Beckett On Proust Essays

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(3) The individual is the seat of a constant process of decantation, decantation from the vessel containing the fluid of future time, sluggish, pale and monochrome, to the vessel containing the fluid of past time, agitated and multicoloured by the phenomena of its hours.

Generally speaking the former is innocuous, amorphous, without character, without any Borgian virtue.

The number of philosophers that figure in Beckett's dramatic works is unmatched in modern literature even though most — especially the Pre-Socratics — figure as objects of satire.

Descartes and Schopenhauer however are in a different and more serious category.

It is only necessary for its surface to be broken by a date, by any temporal specification allowing us to measure the days that separate us from a menace–or a promise.

Swann, for example, contemplates with doleful resignation the months that he must spend away from Odette during the summer.

But what is attainment: The identification of the subject with the object of his desire.

The subject has died–and perhaps many times–on the way.

In this post, which will require little commentary on my part, I will select passages related to time.

He accepts regretfully the sacred ruler and compass of literary geometry.


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