John Pilling


This issue offers the first article-length treatment of Beckett’s most recent work for the theatre and a ‘first aperçu’ of his most recent work of prose fiction. The remarkable attempt to read Molloy with Jungian co-ordinates in mind is of exceptional interest, as are the comparable conjurations of Sir Thomas Browne, Berkeley and Joyce. The essay on Imagination dead imagine is the first full-length exercise in ‘deconstruction’ of a Beckett text to have been published in Journal of Beckett Studies, and reflects the fascination for this kind of approach in the world of scholarship generally. As in previous issues, it has seemed profitable to reflect the pluralism inherent in Beckett criticism and to offer a chance both to established scholars and to those less well-known.


The first two reviews offer an intriguing counterpoint between what each respective critic sees as the proper balance between the letter and the spirit of Beckett’s prescriptions, an assessment of ‘if this notion is maintained’ as it were, in the inherently fleeting media of stage and screen, and both, I hope, indicative of the determination that has been part of the enterprise of Journal of Beckett Studies from the beginning: to go beyond the dramatic texts to their more or less successful realization.