Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Wittgenstein and Political TheoryThe View from Somewhere$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Christopher C. Robinson

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780748639144

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748639144.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 20 May 2022

Bare Life: Comedy, Trust, and Language in Wittgenstein and Beckett

Bare Life: Comedy, Trust, and Language in Wittgenstein and Beckett

(p.156) Chapter 7 Bare Life: Comedy, Trust, and Language in Wittgenstein and Beckett
Wittgenstein and Political Theory

Christopher C Robinson

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter is a Wittgensteinian reading of a play by Samuel Beckett, Catastrophe. Where the discussion emphasizes the horizontal travel through language by immanent theorists, this chapter illustrates this movement by stepping from politics and political theory into literary culture. It also examines the space for vertical movement within language. Wittgenstein suggests this thickness in his distinction between surface and depth grammars, and his thoughts on the relation of trust, conceived as irreducible, to language-games. The distance between surface and depth in language is miniscule: to get to the ‘bedrock’ of trust in language, one does not have to dig too deep. Through torture, exile, imprisonment and other forms of inhumanity illuminated in the techniques of concentration camps, humans are deprived of what makes them human. In Beckett's Catastrophe, trust is exposed and threatened. But there may be a redemptive moment in the end.

Keywords:   Wittgensteinian reading, Samuel Beckett, Catastrophe, political theory, language movement, literary culture, language-games, inhumanity

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.