Laura Salisbury, Samuel Beckett: Laughing Matters, Comic Timing

Beckett's comic timing as part of a post-war ethics of representation

About the book

Samuel Beckett is a funny writer. He is also an author whose work is taken to respond ethically to the unspeakable seriousness of the post-Holocaust situation. How can these two statements sit together? Ranging widely over Beckett's fiction, drama, and critical writings, and including readings of Murphy, the Trilogy, Waiting for Godot, Endgame, the late prose, and the late plays, the book demonstrates that it is through Beckett's comic timing that we can understand the double gesture of his art: the ethical obligation to represent the world how it is while, at the same time, opening up a space for how it ought to be.

Key Features

  • Presents innovative readings of the comedy found in Beckett's fiction, drama and critical writings
  • Spans Beckett's entire oeuvre, using published and unpublished sources
  • Engages with recent and contemporary philosophical approaches to literature, including work by Derrida, Badiou, Levinas, and Adorno
  • Makes a unique contribution to theoretical work on comedy and laughter
  • Provides a rigorous introduction to the theoretical debates surrounding the relationship between modernist literature and a post-war ethics of representation

Publication details

Publication date: April 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7486-4748-4
Format: Hardback
Price: £70
Edinburgh University Press website

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