“A Copy of a Copy of a Copy”: Productive Repetition in <em>Fight Club</em>
It is proposed that there are two types of repetition: one that repeats based on identities and one that repeats differences. While the former is the common-sense view that understands difference to be the difference between two substantial things, the latter argues that, against this common-sense interpretation of repetition, it is difference itself that repeats and that, in fact, it is a failure to repeat identically that defines this latter version. Through an analysis of Deleuze’s conception of repetition as a repetition of difference in itself, this paper interprets Fight Club as a vehicle for addressing the question of how it is possible for something new to arise out of a seemingly stifling world of repetition and concretized identities. Given Deleuze’s ontology of immanence, fictional characters are no less real than flesh-and-blood people and, therefore, it is argued that alternative readings are actually offered up by the text itself, and not imposed by the reader from a transcendent point of view. In other words, literary texts are opened up to their own immanent becoming, a becoming that eventuates not only in the altering of the terms of the text, but, given the plane of immanence, in the reader as well.