Type of Document Dissertation Author Shields, Paul Stuart Author's Email Address email@example.com URN etd-04122005-003309 Title Beckett's Victors: Quests Without Qualities Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department English, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title S. E. Gontarski Committee Chair Fred L. Standley Committee Member Karen Laughlin Committee Member Mary Karen Dahl Committee Member Keywords
- Man Without Qualities
- Samuel Beckett
- Gilles Deleuze
Date of Defense 2005-01-04 Availability unrestricted AbstractBECKETT’S VICTORS: QUESTS WITHOUT QUALITIES
This study explores the work of Samuel Beckett through the lens of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s materialist philosophy. More specifically, it chases after what the French theorists refer to as the “new man” or the “man without qualities”—a stuttering, staggering creature whose language, movements, gestures, and thought confuse the organizations and institutions of the “molar world.” Such a figure seeks refuge from the confines of capitalism, the oedipalized family, and other cultural systems that attempt to forge respectable citizens out of immanent bodies, molar men out of tramps.
The “new man” appears in Beckett’s first published novel, Murphy, and proceeds to traverse the terrain of his plays, short prose, and late texts. Significantly, Beckett often situates his stuttering figures in equally stuttering environments, revealing his ability to “carve a foreign language out of language” (as Deleuze and Guattari, following Proust, are fond of saying) and cause entire texts to shake the foundations of molarity. Like Kafka, Beckett thus demonstrates his capacity as a “minor” writer—that is, one who subjects not only his characters but his entire oeuvre to a “minor” treatment to oppose the onslaught of majoritarian ideals.
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