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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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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. 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 September 2021

Beckett’s Queer Time of Défaillance: Ritual and Resistance in Happy Days

Beckett’s Queer Time of Défaillance: Ritual and Resistance in Happy Days

Chapter:
(p.105) Chapter 7 Beckett’s Queer Time of Défaillance: Ritual and Resistance in Happy Days
Source:
Beckett Beyond the Normal
Author(s):

Nic Barilar

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474460460.003.0008

This chapter draws on Beckett’s Happy Days production notebooks to argue against critical assessments of Winnie as an exemplar of British pluck. Rather, the domestic rituals she performs serve to distract her from ever-encroaching entropy. Read in queer time, as chrononormative regulators, Winnie’s rituals are recast as coping mechanisms that help to normalise her abnormal situation. Happy Days thus challenges prevailing understandings of the politics of queer time, queer failure, and performance. Happy Days is read historically as a response to late capitalism’s regulatory regimes. Winnie’s queer experience of time is the audience’s, too, and her failures implicate them in their own attachments to deadening routine. Winnie’s performance of internalised discipline models (and critiques) how commodity culture deadens existence, but also how theatre as spectacle normalises suffering.

Keywords:   Beckett , Happy Days, Queer, Time, Ritual, Resistance, Performance

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