The ethico-politics of homo-ness

Beckett's How It Is and Casement's Black Diaries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

In recent years, Beckett studies has taken an 'ethical turn' as critics have given increased attention to the status of the Other and otherness in the writer's oeuvre. How It Is, a key text for these critics, was written as Beckett was reading the newly published Black Diaries of Roger Casement, a volume that contains homoerotic content long considered scandalous for the Irish republican icon and yet offers a remarkable vision of social relations structured around sameness or what Leo Bersani calls 'homo-ness'. Reading Beckett's novel alongside Casement's diaries reveals the significance of How It Is for thinking an ethico-politics that depends neither on the ideological foundations of the nation-state nor on critical perspectives that emphasise the primacy of difference, but rather on a fundamental reorientation of sociality. In this regard, Beckett's anti-redemptive narrative may be considered a work of penetrating utopian writing, which nonetheless reminds us of the hazards of utopian thought.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-261
Number of pages19
JournalIrish Studies Review
Volume20
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2012

Fingerprint

critic
politics
sociality
foreignness
Social Relations
nation state
writer
narrative
Diary
Utopian
Thought
Writer
Homoerotic
Otherness
Fundamental
Sameness
Primacy
Novel
Icon
Republican

Keywords

  • Beckett
  • Casement
  • ethics of alterity
  • homo-ness
  • postcolonial novel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • History
  • Literature and Literary Theory

Cite this

The ethico-politics of homo-ness : Beckett's How It Is and Casement's Black Diaries. / Bixby, Patrick.

In: Irish Studies Review, Vol. 20, No. 3, 08.2012, p. 243-261.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{53cc92c6ac8e408584a21e3e54cbc19a,
title = "The ethico-politics of homo-ness: Beckett's How It Is and Casement's Black Diaries",
abstract = "In recent years, Beckett studies has taken an 'ethical turn' as critics have given increased attention to the status of the Other and otherness in the writer's oeuvre. How It Is, a key text for these critics, was written as Beckett was reading the newly published Black Diaries of Roger Casement, a volume that contains homoerotic content long considered scandalous for the Irish republican icon and yet offers a remarkable vision of social relations structured around sameness or what Leo Bersani calls 'homo-ness'. Reading Beckett's novel alongside Casement's diaries reveals the significance of How It Is for thinking an ethico-politics that depends neither on the ideological foundations of the nation-state nor on critical perspectives that emphasise the primacy of difference, but rather on a fundamental reorientation of sociality. In this regard, Beckett's anti-redemptive narrative may be considered a work of penetrating utopian writing, which nonetheless reminds us of the hazards of utopian thought.",
keywords = "Beckett, Casement, ethics of alterity, homo-ness, postcolonial novel",
author = "Patrick Bixby",
year = "2012",
month = "8",
doi = "10.1080/09670882.2012.697699",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "20",
pages = "243--261",
journal = "Irish Studies Review",
issn = "0967-0882",
publisher = "Routledge",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The ethico-politics of homo-ness

T2 - Beckett's How It Is and Casement's Black Diaries

AU - Bixby, Patrick

PY - 2012/8

Y1 - 2012/8

N2 - In recent years, Beckett studies has taken an 'ethical turn' as critics have given increased attention to the status of the Other and otherness in the writer's oeuvre. How It Is, a key text for these critics, was written as Beckett was reading the newly published Black Diaries of Roger Casement, a volume that contains homoerotic content long considered scandalous for the Irish republican icon and yet offers a remarkable vision of social relations structured around sameness or what Leo Bersani calls 'homo-ness'. Reading Beckett's novel alongside Casement's diaries reveals the significance of How It Is for thinking an ethico-politics that depends neither on the ideological foundations of the nation-state nor on critical perspectives that emphasise the primacy of difference, but rather on a fundamental reorientation of sociality. In this regard, Beckett's anti-redemptive narrative may be considered a work of penetrating utopian writing, which nonetheless reminds us of the hazards of utopian thought.

AB - In recent years, Beckett studies has taken an 'ethical turn' as critics have given increased attention to the status of the Other and otherness in the writer's oeuvre. How It Is, a key text for these critics, was written as Beckett was reading the newly published Black Diaries of Roger Casement, a volume that contains homoerotic content long considered scandalous for the Irish republican icon and yet offers a remarkable vision of social relations structured around sameness or what Leo Bersani calls 'homo-ness'. Reading Beckett's novel alongside Casement's diaries reveals the significance of How It Is for thinking an ethico-politics that depends neither on the ideological foundations of the nation-state nor on critical perspectives that emphasise the primacy of difference, but rather on a fundamental reorientation of sociality. In this regard, Beckett's anti-redemptive narrative may be considered a work of penetrating utopian writing, which nonetheless reminds us of the hazards of utopian thought.

KW - Beckett

KW - Casement

KW - ethics of alterity

KW - homo-ness

KW - postcolonial novel

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84865503619&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84865503619&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/09670882.2012.697699

DO - 10.1080/09670882.2012.697699

M3 - Article

VL - 20

SP - 243

EP - 261

JO - Irish Studies Review

JF - Irish Studies Review

SN - 0967-0882

IS - 3

ER -