Journal of Romance Studies

Beckett and French war propaganda

A new source for Waiting for Godot

Journal of Romance Studies (2019), 19, (1), 1–22.

Abstract

In this article, I demonstrate that the Second World War has had a stronger bearing on Waiting for Godot than has previously been suggested. I shall do so by focusing on the differences in terms of place-names, stock phrases and puns in Samuel Beckett’s French and English versions of the play. Through analysis of new documentary evidence, I will show that the French Godot contains several allusions to Philippe Pétain’s ideology and Vichy propaganda that have remained unnoticed until now, and which have been erased in the translation process from French to English.

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Author details

Gouvard, Jean-Michel