Beckett in Popular Culture

Essays on a Postmodern Icon


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About the Book

What do Bono, Seinfeld and Apple have in common? Nothing. However, it’s the nothing of Samuel Beckett, which is something. Bold and provocative, Beckett’s works and even his image are a potent force in modern society. Shoes, marketing, baby names—all fall under his spell.
This collection of new essays (one exception) finds him incorporated into virtually all aspects 
of popular culture—television, popular fiction, movies, tattoos, even sports—in a manner that seems to defy classifying. Is it image-making or image-taking? Why is our culture so obsessed with an obscure Irish writer most people have not read? Each essay provides a unique appraisal of Beckett’s branding.

About the Author(s)

P.J. Murphy teaches modern Irish literature and critical theory at Thompson Rivers University in British Columbia.
Nick Pawliuk lectures in the English and Modern Languages department at Thompson Rivers University, specializing in popular culture with a focus on the graphic novel and speculative fiction.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by P.J. Murphy and Nick Pawliuk
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 208
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9959-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2331-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Preface 1

Saint Samuel (à) Beckett’s Big Toe: Incorporating Beckett in Popular Culture (P.J. Murphy) 3

Fail Better! Samuel Beckett’s Secrets of Business and Branding Success (Stephen Brown) 19

The Strange Case of Detective Fiction (P.J. Murphy) 33

Far Out Worlds: ­Sci-Fi and Speculative Fiction (Nick Pawliuk) 53

Through a Glass, Lightly and Darkly: Depictions on Prime Time Television (P.J. Murphy and Nick Pawliuk) 69

Screenings for Beckett in Modern Film: Ghostly Presences and Popular Culture Manifestations (Cameron Reid) 85

The Graphic Novel: Another “Stain upon the Silence”? (Nick Pawliuk) 99

“a mollycoddled little git from Foxrock”: Beckett in Irish Pop Music (Cameron Reid) 107

B Is for Beckett: Babies and Baby Naming (Tanya Pawliuk) 120

In Fashion: Literary Wardrobes and the Marketplace (Jennifer Murphy, Tanya Pawliuk, P.J. Murphy and Nick Pawliuk) 129

The New Dedalus: Avatars and Identities in Online Social Networks (Mark Rowell Wallin) 143

Two Quinks for Sam (Alexander M. Forbes) 155

The Sporting Life (P.J. Murphy) 157

Beckett as Pop Culture Icon (P.J. Murphy) 169

Addenda: Beckett Cetera: A Pop Culture Miscellany (P.J. Murphy and Nick Pawliuk) 176

Bibliography 187

About the Contributors 193

Index 195