A la recherche du soi perdu: etude phenomenologique de La derniere bande de Samuel Beckett

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Jacoba, Sarah
Samuel Beckett , Paul Ricoeur , Phenomenology , La derniere bande (Krapp's Last Tape) , Memory , Time , Identity
The goal of the present study is to examine the way in which Samuel Beckett, an artist whose work contributes also to philosophy, presents his metaphysical vision of the world through drama, where different plays represent different philosophical interpretations of the world. Using Paul Ricœur’s Memory, History, Forgetting as a theoretical platform, this thesis will concentrate on the manner in which Krapp’s Last Tape presents identity as a phenomenological construction based on cumulative past experiences inserted into and spread throughout time. Based on this assumption, to tamper with one’s conceptions of a memory-time continuum is to alter the identity which is a result of this dynamic. The Beckettian vision of the world does not see identity – the ever-elusive self, as many authors would say – simply as a unique and separate phenomenon that, by staying constant through time, serves as the basis for one’s phenomenological experience ; rather, in Krapp’s Last Tape the self is the sum of mnemonic experiences lived through time, which in turn impacts the identity of the individual. This philosophical perception of identity is further complicated by other phenomenological questions which must come into play if we are to study the way in which this identity is perceived not only by the reader-spectator, but also by the subject himself. For example, how does the ideal image that Krapp constructs of himself impact his identity ? Does he modify memory so as to conform to the idealistic vision he has created of himself, and does this image, perceived as the desired Other, foment in him a feeling of alterity when faced with himself as he is, as opposed to the fulfillment of the desired Other by which he measures his success ?
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