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Metaphor in Beckett’s August

March 25, 2011

Gosh I like how Bernard Beckett uses metaphor.  It was one of the enjoyable things about Genesis, and August is coming up trumps too:

“It was as if the voices had risen clear of their source.  They were no longer the sounds of mouths and throats but had found a life of their own, playing beneath the rafters, mingling for the sheer pleasure of vibration.  Voices touching, falling in love, giddy with beauty, and yet entirely, perfectly, unaware.” p48 Bernard Beckett (2011) August. Text Publishing: Melbourne

“Silence wrapped itself around the admission as if to cushion its collision with the world.” p54

Actually the other thing I noticed was the recurrence of the idea of talking being a game – this came up in Genesis as a recurring theme and is back in August:

“Her hand clamped hard to his in terror, reminding him that their talking was a game, nothing more.” p57 It is what sits behind Tristan’s discussions with the rector and seems to connect to the idea that ‘we are stories’ (ref p38, p115, p166, p173, p177, p178, p199)… “Tristan… was surprised that he’d told her this much.  He’d lost hold of the telling.  Each word pulled the next with it, as if they were linked together in some great chain and their sheer weight dragged the story from him.” (p38)

I love this paragraph, but it makes me think… what metaphors do we use to understand ‘story’? How do we see our relationship with narrative? How do we explain this relationship to teenagers… as political? personal? creative? through concepts of social construction…???

Because, again, there is this storytelling aspect… the importance of storytelling to character development… and to identity… the way it’s privileged… the way storytelling is central to how the characters live and die in both stories… hmmmm

August - Bernard Beckett


From → Beckett Bernard

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