'Stellar separation' or 'Abstract machine': Badiou and Deleuze on Beckett

Dowd, Garin (2012) 'Stellar separation' or 'Abstract machine': Badiou and Deleuze on Beckett. In: Beckett re-membered: after the centenary. Cambridge Scholars, Newcastle Upon-Tyne, pp. 89-105. ISBN 978-1-4438-3500-8

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Abstract

This is a version of a paper delivered at the Beckett centenary conference held at University College Cork, May 26-27, 2006. It was subsequently published under the title ‘Stellar Separation or Abstract Machine? Badiou and Deleuze and Guattari on Beckett’ in Beckett Re-Membered: After the Centenary, edited by James Carney,Mi chael O’Sullivan, Leonard Madden and Karl White (Cambridge Scholars Press), pp. 92-107, ISBN 1443835005. This is a pre-publication version of the paper as it appeared in the latter publication.

OPENING PARAGRAPH:
In the most important study to date of the respective use of Beckett’s writings in the work of Deleuze and Badiou, Jean-Jacques Lecercle concludes by surmising that “Perhaps the close proximity, in the French edition, of Deleuze’s essay, ‘The Exhausted’, to Beckett’s own text, is indeed more than a fortunate coincidence: perhaps it is a symptom”.1 For, Lecercle, despite his long-term support for Deleuze and indeed despite his misgivings concerning Badiou’s characteristically strong reading of Beckett, decides that there may be, after all, something more compelling in the Badiou than in the less consistent Deleuze. This may also be, he suggests, attributable to Deleuze’s own modernism as a writer, which, though it gives him greater access to, and understanding of, the materiality of Beckett’s writing (Deleuze has, after all, his own écriture, not least in Anti-Oedipus), also in the final analysis, renders his reading of Beckett somewhat orthodox. By contrast, the defiantly declarative and unhesitatingly dogmatic reading advanced by Badiou, is able to disclose strikingly original insights, not least because of the co-implication and
reversibility of the readings of Badiou-Beckett and Beckett-Badiou. This essay seeks to examine the symptomatology of one text in particular as it operates and produces or
is indicative of symptoms in the work of Badiou and Deleuze respectively.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: Literature
Arts
Philosophy
Depositing User: Garin Dowd
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2016 15:32
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2016 12:29
URI: http://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1592

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