Samuel Beckett and the Bible

Iain Bailey

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


From Waiting for Godot to such later novels as Ill Seen, Ill Said, the work of Samuel Beckett is filled with Biblical references. Samuel Beckett and the Bible re-appraises the relationships between Beckett's work and the Bible, exploring both as objects of history, matter and memory. Iain Bailey ranges across the Beckett oeuvre to examine how the Bible has come to be regarded as a book of unique significance in his work, offering innovative readings of intertextuality and influence in both published and archival writings. Beckett's Bibles, the book demonstrates, are thoroughly material, as significant for their involvement in histories of education, the family, common knowledge and canon-formation as for what they have to say about God, hope and salvation. The book explores Beckett's uneasy forms of memory, materiality, language and history to assess how far and in what ways the Bible matters in his work, and why Beckett's voice ‘harps, but no worse than Holy Writ.'
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherBloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of pages224
ISBN (Print)9781780936888
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2014

Publication series

NameHistoricising Modernism


  • Samuel Beckett
  • Bible
  • Intertextuality
  • Influence
  • Literature
  • Archive
  • Familiarity
  • Recognition
  • Waiting for Godot
  • Endgame
  • How It Is
  • Company
  • Nouvelles


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