A Crystal-Theatre: Automation and Crystalline Description in the Theatre of Samuel Beckett

Deleuze and Guatarri Studies 6 (4):614-627 (2012)

Throughout his cinema studies, Deleuze tends to define and to praise the cinematic in opposition to the theatrical. Cinema, for Deleuze, retains the potential to automate our perception of its images. Further, this capacity allows the cinema to profoundly disrupt the habitual patterns of its audience's thought. This article asks, however, whether Beckett's theatrical practice can be productively analysed through concepts derived from Deleuze's work on the cinema. In Beckett's Play and Not I, we see theatrical productions that strive for and attain an automation of their audience's perception. While this theatrical experience is not identical to the ‘camera-consciousness’ that Deleuze observes in film, it can be understood through Deleuze's (Bergsonian) processes of habitual and attentive recognition, their failure and their subsequent transformation into passages of crystalline description. Finally, we can begin to elaborate the novel idea of a ‘crystal-theatre’; a theatre where the audience are entrapped within its construction, caught in a loop or circuit that runs between and complicates the realms of reality and illusion, immediately lived experience and artistic representation, the actual and the virtual
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DOI 10.3366/dls.2012.0087
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References found in this work BETA

What is Philosophy?Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari - 1991 - Columbia University Press.
Bergsonism.GILLES DELEUZE - 1988 - Zone Books.
Cinema 1: The Movement Image.Gilles Deleuze, Hugh Tomlinson & Barbara Habberjam - 1988 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 46 (3):436-437.
Deleuze on Cinema.Ronald Bogue - 2003 - Routledge.

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