Unreal Nature

February 19, 2016

Low of Ceiling, Thick of Wall

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:32 am

… his characters and narrators live … within Umwelts that they constitute from themselves …

Continuing through Beckett, Modernism and the Material Imagination by Steven Connor (2014):

… In his writing of the 1920s and 1930s, Beckett tries everything he can to assert a retreat from what Murphy calls the ‘big world’ into the ‘little world,’ the fine and private place of the head. … These acts of miniature mundation are anticipated towards the end of The Unnamable:

make a place, a little world, it will be round, this time, it’s not certain, low of ceiling, thick of wall, why low, why thick, I don’t know, it isn’t certain, it remains to be seen, all remains to be seen, a little world, try to find out what it’s like, try and guess, put someone in it, seek someone in it, and what he’s like, and how he manages, it won’t be I, no matter, perhaps it will, perhaps it will be my world, possible coincidence.

… his characters and narrators live, not within ‘the world’ or worlds as such, but within Umwelts that they constitute from themselves, or that are constituted from themselves, not voluntarily, but unavoidably. As he wrote in Proust, ‘Life is habit. Or rather life is a succession of habits, since the individual is a succession of individuals. … The creation of the world did not take place once and for all time, but takes place every day.’

My most recent previous post from Connor’s book is here.
-Julie

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