Philip Roth's “Eli, the Fanatic” explores the conflict between communal identity and individual difference. In the short story, a community of assimilated Jews in a New York suburb forces a group of newly arrived Hasidic immigrants to give up their traditional religious costumes, for fear that the newcomers' sartorial difference will threaten communal harmony. Reading the story in light of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari's concepts of the “abstract machine of faciality” and the “probe-head,” as well as Alain Badiou's theory of “the generic truth,” this paper argues that a community that is established through the mechanism of faciality propagates identity and reduces differences; in contrast, if the community is constituted through “the truth procedure,” the differences among its members should be recognized yet traversed. In “Eli, the Fanatic,” the conflict between the normalizing mechanism of faciality and the individualizing operation of the probe-head reaches a deadlock that can only be resolved in the generic procedure of truth.
KEY WORDS: Philip Roth, Deleuze, Guattari, Badiou, truth, faciality
菲利浦羅斯的短篇故事〈宗教狂熱者艾利〉描述群 體共同性與個體差異性之間的衝突。故事中經過同化的 紐約郊區猶太社群誘迫一群哈西德猶太教新移民拋棄傳 統宗教服飾，並改穿現代主流服裝，以維護群體生活的 和諧。本論文援引德勒茲與瓜達西的「面目性抽象機 器」、「探針頭」，以及巴迪烏的「真理」概念以分析此故 事，更進一步闡釋群體如何利用面目性機制來建立個體 間的共同性並削減差異性，而「真理程序」所凝聚的社群 又如何能夠同時承認卻跨越個體差異。在〈宗教狂熱者艾 利〉故事中，面目性抽象機器生產出常規化社群，而探針 頭則製造個體差異，此一衝突唯有在真理程序中才能獲 得解決。