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Deleuze, Beckett, and the Art of Multiplicity

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 April 2022

Abstract

The relationship between Gilles Deleuze and Samuel Beckett has excited many scholars and continues to be of major interest today. This article explores the Deleuzian concept of multiplicity by considering quantitative and qualitative multiplicities in Beckett’s work. In differentiating between these two types, Deleuze and Félix Guattari indicate that extensive or quantitative multiplicities are essentially numerical and can be counted and represented in space. This form of multiplicity is seen in Beckett’s use of various lists of items such as Molloy counting his sucking stones or Watt considering how to dispose of Mr Knott’s food. Qualitative multiplicities, by contrast, cannot be counted because they differ in kind from one another. They are represented in duration and are here observed in the minorization of language in How It Is, among other examples. S. E. Wilmer is Professor Emeritus of Drama at Trinity College in Dublin. His most recent publications include Performing Statelessness in Europe (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018) and (with co-editor Radek Przedpełski) Deleuze, Guattari, and the Art of Multiplicity (Edinburgh University Press, 2020). He is currently co-editing the Palgrave Handbook of Theatre and Migration.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© Cambridge University Press 2022

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