John Bolin's first book is a tightly focused, chronological study that seeks to remedy what it claims has been a severe neglect of “Beckett's place as an innovator in the novel” (2). Its central complaint is that Beckett's distinctive artistic revolution is one that has been misunderstood insofar as it has been subject to what Pascale Casanova has similarly argued is a dominant “annexation by philosophers” (11). While, however, for Casanova the modernity of Beckett's texts is to be explicitly related to a “pictorial abstraction” in painting and hence requires an essentially formalist approach, Bolin follows the archival turn led by Matthew Feldman's 2006 monograph Beckett's Books, for which the principal task of critical reading is one of empirically identifying the key literary “influences” upon Beckett and, through this (and only this), of uncovering the artistic intentions...

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