Philology, pedagogy, and psychology

2020 Issue №1

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The phenomenon of twelve-tone music in Samuel Beckett’s short stories



This article considered Beckett’s French short stories through the prism of philosophical and aesthetic foundations of modernist music. The rejection of tonal hierarchies by dodecaphonists to transcend the limits of the traditional sonic semiosis can be compared to Beckett’s aspiration to go beyond the ‘fetish’ of words. The study emphasizes similarities between the creative systems of Beckett and the Second Viennese School/neoclassicists. The commonalities range from the work with patterns, which operate very similarly to dodeca­phony in both form and effect, to the impression of the ‘semiotic chaos’ arising when Beckett's texts are mentally articulated. The effect of ‘semantic chaos’ can be compared with the ‘cacophony’ of atonal music and Beckett’s texts, which are devoid of syntactic hierarchy, with dodeca­phonic pieces abounding in accidentals.


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