Chaos as a mode of living in Samuel Beckett's the unnamable
Journal of Modern Literature
Indiana University Press
151 - 162
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In this article, I examine the deployment of chaos as a textual practice in Samuel Beckett's The Unnamable. My contention is that, in its endeavor to wrest chaos from the appropriative gestures of order and make room for newness, the text breaks with grammatical frames and conceptual systems that organize subjectivity. The Unnamable “squirms” involuntarily and willfully at the same time, in-between paradoxical turns, multiplying “I”-s, and stream-of-consciousness eruptions. Its squirming undermines stability, identity, and order, inviting into them the unborn, the unthought, chaos. Every proposition that the speaking voice utters subverts the premises upon which subjectivity is constructed and, thus, endeavors to turn the self into a site of chaos. Through its syntactic and semantic movements, The Unnamable inhabits the impossibility of “pure silence” as pure chaos and locates in it an impetus for self-transformation.