Slavoj Zizek and Alain Badiou on Samuel Beckett

Slavoj Zizek
Beckett with Lacan – part 1

The achievement of Joyce simultaneously signals his limit, the limit which pushed Beckett to break with him. If there ever was a kenotic writer, the writer of the utter self-emptying of subjectivity, of its reduction to a minimal difference, it is Beckett. We touch the Lacanian Real when we subtract from a symbolic field all the wealth of its differences, reducing it to a minimum of antagonism.

Beckett with Lacan – part 2

The basic constellation is thus the dialogue between the subject and the big Other, where the couple is reduced to its barest minimum: the Other is a silent impotent witness which fails in its effort to serve as the medium of the Truth of what is said, and the speaking subject itself is deprived of its dignified status of “person” and reduced to a partial object. And, consequently, since meaning is generated only by means of the detour of the speaker’s word through a consistent big Other, the speech itself ultimately functions at a pre-semantic level, as a series of explosions of libidinal intensities.

Alain Badiou
Figures of Subjective Destiny: Samuel Beckett

Why there is a close relationship between poetry and philosophy, or more generally between literature and philosophy? It’s because philosophy finds in literature some examples of completely new forms of the destiny of the human subject. And precisely new forms of the concrete becoming of the human subject when this subject is confronted to its proper truth.

On Communism – Libération 01/26.08

My position, reinforced by a recent trip to Palestine, is that today it is absolutely imperative to separate politics from religion, just like it should be separated, for example, from racial or identity questions. Religions can and must coexist in the same country, but only if politics and the State are separate.

Tags: ,