A Deconstructive Reading of Samuel Beckett’s The Unnamable: The Threshold of Language Limits

Mohebat Ahmadi


This study examines one of Samuel Beckett’s enigmatic fictions, The Unnamable, in the light of deconstructive reading. Based on the close study of deconstruction and Derrida’s works, the main concern of the discussion concentrates on those paradoxical aspects of language and especially literary language that profoundly affect the act of literary reading. Deconstructive reading of a literary text is a matter of entering into the play of contradiction, multiple references, and the ceaseless questioning of conclusions and responses. This article asks how the literary text, through deconstructive study of its oppositions, can be against itself and stand at the threshold of coming new meanings and interpretations. Then, it is not so difficult to see how this approach might be related to Beckett’s The Unnamable, which like Derrida’s deconstruction is deeply concerned with the problem of “aporia”, deeply interested in the play of language, the deferral of meaning and the rejection of any system of classifi cation that is grounded in subject-object relations, and at the end a reading that is itself unnamable.

Key words: Transcendental signified; Differance; Aporia; Representation; Poststructuralism; Structuralism; Metaphysics of presence


Transcendental signified; Differance; Aporia; Representation; Poststructuralism; Structuralism; Metaphysics of presence


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/n


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