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Beckett's ThingPainting and Theatre$
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David Lloyd

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781474415729

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474415729.001.0001

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Beckett’s Thing: Bram van Velde and the Gaze

Beckett’s Thing: Bram van Velde and the Gaze

(p.85) 2 Beckett’s Thing: Bram van Velde and the Gaze
Beckett's Thing

David Lloyd

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter explores Beckett’s writings on Dutch painter Bram van Velde, especially his 1949 “Three Dialogues with Georges Duthuit”. It discusses his dismissal of the work of French artists Pierre Tal-Coat and André Masson in the context of French post-war cultural debates and explains his preference for van Velde’s work, in which image and figure are completely disintegrated. It shows how Beckett’s thinking of the thing parallels but eventually goes beyond that of Martin Heidegger and foregrounds the notion of gaze and voice as things. It argues that van Velde’s work brings Beckett to the fragmentation of his dramas into distinct elements of voice, action, gesture and gaze, and analyzes Krapp’s Last Tape and Film as examples of this process.

Keywords:   Samuel Beckett, Bram van Velde, Pierre Tal-Coat, André Masson, Martin Heidegger, Jacques Lacan, gaze, figure, image, Krapp’s Last Tape, Film

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