Beckett in Bedsitland: Murphy and Urban Spatial Justice

Tutkimustuotos: LehtiartikkeliArtikkeliTieteellinenvertaisarvioitu


Samuel Beckett’s Murphy (1938) belongs in the history of London slum and bohemia writing. This article situates it there via a study of the lockable, rented rooms (including bed-sitting rooms or bedsits in converted houses but also rooms in residential institutions) of this, Beckett’s debut novel. The reading is informed by the concept of spatial justice, developed in critical urbanism by political economy researchers and human geographers. Murphy has been read in the framework of London (im)migrant writing by writers with Irish and Caribbean backgrounds but not so far as the novel inaugurating a tradition identified here as rented room writing. Such a tradition links the 1930s writing of Beckett with the 1950s and 1960s writing of inner London districts then undergoing gentrification. The article’s methods include close reading of rooms and the vocabulary surrounding them in Murphy, but also the identification of parallels between Beckett’s novel and others in the wider London slum and bohemia tradition produced between the 1880s and the 1960s. The shared and mutating features of a long durée in literary London call for further investigation including longer-range temporal comparisons contributing to a goal of giving the right to the city back to long-dead urban residents.
JulkaisuNordic Irish Studies
TilaJulkaistu - 3 heinäk. 2023
OKM-julkaisutyyppiA1 Julkaistu artikkeli, soviteltu
TapahtumaJustice on the Island (Nordic Irish Studies Network conference, 2021) - Virtual / organized by Åbo Akademi University for NISN
Kesto: 6 toukok. 20217 toukok. 2021


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