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Eric Prieto (University of California- Santa Barbara)
Over the course of his career, Beckett gradually abandoned the conventional depiction of concrete settings and clearly identifiable places in favor of increasingly abstract, artificial, or otherwise non-localizable spaces. Despite this progressive delocalization of representation, there has been in recent years a concerted critical effort to re-place Beckett's work, to re-read it, that is, with an emphasis on the author's Irish roots, education, social relations, wartime activities, literary influences, and so forth. The goal of such studies is to draw the work down from the ethereal, unlocalizable realm of metaphysics and philosophical speculation that dominated a previous generation of Beckett studies and reinsert it into the historical world of political, social, and identitarian concerns emphasized by contemporary movements like cultural, postcolonial, and gender studies.
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