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David C. Lloyd
University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA 90089-0012)
The Impact of Samuel Beckett's Art Criticism on His Literary and Visual Imagination

Starting from Beckett's art criticism of the 1940s, this project asks what the painting he admired reveals about his own visual imagination. Why was he drawn to a number of figures who are, in art historical terms, quite marginal? What does his interest in their work, mostly on the borderline between figuration and abstraction, reveal about questions concerning the image, figure and ground that haunt his writing? What does his taste in painting reveal about the visual aesthetic of the plays? Rather than focus on the criticism alone, my research will examine actual works by the artists Beckett admired and explore what they suggest about the evolving visual dynamics of the plays. Chapters on Yeats, Van Velde and Arikha will be followed by one on image and painterliness in his drama.

Project fields:

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

$33,600 (approved)
$33,600 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2009 – 8/31/2009