Desmond Painter. Wees/word in taal: Deleuze oor styl, Deel 1

 

Gilles Deleuze

Een van Gilles Deleuze se interessantste latere werke (trouens, sy laaste boek) is die bundel Essays: Critical and Clinical. Dit het oorspronklik in 1993 in Frans verskyn (Critique et Clinique), en is in 1997 deur die University of Minnesota Press in Engelse vertaling uitgegee. Dit is ‘n reeks besinnings oor skrywers soos Proust, Beckett, Carroll, Bartleby, Whitman en andere waarin Deleuze keer op keer terugkeer na vraagstukke oor die wese van taal, skryf, en styl. Wat letterkunde is en kan wees/word.

Deleuze ontwikkel ‘n eiesoortige performatiewe konsepsie van taal (van ‘woordwerk’, om Breyten Breytenbach by te sleep) wat afwyk van die Amerikaanse pragmatisme; en argumenteer vir die desentrering van die skrywende ‘ek’ op ‘n manier wat afwyk van die Franse poststrukturalisme en ook die psigoanalise. Vergeet vir ‘n wyle jou wantroue in die ‘postmodernistiese’ Franse denkers, en lees gerus hierdie werklik stimulerende essays van Deleuze. Ek lees dit nou weer en sal elke nou en dan ‘n aanhaling daaruit op my blog plaas; of reflekteer/assosieer op iets wat Deleuze in die essays skryf. Hier is, sommer om jou lus te maak, die eerste bladsy uit Deleuze se voorwoord:

“This collection of texts, some of which appear here for the first time, others of which have already been published elsewhere, is organized around certain problems. The problem of writing: writers, as Proust says, invent a new language within language, a foreign language, as it were. They bring to light new grammatical or syntactic powers. They force language outside its customary furrows, they make it delirious [delirer]. But the problem of writing is also inseparable from a problem of seeing and hearing: in effect, when another language is created within language, it is language in its entirety that tends toward an ‘asyntactic’, ‘agrammatical’ limit, or that communicates with its own outside.

The limit is not outside language, it is the outside of language. It is made up of visions and auditions that are not of language, but which language alone makes possible. There is also a painting and a music characteristic of writing, like the effects of colors and sonorities that rise up above words. It is through words, between words, that one sees and hears. Beckett spoke of ‘drilling holes’ in language in order to see or hear ‘what was lurking behind’. One must say of every writer: he is a seer, a hearer, ‘ill seen ill said’, she is a colorist, a musician.

These visions, these auditions are not a private matter but form the figures of a history and a geography that are ceaselessly reinvented. It is delirium that invents them, as a process driving words from one end of the universe to the other. They are events at the edge of language. But when delirium falls back into the clinical state, words no longer open out onto anything, we no longer hear or see anything through them except a night whose history, colors, and songs have been lost. Literature is a health.’

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