‘Mathematical Aesthetic’ as a Strategy for Performance: A Vector Analysis of Samuel Beckett's Quad

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Abstract

In Beckett's later drama there is a growing abundance of mathematical patterns and structures which begin to dominate both the content and form of his plays. In my article I try to define and analyse this ‘mathematical aesthetic’ in relation to other discourses of Beckett's ‘theatrical machine’. The first part contains a vector analysis of Beckett's theatrical sketches and the script for Quad. Combined with Deleuze and Guattari's theory of the rhizome and performance theory, it sheds some light on the implication of organising performance through a ‘mathematical aesthetic’. In the second part of my article I extend my analysis to elaborate on some of the concepts and issues suggested by this work and point out some of the cultural, ethical and political issues with progressive mathematical systematization and simulation of performance in western society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-156
JournalJournal of Beckett Studies
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2012

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