on 9 February 1999
For those interested in Beckett, Abbott's study is of little use. For those interested in Beckett Studies, it is perhaps essential.
The only problem is this: Beckett Studies has little to do with Beckett--with understanding Beckett. Instead, it is wrapped in its own terminology, abstracted from the texts it attempts to uncover. Abbott's only real contribution to our understanding of Beckett's WORK is the idea of "oevure". However, one need not read Abbott in order to see in Beckett's prose an ongoing process of self-discovery. One need only read Beckett.
For the most part, Abbott's work is unimportant, obscured mostly by the critical arena into which it speaks.