Scholar detects autistic qualities in Samuel Beckett’s characters

Stong College presents “The Autistic Dynamic in Samuel Beckett’s Murphy", a lecture by University of Toronto English Professor Ato Quayson tomrrow, Oct. 8, at noon.

Quayson will focus on an unexamined feature of Samuel Beckett’s writing, namely, the degree to which characters in Beckett’s novels illustrate aspects of the autistic spectrum. The purpose is not simply to apply insights from autism research in an analysis of Beckett’s central characters but to reinterpret all aspects of his narrative discourse in terms of aesthetic nervousness. The novel Murphy will be used to illustrate the links between autism and Beckett’s narrative discourse.

                                                 Right: Ato Quayson

Quayson is inaugural director of U of T’s Centre for Diaspora & Transnational Studies. He has published widely in African and postcolonial studies. His books include Strategic Transformations in Nigerian Writing (1997); Postcolonialism: Theory, Practice or Process? (2000); Calibrations: Reading for the Social (2003) and Aesthetic Nervousness: Disability and the Crisis of Representation (2007). He is currently editing the two-volume Cambridge History of Postcolonial Literature and is a Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The lecture takes place in the Samuel Beckett Theatre, 112 Stong College. Everyone is welcome. For more information, call 416-736-5132.