Avant-garde as counter-force

Irving Goh, The National University of Singapore

Note 34 in the author's " Promising "Post-colonialism": Deleuze-Guattari's "Minor Literature" and the Poetry of Arthur Yap"

In Deleuze-Guattari's Kafka, they initially say that "minor literature," which I am considering Arthur Yap's poetry to be here, "doesn't come from a minor language" (16). This claim therefore seems to problematize my attempt to relate my proposition of Singapore English as "minor language" and the proposition of Arthur Yap's poetry as a "minor literature" in its use of the "minor language" of Singapore. However, in Deleuze and Guattari's later text of A Thousand Plateaus, the potentiality, or the possibility, of a "minor language" evolving into a "minor literature" resolves to be not a problem. If in the Kafka text, Deleuze and Guattari considers Kafka's ¦uvre to be a "minor literature," then in A Thousand Plateaus, they will write that it is because the writing is inflected with a minor language. As they say in the latter text: "Kafka, a Czechoslovakian Jew writing in German, submits German to creative treatment as a minor language [my emphasis], constructing a continuum of variationŠ" (104). Obviously, my argument aligns itself with this revised perspective of Deleuze and Guattari on "minor language" and "minor literature."


Postcolonial OV discourseov Casablanca Conference Singapoe Singapore

Last modified: 31 May 2001