“The realisation that art has always been bourgeois is finally of scant interest…” (Samuel Beckett, Three Dialogues with Georges Duthuit)
Here’s a way to read Beckett: by making destitution metaphysical, Beckett goes as far as he can in rejecting art’s relation to production while remaining within the form of art. Beckett’s tramps are utterly unproductive, but because this non-production is not real, but allegorical, his protagonists’ travails can reflect back on the lives of Beckett’s audience. In this sense Beckett’s poverty is the mirror image of Proust’s wealth: the one minimalist, the other expansionist, both make a social position into an aesthetic and philosophical experience. It could be said of Beckett what Walter Benjamin said of Proust:
”This disillusioned, merciless deglamorizer of the ego, of love, or morals – for this is how Proust liked to view himself – turns his whole limitless art into a veil for this one most vital mystery of his class: the economic aspect.” (The Image of Proust).