© 2018

Beckett, Deleuze and Performance

A Thousand Failures and A Thousand Inventions


Part of the Performance Philosophy book series (PPH)

About this book


This book draws on the theatrical thinking of Samuel Beckett and the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze to propose a method for research undertaken at the borders of performance and philosophy. Exploring how Beckett fabricates encounters with the impossible and the unthinkable in performance, it asks how philosophy can approach what cannot be thought while honouring and preserving its alterity. Employing its method, it creates a series of encounters between aspects of Beckett’s theatrical practice and a range of concepts drawn from Deleuze’s philosophy. Through the force of these encounters, a new range of concepts is invented. These provide novel ways of thinking affect and the body in performance; the possibility of theatrical automation; and the importance of failure and invention in our attempts to respond to performance encounters. Further, this book includes new approaches to Beckett’s later theatrical work and provides an overview of Deleuze’s conception of philosophical practice as an ongoing struggle to think with immanence.


Deleuze Beckett Audience Aesthetics Encounter Immanence Reality

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Newcastle upon TyneUK

About the authors

Daniel Koczy is a performance theorist and philosopher. He teaches philosophy at Newcastle University, UK, and in performance at Northumbria University, UK. His research has appeared in the Deleuze Studies journal (2012) and in the edited collection Deleuze and Beckett (2015).

Bibliographic information


“Not only does Daniel Koczy remain true to the radical importance of alterity and the unthought in Deleuze's philosophy, he also takes them seriously by producing a dazzling new range of concepts from the encounter of Deleuze and Beckett's work. Beckett, Deleuze and Performance is not only a tour de force of scholarship, but a courageous attempt to create and affirm the new itself.” (Stephen Zepke, Vienna, Austria)

“Koczy takes seriously the aporias at the heart of these works. Just as Deleuze contends that art leads to thought rather than telling us what to think, Koczy leads us, with careful attention and unerring erudition, into the heart of Beckett's failures.” (Professor Anthony Uhlmann, Director of the Writing and Society Research Centre, Western Sydney University, Australia)