Bridging Music and Language in Samuel Becketts Ghost Trio and Nacht und Trme

Lucy Jeffrey


Becketts use of music in his late teleplays Ghost Trio and Nacht und Trme forms part of his aesthetics of failure. This paper explores Becketts compositional style and asks how and why his use of music complicates the overall shape of the work. Beckett at once fragments and loops extracts of Beethoven and Schubert to dictate the thoughts and movements of Figure and Dreamer, the protagonists in these plays. Musics temporal form and spatial realisations are considered in relation to Dreamer and Figures memories and sense of imprisonment. Gilles Deleuze and Jacques Derrida are employed to unpack this entropic and purposely unsettling form.


Samuel Beckett; Music and Literature; Beethoven; Schubert; Deconstructivism; Suffering; Aporia; Repetition; Nothingness; Endlessness; Ineffability; Modernism

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