Dante and the Lobster Essay

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In the following essay, Stevenson examines the original version of "Dante and the Lobster" and Beckett's revision, finding increased "balance, or ambiguity" in the character of Belacqua in the latter.

The first sentence of Samuel Beckett's "Dante and the Lobster" — "It was morning and Belacqua was stuck in the first of the canti in the moon" —gives the reader pause. Or it should. Some ideal combination of information and ignorance is demanded by the story. Those experienced in Beckett's fiction may know too much, or assume they do, about his early collection of stories and therefore find it difficult to feel again the edge of wrongness in that opening sentence. Belacqua "stuck in the first of the canti in the moon?" How the hell did he get there? And in the morning, as well. In the context of Dante's Commedia the time is wrong, the place...

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This section contains 4,008 words
(approx. 11 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Dante and the Lobster Study Guide
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