By Irina Paperno, Joan Grossman
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Additional resources for Creating Life: The Aesthetic Utopia of Russian Modernism
S. Eliot, with whose work, of course, Beckett was familiar. 139 Even into his later years, and even after much favorable acclaim, Beckett would acknowledge suffering such feelings of frustration, anxiety, and failure.
Approaching language from a perspective totally different from the one that would emerge from logical positivism of the “Vienna Circle,” he sought to reveal and interpret the encrypted, unconscious undercurrents operating in language. His Interpretation of Dreams was published in 1899; and just two years later, in 1901, he published The Psychopathology of Everyday Life, soon followed by Jokes and their Relation to the Unconscious (1905). Hugo von Hofmannsthal was another of Vienna’s illustrious intellectuals, a poet and writer of novels, essays, and libretti for some of Richard Strauss’s operas.
117 I think that the stories and novels about which we will be reflecting here confirm this diagnosis. However, the present situation is actually worse than Lukács believed, because language is suffering much more today than it was in the past: constantly threatened by etymological forgetfulness, overcome by commodification, reduced to one-dimensional tonality, and enduring other types of reification; consequently, it has lost much of its power to express this devastation with compelling conviction, using—unchanged—the inherited forms and conventions of literature.