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The Journal of English Language and Literature , Vol.58, No.4, 611 ~ 633, 2012
rying to Place Beckett`s View on Death in Western Thanatology
황훈성 Hoon Sung Hwang
Beckett`s life-long struggling with death may be illuminated in terms of the Western tradition of thanatology as well as Philippe Aries`s anthropological classification of death. Among the Western tradition, Beckett`s oeuvre incarnates memento mori, timor mori, nihilism, theatrum mundi, life as afterlife, and the transsubstantiation of the self. Among the five views of death Aries suggests, Beckett appears to foreground the death of the self and the invisible dirty death. In a world devoid of transcendental Signified, Beckett`s resident is "a poor player/That struts and frets his hour upon the stage." Our contemporary vision of death is dominated by the dirty death and timor mori resurrected from the cultural icon of danse macabre in the late Mediaeval age as vividly dramatized in W;t by Margaret Edson. Beckett stands in no man`s land: Lucky complains of divine aphathia as well as scopes at the possibility of God`s existence like Hamm. Beckett`s way of getting out of the dilemma is laughing a mirthless and dianoetic laugher. To bourgeois class who shudder at the sight of Grim Death after forgettable years of indulgence and addiction to capitalist consumption, Beckett seems to preach, your life is a death-in-life, you are not born yet until you are baptized with existential awakening as Gregor Samsa in Kafka`s Verwandlung, or Tolstoy in Confession.
Key Words
사무엘 베케트, 죽음, 죽음학, 삘리뻬 아리에, 티모르 모리, 메멘토 모리, 크랍의 마지막 테이프, 모든 추락하는 것들 Samuel Beckett, Death, Thanatology, Philippe Aries, timor mori, memento mori, Krapp`s Last Tape, All That Fall,영미문학, 문화연구, 비교문학, 비평이론, English and American Literature, cultural studies, comparative literature, critical theory
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