Samuel Beckett and the Arts

Samuel Beckett and the Arts

Italian Negotiations

Edited by Davide Crosara & Mario Martino

Anthem Studies in Global English Literatures

The volume examines the relationship between Samuel Beckett and Italian culture from an intermedial perspective. 

Hardback, 192 Pages


June 2024

£80.00, $110.00

  • About This Book
  • Reviews
  • Author Information
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  • Table of Contents
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About This Book

Beckett’s dialogue with the arts (music, painting, digital media) has found a growing critical attention, from seminal comprehensive studies (Oppenheim 2000; Harvey, 1967, to name just two) to more recent contributions (Gontarski, ed., 2014; Lloyd, 2018). Research has progressively moved from a general inquiry on Beckett beyond the strictly literary to issues related to intermediality and embodiment (Maude, 2009; Tajiri, 2007), post humanism and technology (Boulter, 2019; Kirushina, Adar, Nixon eds, 2021), intersections with popular culture (Pattie and Stewart, eds., 2019). However, a specific analysis on Beckett’s relationship with Italian arts and poetry on one side–and on Italian artists’ response to Beckett’s oeuvre on the other–is still missing. The volume offers an original examination of Beckett’s presence on the contemporary Italian cultural scene, a stage where he became (and still is) the fulcrum of some of the most significant experimentations across different genres and media. The reader will look at him as an “Italian” artist, in constant dialogue with the most significant modern European cultural turns.


“The approach to the problem of Samuel Beckett’s interest in Italian culture is new and original. The analysis of far less-noticed aspects both in juvenile and mature Beckett’s works is accurate and persuasive. The research of allusions above all in not only prominent artists and in not only great arts but in less-important Italian artists (Gastone Novelli) and popular genres (opera and radio) is very important. The intersection between theory and analysis is interesting. The organization of the contents is very good.” —Annamaria Cascetta, Professor of History of Theatre, Università Cattolica, Milan, Italy.

“Samuel Beckett’s Italian Negotiations fills an important gap in both Beckett’s studies and the reception of Beckett in Italy, and it offers provocations to further study on these issues. Its editors, Davide Crosara and Mario Martino, have done an impressive job of selecting contributors from the ‘Beckett and Italy’ conference and foregrounding new facets of this relationship that are sure to interest scholars and students of Modernist literature and theory and of Italian studies even as much of Beckett’s art constitutes ‘a parody of modernist cosmopolitanism itself’, as Crosara notes in his ‘Introduction to the volume’.” —Stanley Gontarski, Florida State University, USA.

“In this timely and innovative collection, the editors have amassed a very fine collection of essays on Samuel Beckett’s interaction with the Italian language and culture. The scholarship included considers a compelling array of media from visual art and sculpture to opera and radio to poetry and translation. In their originality and deftness of research, these essays represent a significant expansion for the field of Beckett studies.” —Trish McTighe, Senior Lecturer in Drama, Queen’s University Belfast, UK.

Author Information

Davide Crosara (PhD, “Sapienza”) is Adjunct Professor of English at “Sapienza” Università di Roma. His main fields of interest are Shakespeare studies, Modernism, posthumanism and the interconnectedness between literature and science.

Mario Martino (PhD, Florence University) is Professor of English Literature at “Sapienza” Università di Roma. His research interests include Elizabethan and seventeenth-century lyric poetry, the Victorian novel, Modernism, Beckett, and the relationship between literature and science.


Anthem Studies in Global English Literatures

Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors; Introduction, Davide Crosara; Part One: Visual Encounters, Chapter 1. ‘The Pantheon at Rome or Certain Beehive Tombs’: Beckett’s Posthumous Architecture - Mark Byron; Chapter 2. Some Notes on Beckett and Michelangelo -Mariacristina Cavecchi; Chapter 3. ‘C’est l’Image la Dernière’: Samuel Beckett and Gastone Novelli - Davide Crosara; Part Two: Radio and Opera, Chapter 4. Beckett’s Neither, an ‘Anti-Opera’ in Rome - Yuri Chung; Chapter 5. Dante, Wartime Radio and the Italia Prize -Pim Verhulst; Part Three: Poetic Voices, Chapter 6. Beckett the Troubadour - Mario Martino; Chapter 7. The Empty House: Watt’s Leopardi Traces- Will Davies; Part Four: Echoes. Translations, Reverberations; Chapter 8. Beckett Resonating in Italy. Which Text, Whose Voice?- Rossana Sebellin; Chapter 9. Beckett After Language - Mena Mitrano


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