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Title: Of hearing and speaking in the dark: the sonorous inner voices of Samuel Beckett's prose
Authors: Han, Kimberly Pei Lin
Keywords: Humanities::Literature
Issue Date: 2023
Publisher: Nanyang Technological University
Source: Han, K. P. L. (2023). Of hearing and speaking in the dark: the sonorous inner voices of Samuel Beckett's prose. Master's thesis, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Abstract: This thesis attunes itself to the sonorous inner voices that resonate and reverberate within Samuel Beckett’s prose. Specifically, it considers the inner voices that are not only generated by Beckett’s creatures, but sounded out within the boundless spaces of the mind as emulated by his prose. Where this thesis is suffused with the intent of wanting to articulate the resonant qualities of the inner voice beyond its frequently perceived silence, it does so through an exploration of four works of prose by Beckett – that of Company (1979), Ping (1966), Lessness (1970), and How It Is (1964). As I navigate the ways in which the inner voice is sounded out within these texts through Beckett’s written word, I do so while also being guided by the fields of cognitive neuroscience and psychology, both of which offer a crucial reframing of the inner voice outside of a literary context. This thesis thus proposes that for the creatures of these texts, who exist in a state of isolation within Beckett’s figurative expressions of the mind, the inner voice serves primarily as a vital source of company that sustains them. Through this, I argue that the inner voice invites a crucial sense of and belief in possibility for these creatures, who are not only confined within these restrictive inner spaces of the mind but are also dealt with numerous detrimental conditions that result in their debilitating condition. In doing so, I work towards the eventual conceptualization of these inner voices as that which exhibit an inward movement that folds towards the self, almost as if to touch us. These are not only inner voices – but ultimately inward voices that keep us company in the sheer loneliness of our own minds, as they have for Beckett’s creatures.
DOI: 10.32657/10356/171896
Schools: School of Humanities 
Rights: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SoH Theses

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