Boulter - Beckett GuideJonathan Boulter

Beckett: A Guide for the Perplexed

Samuel Beckett (1906-1989) is one of the most important twentieth century writers. Seen as both a modernist and postmodernist, his work has influenced generations of playwrights, novelists and poets. Despite his notorious difficulty, Beckett famously refused to offer his readers any help in interpreting his work. Beckett's texts examine key philosophical-humanist questions but his writing is challenging, perplexing and often intimidating for readers. This guide offers students reading Beckett a clear starting point from which to confront some of the most difficult plays and novels produced in the twentieth century, texts which often appear to work on the very edge of meaninglessness. Beginning with a general introduction to Beckett, his work and its contexts, the guide looks at each of the major genres in turn, analyzing key works chronologically. It explains why Beckett's texts can seem so impenetrable and confusing, and focuses on key questions and issues. Giving an accessible account of both the form and content of Beckett's work, this guide will enable students to begin to come to grips with this fascinating but daunting writer. 2013, Bloomsbury Publishing.

Boulter - Cultural SubjectsCultural Subjects: A Popular Culture Reader (editor)

Cultural Subjects: A Popular Culture Reader is a collection of 22 readings by well-known international scholars in various areas of cultural studies. Recognizing that pop culture is a global phenomenon, it features Canadian selections alongside classic writings in the field prefaced by student-friendly introductions. 2004, Nelson College Indigenous.

Boulter - Interpreting NarrativeInterpreting Narrative in the Novels of Samuel Beckett

"[This book] emphasizes the relationship between reader and text by arguing that Beckett's works must be considered as reenactments of the hermeneutical process: they are writings about the obligations of the reader to formulate meaning in texts that destabilize the ground upon which determinate meaning(s) can be made. Boulter stands between, on the one hand, those critics who characterize Beckett's novels as allegories "that stress formal similarities between Beckett's texts and [...] external systems of [...] philosophy and literature" and, on the other hand, post-structuralist critics who emphasize "the textuality of the subject, the endless play of the subject, the aporia of meaning." Using Godamer's phenomenological hermeneutics as his theoretical model, Boulter highlights the reader's insinuation into the formation of the text and meaning and, furthermore, the ethical implication that arises from the reader's desire to form meaning; therefore, Boulter investigates Beckett's obsessive formulation of the aporia that resides at the heart of the reader/text relationship" (Todd Hoffman, full review here). 2002, Scholarly Book Services Inc.

See more of Dr. Boulter's work here.