Samuel Beckett meets the Teletubbies

Was the creation of the Teletubbies (1997) inspired by the work of Nobel Prize winning avant-garde novelist, playwright, theatre director, and poet, Samuel Beckett? Specifically, his plays Quad I + II ? (1981)

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Eckart Voigts-Virchow of the University of Siegen, Germany,
draws attention to possible similarities (and possible differences) in his paper for Samuel Beckett: Endlessness in the Year 2000. Beckett Aujourd’hui/Today 11. Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi, 2001. pp. 210-218

“Whereas the hooded figures of Quad exemplify Beckett’s strategy of consecutive excorporation – the intellectual denial of bodily representation, a purge of human semblance and human interaction  – the Teletubbies suggest elementary and technologized group bodies. If one brackets reference, one may watch both the Teletubbies and the hooded Quad figures in ‘aisthetic’ terms as electronic presences in anarchic rhythms. Repetition and heteronomy govern both works, as the colour figures are wholly dependent on either a mysterious direction expressed in a mathematically permutated, automatic course, avoiding a dangerous centre (Quad), or the fantasy of an enigmatic technological adult regime (Teletubbies).”

see : QUAD I AND TELETUBBIES or: ‘Aisthetic’ Panopticism versus Reading Beckett  [click PDF button for full version]

NOTE: ‘Aísthetic’ is not a typo. In this context, the professor prefers to use the original spelling from 1750, as coined by the German philosopher Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten, rather than the more usual ‘aesthetic’.

BONUS:  There are many (possibly unlicenced) ‘mash-up’ remixes of the Teletubbies on Youtube. Sadly, as documented by Youtomb at MIT, the Teleubbies performing Purple Haze by Jimi Hendrix is no longer available. Instead, here they are with Rammstein . . .






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