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Who loves ya, baby?
Apparently this is Deleuze replying to a letter about Anti-Oedipus.

But I'm struck by the way it's the people who've read lots of other books, and psychoanalytic books in particular, who find our book really difficult. They say: What exactly is a body without organs? What exactly do you mean by "desiring machines"? Those, on the other hand, who don't know much, who haven't been addled by psychoanalysis, have less of a problem and happily pass over what they don't understand. That's why we said that, in principle at least, the book was written for fifteen- to twenty-year-olds.There are, you see, two ways of reading a book: you either see it as a box with something inside and start looking for what it signifies, and then if you're even more perverse or depraved you set off after signifiers. And you treat the next book like a box contained in the first or containing it. And you annotate and interpret and question, and write a book about the book, and so on and on. Or there's the other way:you see the book as a little non-signifying machine, and the only question is "Does it work, and how does it work?" How does it work for you? If it doesn't work, if nothing comes through, you try another book. This second way of reading's intensive: something comes through or it doesn't. There's nothing to explain, nothing to understand, nothing to interpret. It's like plugging in to an electric circuit. I know people who've read nothing who immediately saw what bodies without organs were, given their own "habits," their own way of being one. This second way of reading's quite different from the first, because it relates a book directly to what's Outside. A book is a little cog in much more complicated external machinery. Writing is one flow among others, with no special place in relation to the others, that comes into relations of current, countercurrent, and eddy with other flows-flows of shit, sperm, words, action, eroticism, money, politics, and so on. Take Bloom, writing in the sand with one hand and masturbating with the other: what's the relation between those two flows? Our outside, at least one of our outsides, was a particular mass of people (especially young people) who are fed up with psychoanalysis. They're "trapped," to use your expression, because they generally continue in analysis even after they've started to question psychoanalysis-but in psychoanalytic terms. (On a personal note, for example, how can boys from Gay Lib, and girls from Women's Lib, and plenty others like them, go into analysis? Doesn't it embarrass them? Do they believe in it? What on earth are they doing on a couch?) The fact that this current is there made Anti-Oedipus possible. And if psychoanalysts, ranging from the most stupid to the most intelligent ones, have as a whole greeted the book with hostility, but defensively rather than aggressively, that's obviously not just because of its content but because of this growing current of people getting fed up listening to themselves saying "daddy, mommy, Oedipus, castration, regression" and seeing themselves presented with a really inane image of sexuality in general and of their own sexuality in particular. Psychoanalysts are going to have to take account, in the old phrase, of the "masses," of little masses. We get wonderful letters about this from a psychoanalytic lumpenproletariat that are much better than critics' reviews.

This intensive way of reading, in contact with what's outside the book, as a flow meeting other flows, one machine among others, as a series of experiments for each reader in the midst of events that have nothing to do with books, as tearing the book into pieces, getting it to interact with other things, absolutely anything. . . is reading with love. That's exactly how you read the book. And the bit I like in your letter, the bit I think is rather wonderful in fact, is where you say how you read the book, what you yourself did with it. Why, oh why, do you then have to rush straight back into the attack: "There's no way out, we'll be waiting for your second volume, and we'll spot what you're up to straight away. . . ?" No, you're quite wrong, we've already seen where to go next. We'll do the sequel because we like working together. Except it won't be anything like a sequel. With a bit of help from outside, it will be something so different in its language and thinking that anyone "waiting" for us will have to say we've gone completely crazy, or we're frauds, or we couldn't take it any further. It's a real pleasure to confound people. Not that we just want to play at being mad, but we'll go mad in our own way and in our own time, we won't be pushed into it. We're well aware that the fIrst volume of Anti-Oedipusis still full of compromises, too full of things that are still scholarly and rather like concepts. So we'll change, we already have, it's all going wonderfully. Some people think we're going to continue along the same lines, some even thought we were going to set up fifth psychoanalytic group. Yuck. Our minds are on other things that are less public and more fun. We're going to stop compromising, because we don't need to any more. And we'll always find the allies we want, or who want us.
 

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Who loves ya, baby?
"It's packed full of magical secrets—this book was when I realized critical theory is just the rocket science of occultism—modern, hyperspecialized, and hyperocculted in the heart of academia. Exceedingly advanced... many scientific theories are extremely-elaborated theories of an occult phenomenon, that are far far more complex than they need to be because they are denying a few simplifying assumptions that are accepted in occultism. Psychology is a good example: we're down to the neuron level and we still can't talk holistically about mind—but we can speak word patterns which evoke strangely precise and mechanical models of mind which are highly detailed—like a microscope made out of square-logic theory."

I quite like this.
 

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Who loves ya, baby?
It was some random on Reddit. There's a dead sub called /r/reading1000plateaus where a bunch of people tried to read it as a group. And nah, I haven't read that book. You?
 

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Who loves ya, baby?
My PhD advisor turned me on to Deleuze, and from the moment I started reading snippets on the internet I was hooked. That book is like crack, the way they write. Just seeing the word "deterritorialization" for the first time triggered a several-month meltdown process in the way I used language and thought about myself and politics. It was so intense that I waited months before getting the book or trying to read more than the snippets. It's still so intense that I've only read 2-3 chapters of the book, working through it very slowly. (For that reason maybe we should read at a very slow (but steady) pace also, like maybe one chapter a month.)

It's packed full of magical secrets—this book was when I realized critical theory is just the rocket science of occultism—modern, hyperspecialized, and hyperocculted in the heart of academia. Exceedingly advanced.
It is amazing how theory and occultism have become so close to parallel over time!
It's shocking! It happens in science too: many scientific theories are extremely-elaborated theories of an occult phenomenon, that are far far more complex than they need to be because they are denying a few simplying assumptions that are accepted in occultism. Psychology is a good example: we're down to the neuron level and we still can't talk holistically about mind—but we can speak word patterns which evoke strangely precise and mechanical models of mind which are highly detailed—like a microscope made out of square-logic theory.
Have you read occult texts? They are very strange texts which deal with textuality and meta-ness in similar ways to critical theory. They also deal with similar issues: epistemological and existential issues of how to deal with the order of things or current "regime." They also employ or suggest specific thinking tools and avenues by which one can traverse knowledge. I see many similarities, and those similarities were made explicit and brought to a head by Deleuze and Nick Land, among others.
There's another place on there called Sorcery of the Spectacle where they go on about this sort of stuff.

https://www.reddit.com/r/sorceryofthespectacle/
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
I know about sorcery of the spectacle. Know someone who was into it for a while before their forum guru disappeared
 
This thread has inspired me to actually ready my copy of anti-oedipus. I'm 20 pages in and completely lost but I promise to finish it and come back and tell you what Deleuze is.
 

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Who loves ya, baby?
Craner's mentioned blissblog saying something about getting away from this stuff being like a lapsed Catholic, so I'm curious as to what pushed them away from it in the first place. You just lose interest? See some glaring flaw in it?
 

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Who loves ya, baby?
Also anyone who's still heavily into this stuff. Where do you see the value in it? What do you like about it?
 

craner

Beast of Burden
The politics pushed me away from it. Beneath the textual performances the actual political commitments were simply mundane when they weren't sinister. Worse, in a way: the political commentary, when it poked through (for example, Virilio's Desert Screen), was very often banal and superficial.

Books that provided something of an inoculation for me were Appropriating Shakespeare by Brian Vickers, Against Deconstruction by John Martin Ellis and From Revolution to Ethics: May 1968 and Contemporary French Thought by Julian Bourg. There are other things like this by Roger Scruton (from a conservative perspective) and Richard Wolin (from a liberal humanist perspective) but I didn't rate those so much.
 
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