Samuel Beckett’s Remembrance of Texts Past: Shakespeare, Proust, and Joyce in Not I and That Time

James Little



This article investigates intertexts in Samuel Beckett’s late theatre as modes of authorial memory, while also paying attention to the role of the reader. Drawing on the recent digital genetic edition of Beckett’s Not I / Pas moi and That Time / Cette fois, it uses archival evidence to examine Beckett’s engagement with the works of William Shakespeare, Marcel Proust, and James Joyce in the composition of these plays. Since, in many cases, Beckett’s use of literary intertexts cannot be tied to material traces in the archive, the article proposes the term “memotext” to denote intertexts drawn from memory rather than from a particular edition, modelled on Julia Kristeva’s concepts of “genotext” and “phenotext.”


genetic criticism, intertextuality, Samuel Beckett, William Shakespeare, Marcel Proust, James Joyce, Julia Kristeva




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