Literary Immanence

This essay considers the problem of materialism in literature from the perspective of linguistic empiricism. It takes as a its point of departure Paul de Man's treatment of linguistic materiality to argue that a specifically literary description of agency ought to take into account the event of literature as such. It then turns to Gilles Deleuze's formulation of immanence to offer a reading of a key scene in Dicken's Our Mutual Friend that illustrates how literature stages its coming-alive.