The Prosthetic Body and Synaesthesia



With the idea of ‘language III’, which opens up language to the dimensions of seeing and hearing or painting and music, Deleuze points to an important aspect of Beckett’s work in his own manner based on unique philosophical intuitions. Adopting a more cultural-historical approach, this chapter discusses the same subject under the rubric of synaesthesia, or cross-connections of the senses. Throughout his oeuvre, Beckett showed a keen interest in coordinating visual and acoustic senses with pictorial and musical effects in mind. Yet, Beckett was far from alone in being drawn to synaesthesia, as it was conspicuous in cultural discourse and artistic practice from the late nineteenth century to the early twentieth century. I will argue that the interest in synaesthesia was closely related to the permeation of society by media technologies invented in the late nineteenth century. I will also examine how technologies worked to divide the senses, while at the same time producing anarchic confusion of them.


Late Nineteenth Century Visual Sense Television Version Involuntary Memory Contradictory Tendency 
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© Yoshiki Tajiri 2007

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