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Beckett and Sade

Cambridge University Press


Much has been written on Beckett and Sade, yet nothing systematic has been produced. This Element is systematic by adopting a chronological order, which is necessary given the complexity of Beckett's varying assessments of Sade. Beckett mentioned Sade early in his career, with Proust as a first guide. His other sources were Guillaume Apollinaire and Mario Praz's book, La Carne, La morte e il Diavolo Nella Letteratura Romantica (1930), from which he took notes about sadism for his Dream Notebook. Dante's meditation on the absurdity of justice provides closure facing Beckett's wonder at the pervasive presence of sadism in humans.