanisation; animals; roots; kind; ecology
Subjects: Q300 English studies
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > School of English
SWORD Depositor: JISC PubRouter
Depositing User: JISC PubRouter
Date Deposited: 12 Aug 2020 14:24
Last Modified: 12 Aug 2020 14:32
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/9643

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Research

In this section...