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Murphy Class Notes

by: Fiona Myers

Murphy Class Notes ENGL 471.0001

Fiona Myers
The English Novel Since 1900
Brian May

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About this Document

Approximately a week and a half of class notes on Samuel Beckett's novel Murphy.
The English Novel Since 1900
Brian May
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This 3 page Bundle was uploaded by Fiona Myers on Friday October 16, 2015. The Bundle belongs to ENGL 471.0001 at Northern Illinois University taught by Brian May in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 26 views. For similar materials see The English Novel Since 1900 in Foreign Language at Northern Illinois University.

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Date Created: 10/16/15
Friday October 16 2015 Murphy Notes The novel makes fun of the conventions of the typical realist novel19th century novel Seven scarves seven sins The mystery of the seventh scarf is an early sign of an unreliable narrator Quid pro quo this for that Politicians and lawyers motto of business and commerce Murphy cannot escape the modern world of commercecapitalism Murphy s ambition to remove himself from the world The echo of a streetcry Murphy trying to escape His rocking chair gives him a way to live inside his mind and escape time Murphy can be read as autistic is he stimming through the chair a missile without provenance no origin no intention This is what Murphy wants to be a missile with no launch and no target traveling forever There is provenance in the fall of a sparrow Conundrums about time The deep ambition of Murphy is to be homeless He seeks escape not exile Freedom exists for him in the relinquishing of free will He takes a nonjourney to the self All that language allows is chaos The only thing Murphy was seeking was the best of himself p 43 p 25 Murphy is not sexual yet his conversation with Celia goes through sexual motions Elsewhere it is said that he hates the part of his body that loves Celia His goal is asexuality The spirit is weak but the flesh wills him and his desire is to escape the will of the flesh You don t know what you are saying Let me tell you what you are saying I can t talk against space His three highest attributes are his body his mind and Celia If he gets a job he stands to lose all of these the way he sees it She felt spattered with words that went dead as soon as they sounded Words without context language is just noise with bits of sense attached to it Misogyny in the humor Beckett s or Murphy s The entire book challenges the notion of the novel in a way other books don t Performative language Murphy doesn t like that words have adopted action and meaning Friday October 16 2015 Beckett also made Waiting for Godot inspired by Camus and Sartre Sisyphus needs to be happy he understands his task Camus Sisyphus in hell rolling the ball endlessly The eternal occurrence Nietzsche purposelessness after World War 2 Jewish philosophers AntiEnlightenment as response to Nazis Murphyis set in the 1930s but points in the direction of WW2 A low down dirty dishonest decade A decade of appeasement and shady deals Celia is very impressionable molded first by Mr Kelly and then by Murphy She engages pathos and can be seen as the only sympathetic character in the book Is this book modernist or postmodernist Most postmodern works have no heart We must not dismiss Celia s sympathy The book s possible heart lies with Celia but the joke is also on Celia What it means to be human is to have these jokes played on you Celia is a regular person who gets caught up in absurdity Murphy and Love song about love Chapter 10 p 235 Sung by Mr Kelly A confusing moment as the narrative breaks down and becomes inane The topic of love in the narrative attracts to itself a soft spot of enhanced inanity Miss Counihan believes she is in a romance novel Simplicity is as slow as a hearse p 138 Parody of Victorian novels and their obsession with simplicity Trying to disenchant readers of simplicity Celia is simplicity itself until she stops p 138 Love is wont to end in protasis protasis the clause expressing the condition in a conditional sentence in English usually beginning with if Description of love in alien jargon Miss Counihan is the last exile from Murphy s sphere of influence the last one he ll ever love If love ends in a condition then that means it never ends Love is absurd but you can t escape it Friday October 16 2015 Murphy dies of love Unfortunately Murphy has a heart Murphy is trying to escape love until he meets Mr Endon who is really Murphy s perfect soulmate Murphy s remains taken by Cooper who goes to the bar and ends up throwing the ashes at someone who gave him great offense The ashes are spread around the bar in a bar fight and end up on the floor with all the other trash Murphy s final description a lover No one can escape love lnner novel vs outer novel The inner novel is about Murphy and the outer novel is about everybody else Love drives all the characters from the outer novel Murphy seeks emptiness and everyone else seeks Murphy Thus by the transitive property everyone else seeks emptiness Miss Counihan the horseleech s daughter is a closed system a Bible reference The horseleech is an insatiable creature Lovedesire is fundamentally unsatisfiable Her quantum of wantum cannot vary Her quantity of desire just finds new targets Neary loves Miss Counihan Miss Counihan has taken up with Wylie Neary then falls in love with Murphy Beckett s thought that love between men and women is disastrous but male friendship bromance is purereal


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