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<![CDATA[ is, or “rather the absence of style—asyntactic, agrammatical: the moment when language is no longer defined by what it says, even less by what makes it a signifying thing, but by what causes it to move, to flow, and to explode—desire”( Anti- Oedipus 230). For literature is like schizophrenia: a process and not a goal, a production and not an expression. In other words, at the level of the literary machine it means how to produce, how to think about fragments whose sole relationship is sheer difference—fragments that are related to one another only in that each of them is different—without having recourse either to any sort of original totality (not even one that has been lost), or to a subsequent totality that may not yet have come about? It is only the category of multiplicity, used as a substantive and going beyond both the One and the many, beyond the predicative relation of the One and the many, that can account for desiring-production: desiring-production is pure multiplicity, that is to say, an affirmation that is irreducible to any sort of unity.
Besides the weird characterization that is close to nothingness since it lacks detailed depiction and clues related to the characters, language is a complementary to the characters in order to achieve and reveal the meaningless tendencies of the playwright in Endgame. Very similar to the characters on the stage, language is peculiar since it looks paralyzed, immobile, purposeless, and filled with repetition, which is sometimes absurd. Despite its possession of little function of communication, and thus engendering difficulty in interpretation, it is a fact that a lack of action in Endgame intensifies the interest in and forces concentration upon the dialogues between the characters. Beckett seems to be communicating in an essentially symbolic language, one which is quite capable of communication while seeming to say nothing and of going nowhere. This is what Beckettian language is: telling some-thing in nothing-ness.
The fundamental characteristics that reflect Beckettian use of language are the extensiveness of the stage directions – compared to dialogues –, repetitions, abrupt exchanges of trivial talk and quick shift of subjects, lack of purpose and meaning, chains of association, short sentences, frequent use of pauses and deliberate choice of third person plural in Clov’s utterances. In addition to all these attributes employed in Endgame and clear through the text, there are basically two effects of them to the clarification of the play. The first one is that language sometimes decides what is real for the characters due to the fact that what they utter can determine the reality in which they live and the objects with which they are in contact, though it has no purpose of communication. Secondly, language has a role of affirming the existence of the characters because they still continue to speak so as to convince themselves that they are alive.
To begin with, in reading Endgame, there are lengthy and thus detailed stage directions concerning the actions of the characters. At the very beginning of the play, a long stage direction about the actions of Clov is placed which depicts precisely what he does, how he does it and how long these actions take place one after the other. The reason why stage directions for the actions of the characters are given in detail seems to lie in the dialogues which are not extended, and, in fact, even compressed. So the insufficiency of the dialogues is compensated for by directions in nuts and bolts. In addition, they guarantee the continuity and a certain measure of coherence, which are normally provided by a series of events or the meaningful exchanges of the characters, since they are excluded from the play intentionally an extraordinary manner.
However, this does not mean that the stage directions become a part of the characters’ memory. That is to say, although the gestures and movements are governed by a definite stage description, this is not enough to enable the characters to perform the same action when repeated. This is very intentional and clear in the example of Clov’s movements. Clov, the servant, attempts to see out of the two windows of the confined cell-like room which restricts the space of the play. In order to do this, he brings a ladder on which he can climb up to the high windows. After climbing up to the left window, he attempts for the right one, but he notices that he needs the ladder only after a few steps towards right. Hence, it is obvious that language does not provide the necessary experience for the servant even in similar situations. Thus, experience ceases to be a guide and cannot even serve to connect identical situations. A further instance of repetition comes later:
(Clov gets down, takes a few steps towards window left, goes back for ladder, carries it over and sets it down under window left, gets up on it, turns the telescope on the without, looks at length. He starts, lowers the telescope, examines it, turns it again on the without.) (30).
Clov’s movements prove that he cannot connect identical situations, and Beckett achieves repetition through the use of mechanical repetitive stage directions.
The form of expression that is in a cyclic pattern of repetition throughout the play represents a zero point, which seems to be stopped or frozen, or a linear progression towards no-where, towards nothingness. Clear from the dialogues, change is resisted or avoided by the characters and thereupon repetition becomes unavoidable being a signifier of no change in an anguish-stricken universe. So these meaningless words can represent Deleuze’s idea in language “That is what style is, or rather the absence of style—asyntactic, agrammatical: the moment when language is no longer defined by what it says, even less by what makes it a signifying thing, but by what causes it to move, to flow, and to explode—desire. For literature is like schizophrenia: a process and not a goal, a production and not an expression.”(Anti- Oedipus 133) that no meaning can be gained throughout the play.
In order to have a better understanding, it is needed to examine the concrete examples of repetition in the dialogues. Throughout the play many times, Clov repeats his plan to leave Hamm: “I’ll leave you, I have things to do” (۱۲), “I’ll leave you” (۴۱), “I’ll leave you” (۴۸), “Then I’ll leave you” (۶۸) etc. Other forms of expressions parody the repetition of ending the relationship further. In the episode concerning the alarm-clock, Clov signals and repeats his idea of leaving: “You whistle me, I don’t come. The alarm rings. I’m gone. It doesn’t ring, I’m dead” (۴۷). All these phrases of repetition concerning departure emphasize that this is a long but inconclusive farewell.
Another frequently repeated phrase belongs to Hamm and it is concerned with his pain-killer. His repetitions involve using the question form of expression. Hamm wants to learn “Is it not yet time for my pain-killer?” (۳۵), and he repeats it many times in the play, and Clov always responds negatively whenever the question is asked. Hamm most probably knows the answer he will get to his question, and thus he just asks his rhetorical question in order to convince himself that he is still there and living. Also, this repetition implies that there is always the pain, that is pain of existence, but there is nothing to cure it.
Interestingly the characters are able to notice the repetition and monotonous routines of their life in the play, and they insistently articulate this:
Were you asleep?
(Their heads strain towards each other, fail to meet,
fall apart again.)
Why this farce, day after day?
Nell shows that she is aware of the fact that they are living days that are imitations of each other, and she is not happy about it. It is understood that she is complaining about those d
ays of repetition through the choice of the word ‘farce’. ‘Farce’ means a comic play or film where the characters become involved in unlikely situations; thus, it is a very suitable definition to describe the situation in which the characters of Endgame are surviving.
According to Deleuze’s project repetition in language creates a new meaning and not the same. Consequently, repetition of language patterns provides a convenient ground for Beckett’s darkly comic characters who make Endgame articulates itself as a series of repetitions. The language in Endgame is employed to display that there are sudden exchanges of trivial talk and quick shifts from one subject to the other, which quite well reflect that language is needed only to affirm that the characters are alive, not for an effective communication. As each character articulates what he wishes without waiting for a comprehensive reply, this situation results in independent utterances in the same dialogue:
You were in such fits that we capsized. By rights
we should have been drowned.
It was because I felt happy.
It was not, it was not, it was my STORY and
nothing else. Happy! Don’t you laugh at it still?
Every time I tell it. Happy!
It was deep, deep. And you could see down to the bottom. So
white. So clean. (21).
In the case of Nell and Nagg’s dialogue, both characters are talking about the same experience concerning their going out rowing on Lake Como. However, each is verbalizing just his/her own perspective and understanding regardless of the other. Similarly, while Hamm is trying to silence his parents after Nagg tells his story about the tailor, Nell suddenly bursts out and says, “You could see down to the bottom” (۲۳). Her utterance is irrelevant to the dialogue and lacks in context. That is why, it is difficult to grasp the meaning or significance of it.
Another example of inconsequential dialogues takes place between Hamm and Clov:
If I could kill him I’d]]>
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