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BECKETT, BÖLL, AND CLOWNS

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Abstract:

After relating the importance of the moment in Beckett's work to the clownish act's quicksilver moment that reverses or modifies a mood or situation, this essay identifies affiliations between Beckett's work and varieties of clowning which derive not so much from knockabout farce and merriment but rather from containment and introspection, even constraint. In interaction with Heinrich Böll's novel The Clown, the essay concentrates upon the tightrope a clown must tread between the familiar and the alien, the vulnerable and the outrageous, the public and the private, a tightrope that is also apparent in significant areas of Beckett's writing.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2008

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