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everettpantaloons

everettpantaloons

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Film Art: An Introduction
David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson
Murphy - Samuel Beckett In this early, pre-epiphany work, Beckett's influences are clear: Schopenhauer's pessimism, Descartes's dualism, and Joyce's modernism all makeup that which is Beckett's first published novel, Murphy.

The writing can at times appear dense or seemingly incoherent, but when the text is given the required degree of attention it can also be something quite magnificent and compelling. Beckett uses this style of writing to take the reader into a confused and otherworldly mind-state similar to that of the main character's, and also uses the unique style to blend an odd mix of dark, dry, and absurdist humor, which is largely successful because of the complementing style.

And while the writing itself may at times be highly allusive and baffling, the plot is fairly straight-forward and easy to follow. The character of importance, as the title suggests, is Murphy, a "seedy solipsist ... without provenance or target, caught up in a tumult of non-Newtonian motion," who, to simplify the character's psychology, yearns for an alternative to reality and seeks just that through a variety of methods including insanity and nothingness. There are a group of other characters, all in one way or another revolving around Murphy, who receive little in the way of character development, but this is primarily the story of Murphy and the world that surrounds him and/or the world that exists inside him, and all others are little more than satellites orbiting Murphy's universe.

Surely a book that can be enjoyed a second time, and I one day hope to do just that.