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Beckett Beyond the Normal$
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Seán Kennedy

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781474460460

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474460460.001.0001

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Murphy and the Tao of Autism

Murphy and the Tao of Autism

(p.16) Chapter 1 Murphy and the Tao of Autism
Beckett Beyond the Normal

Joseph Valente

Edinburgh University Press

The purpose of this chapter is not to discover the presence of autism in Samuel Beckett’s Murphy, but to bury its recent discovery in order to relocate autism as a magnetising and mobilising absence in the novel – not something that is lacking or deficient in itself, as the ableist constructions of autism propose, but a difference that is lacking, or better yet wanting, in the eponymous non-autistic protagonist and, by metaphorical extension, in neurotypical subjectivity as such. I denominate this lack, this want, the objet petit a(u), with the translingual pun that entails on the Lacanian Other.

Keywords:   Beckett, Murphy, Autism, Psychoanalysis, Lacan, Quayson

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