Deleuze immediately makes clear the infinite regress of sense. Carroll’s work is insightful because it makes us confront “a synthesis of the heterogeneous; the serial form is necessarily realized in the simultaneity of at least two series” (36). the infinite regress of sense is itself a series, a series of multiple series that each inhere on each other–a synthesis of series. The two series operate different: one as signifier and the other as signified. The direct result of these two inhering on each other is a disequilibrium created by the excess of one in the other. The signifier series manifests as an occupant without a place, a supernumerary object in the signified series. This signified creates an empty place within the signifier. The excess of each series manifests as both esoteric and exoteric words in paradoxical forms in which each exists “only through the relations they maintain with one another” (50).
These relations, then, create singularities–that is, points of turning, inflections, tears, fusion, etc. Each of these “correspond to each one of the series of a structure” and is “the source of a series extending in a determined direction right up to the vicinity of another singularity” (52-3). Visually, these singularities create sets of divergent and convergent lines like that of a magnet. Singularities form ideal events. With regards to time, events in their purest forms are never actualities. They are only tales and stories, events which are about to happen and those which have just happened. They are never in the present, never happening.
The disequilibrium of sense, which Deleuze points to through the various dualities (e.g. empty square and supernumerary object), is always in relation to itself as the paradox of nonsense (66). Nonsense, however, is not the lack of sense. The relation between sense and nonsense is not simply a copy of that between true and false. Instead, there is an original relation between the two. Sense is always produced, an effect of the relation between the signifier and signified. The paradox of sense is that nonsense is also present within sense and within the event of signification. Nonsense must be understood as being opposed to the abscense of sense because it produces sense in excess.
Sense should not be confused with “good sense.” “Good sense” always come second to sense as it presupposes a distrubution of sense. It, like the arrow of time, determines the direction which sense runs. The paradox of sense, though, is that it goes both directions simultaneously. Common sense identifies the objects within a language. Yet in Alice, identity is completely lost. The paradox is this reversal of both good sense and common sense. Alice discovers through the looking glass that common sense has long disappeared. Yet, at this very point where language itself seems impossible, “having no subject which expresses or manifests itself in it, no object to denote, no classes and no properties to signify according to a fixed order,” that the gift of meaning occurs before all good and common sense (79). With the passion of this paradox, language reaches the height of its power. The two directions of sense, of becoming-mad, are represented in by Carroll’s doubles. The pair of the Mad Hatter and the March Hare each live in one direction, the two inseparable from one another. Each direction segments itself to “the point that both are found in either” (79). The Hatter and Hare killed the present which survives only in the Dormouse. The present subsists only as the abstract moment, infinitely subdivisible into past and future. The maifestation of sense is always a fragile one within and without the abstract moment of the present.