25 October 2018
Dr Bobo Wong, The University of Hong Kong
Listening to Beckett:
Sounds and the Event of Literature



This paper offers a close reading on Beckett’s Watt with special attention paid to its audio qualities in an attempt to rehearse the reading experience as an aesthetic event. Taking cue from recent view of literature as event, and the call for reinstatement of aesthetic in the critical discourse, the paper suggests that a responsible reading giving due attention to the literary work’s audio qualities (e.g. tone, rhythm, resonance) will provide a critical position out of the after-theory impasse. This suggestion is further backed up with the idea of parergon with respect to proper noun and tone in Derrida’s Signéponge. By reopening discussion of overlooked aspects of language as essential components of the reading experience, this paper hopes to add to the growing body of after-theory critical works that calls for deeper engagement with the aesthetic of literature. It also hopes to open up further discussion on the aesthetic of sound, and its role in knowledge production. 



Last updated: 22 October 2018