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Samuel Beckett : A Curated Life (Hardcover) (Judith Wilkinson)
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This book challenges two of the most commonly held assumptions about Samuel Beckett. First, that he belongs exclusively to a literary tradition and second, that he was a reclusive figure entirely uninterested in his public image or reception. Presented here for the first time as both an accomplished artist and curator, this book situates Beckett in a new aesthetic and intellectual lineage. Beckett's later experiments in radio, film, television, theatre and photography – the focus of this study – deserve to be considered from within a new audio-visual context. Samuel Beckett: A Curated Life claims that the importance of Beckett's innovations in sound, moving image and installation, often dismissed as marginalia by traditional textual scholarship, establish his work as a key precursor to much of today's contemporary art. Also outlined for the first time are Beckett's creative collaborations with influential photographers such as Brassaï, Cartier-Bresson and Avedon. Alongside these collaborations, this book will also trace direct lines of affiliation in the works of contemporary artists such as Janet Cardiff, Stan Douglas and Gerard Byrne. What emerges from this new perspective is an understanding of Beckett as an artistic and technological innovator. Recognizing Beckett as a vital participant in the development of 20th century aesthetics, this groundbreaking study overturns the pervasive image of Beckett as the reclusive author 'damned to fame'.