This article reads Samuel Beckett’s Texts for Nothing through a conceptual register it derives from the work of Maurice Blanchot and Alain Badiou: the terror of literature. Through its close reading of Texts for Nothing, it demonstrates that terror is what emerges in consciousness and in language when permanent suffering—the historical and metaphysical injustices of twentieth-century modernity—is made to overdetermine what happens to living, thinking, and speaking in the space of literature and narrative. For Beckett’s protagonist, words, ideas, and images are instruments of torture, and in its reliance solely on words, ideas, and images to escape its affliction, it becomes the agent of its own victimization. This is a situation of terror par excellence.

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