Tracing the Elements of Absurdism Fear and Despair in Samuel Beckett's the Unnamable: A Foucauldian Historical Study


Sajad Amiri


It is the nexus of contextual streams of a society which give ground to production of any work of literature, the streams which, in Foucauldian terminology are called the episteme. The episteme of each epoch is its interrelation of the social, economic.... components comprising it, and which do not necessarily follow a chronological order. In better words, it is the picture of all the content of all the parts of a community at a given moment to be scrutinized.  Samuel Beckett, the postwar writer, is known to have written works which fit into standards of the literature of the absurd, so in the present study, the elements of fear and despair are put into practice to determine if The Unnamable is an absurdist work and if yes, what has been the historical ethos which has led to this production. Michael Foucault does see history as a set of events one succeeding the other, he examines each phenomenon regarding the elements existing in the episteme it is formed in, meaning all the factors which connect to each other like a net, and it is of essence to mention that elements are all interrelated.  To have proved the work's being an absurdist one, examples from the contemporary works has been mentioned in the study.


How to Cite
Amiri, S. (2017). Tracing the Elements of Absurdism Fear and Despair in Samuel Beckett’s the Unnamable: A Foucauldian Historical Study. The International Journal of Humanities & Social Studies, 5(8). Retrieved from