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Thread: What is Deleuze?

  1. #31
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    Bergsonism with knobs on.
    militant dysphoria: cold world
    anguished shrieks: spiral jacobs
    Cheery melodies: Globes of Venus

  2. #32
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    Tyler Durden: Did you know that if you mix equal parts of gasoline and frozen orange juice concentrate you can make napalm?
    Narrator: No, I did not know that; is that true?
    Tyler Durden: That's right... One could make all kinds of explosives, using simple household items.
    Narrator: Really...?
    Tyler Durden: If one were so inclined.
    Narrator: Tyler, you are by far the most interesting single-serving friend I've ever met... see I have this thing: everything on a plane is single-serving...
    Tyler Durden: Oh I get it, it's very clever.
    Narrator: Thank you.
    Tyler Durden: How's that working out for you?
    Narrator: What?
    Tyler Durden: Being clever.
    Narrator: Great.
    Tyler Durden: Keep it up then... Right up.
    [Gets up from airplane seat]
    Tyler Durden: Now a question of etiquette; as I pass, do I give you the ass or the crotch...?
    Last edited by josef k.; 26-05-2009 at 10:50 PM.

  3. #33

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    How did Deleuze stock fall so low?

  4. #34
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    The bewitchments of Zizek and Badiou is one factor... Their politics is more simple then his, more authoritarian, more macho, and ultimately less demanding. They encourage people to continue to be intellectuals, and they privilege the status of intellectuals... which Deleuze doesn't do. They are sources of hope for a new generation of academics looking to displace the incumbents, and they shore-up the claims of the radical academy to constitute the headquarters of militant politics - a status which had been contested by people like Deleuze and Lyotard. And Guattari, whose stock outside the academy intriguingly continues to rise.
    Last edited by josef k.; 27-05-2009 at 12:03 AM.

  5. #35

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    That makes a lot of sense, I must say. Though I do agree with Zizek when he said that Guattari was a terrible influence on Deleuze...

  6. #36
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    I cannot agree. Guattari was a beautiful man. After he died, the patients of the experimental clinic La Borde, where he worked, maintained a night of silence in honour of a man who had been a friend to them. Guattari also said:

    Yes I believe that there is a multiple people, a people of mutants, a people of potentialities that appears and disappears, that is embodied in social events, literary events, and musical events. I'm often accused of being exaggeratedly, stupidly, stubbornly optimistic, and of not seeing people's wretchedness... I can see it, but... I don't know, perhaps I'm raving, but I think that we're in a period of productivity, proliferation, creation, utterly fabulous revolutions from the viewpoint of this emergence of a people. That's molecular revolution: it isn't a slogan or a program, it's something that I feel, that I live, in meetings, in institutions, in affects, and also through some reflections.

  7. #37

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    I can see why all those nutcases where so fond of him. Cheers Felix!

    I always thought there was a slight Felix and Oscar side to Deleuze and Guattari.

    Have you read this book, by the way? Has anyone?

    I have, I thought it was superb.

  8. #38

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    Very good chapter on Guattari and the anti-psychiatry clinic he was involved in...

  9. #39
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    It does look pretty good.

  10. #40

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    Last edited by craner; 27-05-2009 at 01:13 AM.

  11. #41
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    i'm curious, craner, as to why you (and zizek, although zizek less so) think guattari was a bad influence on deleuze?

  12. #42
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    (a blog post of today, x-posted here as it seems relevant)

    I’ve never come away from any of Deleuze’s texts feeling that I understood any more (about) mathematics than I did when I started. There’s enough in Deleuze about differential calculus, Riemannian manifolds and so on to make you think that there ought, at some point, to be a settling of accounts with mathematical formalization; but the settlement never arrives, and the reader who undertakes (like Manuel DeLanda) to put things in some sort of scientific order must wrestle with the fact that Deleuze’s texts frequently resist such organization through a combination of willed incoherence and masterful pronouncements about the “nomadic” untameability of the matter at hand. They do so with the fine, pleasant and anti-dogmatic intention of evoking a virtual, problematic field behind every conceptual solution or actualization, so that the reader might not be enslaved by a system or held captive by an image of truth. But what is sacrificed by this approach is any experience of what Lacan called the impasse of formalization (Valéry: “Une difficulté est une lumière. / Une difficulté insurmountable est un soleil.”). It would be illuminating for example to be shown just why the “arborescent” cannot fully comprehend the “rhizomatic”, by means of a demonstration of the exact limit of its ability to do so. As it is, one is sometimes left feeling that some of the most stirring passages of “Capitalism and Schizophrenia” amount to little more than the varied and passionate affirmation of an emotional commitment to untidiness.

    There is, nevertheless, something still troubling about Deleuze’s faintly hauntological harping on about old mathematical problematics curtly “obsoleted” by the inhabitants of Cantor’s paradise. Rather than a scientifically normalizing move, DeLanda’s projection of Deleuze’s concerns into the (now not quite so especially) brave new world of chaos and complexity theory can be seen as an attempt to show how science at its very frontiers remains receptive to the Event, continually developing “abnormal” concepts in response to the perennial problems of change, flux and turbulence. Badiou’s account of the (recent, European) history of mathematics is one in which the generation of mathematical novelty occurs through a series of formal impasses resolved by the setting of new foundations: the heroes of this history are the geniuses (collective as may be) who boldly posit new axioms and faithfully elaborate the systems of thought that unfold from them. But the beginnings of chaos theory, as narrated in James Gleick’s tremendously readable Chaos, were to be found in a new assemblage of heterogeneous mathematical techniques, advances in computer technology, problems thrown up by natural science and somewhat maverick metaphorical thinking (e.g. Mandelbrot’s “How long is the coastline of Britain?”). One cannot without distortion represent this development as a militant truth procedure faithful to the vanished trace of an ontological infraction; it seems much closer to Deleuze’s “minor science”, an abnormal enterprise, attending to the little embarrassments of normal theory, that only later submits to regulation by the “royal science” of axiomatics.

    I’m reminded here of Lyotard’s suggestion, in The Postmodern Condition, that postmodernity precedes modernity, as the generating matrix of new modernisms. Every modernism is a new foundationalism, albeit often in the guise of a radical undermining of existing foundations; but the postmodern moment is that in which thought and language drift or err away from foundations, forsaking correctness as a criterion in favour of productivity or what Lyotard called “legitimation through paralogy”. It seems that even Badiou, in his call for an “experimental” politics pending the next great foundational upheaval, acknowledges the role of the postmodern moment or modality in the gestation of new modernisms; but for him the role of that moment is precisely to act as a fils conducteur leading towards the revolutionary instant. Deleuze’s “lines of flight”, for better or worse, seem to lead nowhere of the sort.
    militant dysphoria: cold world
    anguished shrieks: spiral jacobs
    Cheery melodies: Globes of Venus

  13. #43
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  14. #44
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    poetix, this might sound like a cop out, but i'd suggest that it's not necessarily helpful to read D&G as philosophy per se... it seems like most of the qualms with D&G (and, apparently, especially guattari) revolve around their inability to eventually actualize some kind of coherent scientific or philosophical system (more or less craving an oedipal daddy to assure, no?)

    well, i think kodwo eshun has it right when he argues that D&G are more about concept manufacture, 'circuit diagrams of the present.'

    kind of an aside, where i went to school there was a half-serious feud between the philosophy dept. and the rhetoric dept (in which much D&G was taught), the rhet. kids basically being seen as too promiscuous, and the philosophy students too moral and imponderable.

  15. #45
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    Deleuze and Guattari teach people how to think for themselves.

    Badiou teaches people how to obey, unthinkingly, the fatal seductions of intellectual authority. Which is why so many Badiouvians sound like robots.

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