Jackson's Parrot: Samuel Beckett, Aphasic Speech Automatisms, and Psychosomatic Language
Journal of Medical Humanities
Springer Verlag (Germany)
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This article explores the relationship between automatic and involuntary language in the work of Samuel Beckett and late nineteenth-century neurological conceptions of language that emerged from aphasiology. Using the work of John Hughlings Jackson alongside contemporary neuroscientific research, we explore the significance of the lexical and affective symmetries between Beckett’s compulsive and profoundly embodied language and aphasic speech automatisms. The interdisciplinary work in this article explores the paradox of how and why Beckett was able to search out a longed-for language of feeling that might disarticulate the classical bond between the language, intention, rationality and the human, in forms of expression that seem automatic and 'readymade'.
This is the final version of the article. It first appeared from Springer via http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1007/s10912-015-9375-z
First online: 27 February 2016