In this fully online course, a continuation of the fall course “Beckett's Trilogy I”, we’ll study the second half of Samuel Beckett's Trilogy ( Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable ) and several related plays. Students joining in the winter will need to complete the fall quarter reading from the Trilogy before the quarter starts (contact faculty for details).
Samuel Beckett remains one of the most influential and acclaimed writers of the 20th century. Our study will include short lectures and discussions that provide access to Beckett’s challenging Trilogy in which he crafted a unique voice and launched a set of literary provocations that draw on the devastations of war, on wordlessness in the face of a “universe made provisional,” and on the strange power of one who has “nothing to express, no means to express... yet the obligation to express.” Through all its laughter and tears, Beckett's work ultimately returns readers to the neutral, quiet ground of a language through which the human experience might be “thought again.” This course is a great opportunity for those interested in a guided, well-paced engagement with Beckett's work and the chance to have discussions with others about this monument in twentieth century literature.
Each week will include short online lectures, discussions on Zoom, and short writing tasks completed using Canvas (Canvas and Zoom will be available to you through your my.evergreen homepage). In addition to weekly short writing tasks, students will have the option of completing a critical essay or creative response (including fiction, poetry or visual art) to culminate the reading experience.
This course emphasizes participation in synchronous (live) sessions; however, if students find themselves unable to participate due to technology, caregiving obligations, economic disruption, health risk, or illness, they can work with faculty to pursue alternate options to earn related credit.
Variable Credit Options (2 or 4): the regular course is 2 credits and as described above. Students enrolling for 4 credits in the winter will meet in an additional study group and, with faculty consultation, expand their study of Beckett based on individual interests and goals, finishing the quarter with an 8-10 page essay that includes research and textual analysis.
This course follows on work completed in the fall. Incoming students should contact faculty to get information about how to catch up.