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Desire

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Beyond The Suffering Of Being: Desire In Giacomo Leopardi And Samuel Beckett, Roberta Cauchi-Santoro Apr 2013

Beyond The Suffering Of Being: Desire In Giacomo Leopardi And Samuel Beckett, Roberta Cauchi-Santoro

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

In this dissertation, I question critical approaches that argue for Giacomo Leopardi’s and Samuel Beckett’s pessimism and nihilism. Beckett quotes Leopardi when discussing the removal of desire in his monograph Proust, a context that has spurred pessimist and nihilist readings, whether the focus has been on one writer, the other, or both. I argue that the inappropriateness of the pessimist and nihilist label is, on the contrary, specifically exposed through the role of desire in the two thinkers. After tracing the notion of desire as it developed from Leopardi to key twentieth-century thinkers, I illustrate how, in contrast ...