Reading Deleuze Reading Beckett: Toward a Poetics of Depotentialization in Watt
本論文以德勒茲的〈窮盡者〉（“The Exhausted”）一文為起點，重探德勒茲閱讀貝克特作品所採用之語言分層策略，以及各語言分層所對應之「去潛勢」（depotentialization）論述。論文首先回顧既有之相關文獻，指出德勒茲在〈窮盡者〉中，關於「語言」一詞，進行langage與langue的概念區分，而此一區別消失於英譯的language一字。於此，第一章重建〈窮盡者〉法文原文之論述脈絡，廓清「窮盡語言」（exhaustion of langage）之意涵，對於德勒茲而言，是一種「去潛勢」的手段，而非通達「語言」（language）所不能及之處的意圖。第二章以貝克特的《瓦特》為例，說明德勒茲對於langage與langue的概念區分，以及langue之於「去潛勢」的三層論述，以此為基礎，重新詮釋《瓦特》的文本結構，闡明內蘊其結構內的去潛勢詩學。
This master thesis examines Samuel Beckett’s Watt from a perspective built upon Gilles Deleuze’s engagement with Beckett in “The Exhausted.” By resorting to Deleuze’s conception of the exhausted, this thesis argues that the textual and structural peculiarities of Watt could be understood as various ways to exhaust the possible on different levels of determination. Characterized as “the great serial novel” by Deleuze and further argued by this thesis, Watt is not only a text formed by exhaustive series but also an exhaustive text that renders its reader exhaustible and exhausted. Pairing Deleuze with Beckett in this enterprise of reading Watt toward a poetics of depotentialization serves a twofold purpose. The first chapter deals with the issue of language that scholars consider problematic in Deleuze’s discussion of Beckett’s mode of exhaustion. Instead of reinforcing the point of view that Deleuze’s engagement of Beckett is infested with problems—ranging from “the problem of language” in general to “the problem of metaphoricity” in particular, this thesis argues to the contrary that concern for such problems is not warranted. After mapping out the constellation of ideas and debates surrounding Deleuze’s conception of the exhausted, the second chapter proceeds to examine the textual and structural peculiarities of Watt in relation to the question of the possible and argues against the perspective that considers Beckett’s interwar novel as an “anti-logical” effort that seeks to move “beyond the metaphysics of presence.” This thesis argues that the structural design of Watt forms a special textual space in which there is a double possible to be depotentialized. By reading Watt toward a poetics of depotentialization, this thesis concludes that Watt is not only a text formed by exhaustive series but also an exhaustive text that renders its reader exhaustible and exhausted.
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