Delirium of Interpretation: Surrealism, The Possessions, and Beckett's Outsider Artists
Samuel Beckett, then a largely unknown member of the Joyce circle, translated a selection of texts for a section entitled “Surrealism and Madness” for a surrealist special issue of the Parisian journal This Quarter in 1932. Among them were three excerpts from André Breton and Paul Éluard’s “simulations” of madness’ L’Immaculée Conception in which the authors, using automatism, simulated the verbal styles of various forms of mental illness. This essay argues that, despite an ambivalent attitude to surrealism as a movement, these translations are a key source for Beckett’s interest in the irrational and in verbal deviance, and are in fact precursors to the anomalous, self-engrossed “outsider artists” of Beckett’s mature work.
Citation : Mooney, Sinéad (2019) Delirium of Interpretation: Surrealism, The Possessions, and Beckett's Outsider Artists. Translation Studies. 11 (3),
ISSN : 1478-1700
Research Institute : Institute of English
Peer Reviewed : Yes
- School of Humanities