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Schmukler, A.G. (1990). American Imago. XLV, 1988: Beckett's Unnamables: Schizophrenia, Rationalism, and the Novel. Eileen H. Watts. Pp. 85-106.. Psychoanal Q., 59:515.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: American Imago. XLV, 1988: Beckett's Unnamables: Schizophrenia, Rationalism, and the Novel. Eileen H. Watts. Pp. 85-106.

(1990). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 59:515

American Imago. XLV, 1988: Beckett's Unnamables: Schizophrenia, Rationalism, and the Novel. Eileen H. Watts. Pp. 85-106.

Anita G. Schmukler

Beckett's trilogy of novels, Molloy, Malone Dies, and The Unnamable, are explored from psychological, philosophical, and literary viewpoints, with emphasis upon language and behavior which exemplify a schizophrenic process. The continual use of words as transitional objects, the lack of individuation in early development, and the intense social isolation are all offered as partial explanations for communication among Beckett's fictional figures, which is characteristic of schizophrenics. The Unnamable suggests that when one can ingest a "set of words," but is incapable of the requisite synthesis and integration to make affective (and effective) communication possible, isolation intensifies. From a literary perspective, the lack of reasonable genuine communication among the characters in the novels tends to establish a similar barrier between the characters (ultimately the writer) and the reader.

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Article Citation

Schmukler, A.G. (1990). American Imago. XLV, 1988. Psychoanal. Q., 59:515

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