'The Impulse Towards Silence': Creaturely Expressivity in Beckett and Coetzee

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Forms of silence can serve as a signature of ?creaturely life?: the suspended state of being in uncanny proximity with the nonhuman animal to which a subject is exposed when detached from the constitutive values and normative meanings that structure human life. The claim in this chapter is that Samuel Beckett?s Worstward Ho and J.M. Coetzee?s Life and Times of Michael K are both attentive to the estranged, elusive, ahistorical dimensions of creaturely life through the pursuit of a non-discursive state coinciding with the compulsion or solicitation to speak. In their varying ways of voicing silence, Beckett and Coetzee generate a fraternity with animals in exposing the human?s own potential intimacy with the embodied life beyond the symbolic order of language and narrative.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationBeyond the Human-Animal Divide
    EditorsDominik Ohrem, Roman Bartosch
    Place of PublicationNew York
    PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
    Number of pages18
    ISBN (Print)9781137603098
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 22 Nov 2017


    • Literary Studies Literature English Impulse Silence Creature Expressivity Beckett Coetzee


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