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Sign in to use this feature. Sad passions are for Spinoza all those forces which disparage life. For Deleuze, Spinoza,.
We do not live, we only lead a semblance of life; we can only think of how to keep from dying, and our whole life is a death worship. SPP The hinge that this practical reading of Spinoza turns on is Deleuze's angle of approach to the Ethics. Rather than emphasising the great theoretical structures found in the first few sections, Deleuze emphasises the later part of the book particularly part V , which consists in arguments from the point of view of individual modes. This approach puts the importance on the reality of individuals rather than form, and on the practical rather than the theoretical.
In the preface to the English translation of Expressionism in Philosophy , he writes:. What interested me most in Spinoza wasn't his Substance, but the composition of finite modes. That is: the hope of making substance turn on finite modes, or at least of seeing in substance a plane of immanence in which finite modes operate. Deleuze's reading of Spinoza has clear and profound relations with all that he wrote after , especially the two volumes of Capitalism and Schizophrenia.
Aside from Spinoza, Nietzsche is the most important philosopher for Deleuze. His name, and central concepts that he created appear almost without exception in all of Deleuze's books. It would also be accurate to say that he reads both Spinoza and Nietzsche together, one through the other, and thus highlights the profound continuity of their thought. The most significant work that Deleuze did with Nietzsche was his highly influential study Nietzsche and Philosophy , the first book in France to systematically defend and explicate Nietzsche's work, still suspected of fascism, after the second World War.
This text was and is extremely well regarded by other philosophers, including Jacques Derrida Derrida , and Pierre Klossowski, who wrote the other key French study on Nietzsche in the second half of last century Nietzsche and the Vicious Circle , which is dedicated to Deleuze. While Nietzsche and Philosophy does deal with Nietzsche's polemical targets, its originality and strength lies in its systematic exposition of the diagnostic elements of his thought. Indeed, one critique of this text is that it oversystematises a thinker and writer whose style of writing overtly resists such a summary approach.
For Deleuze, however, it has been one of the hallmarks of bad readings of Nietzsche that they have relied upon a non-philosophical reading, either seeing him as a writer who attempts to assert other models of thought over philosopher, or, more commonly, as an obscurantist or proto- madman whose books have no coherence or value.
Nietzsche, for Deleuze, develops a symptomatology based on an analysis of forces that is elaborate, rigorous and systematic. He argues that Nietzsche's ontology is monist, a monism of force: "There is no quantity of reality, all reality is already a quantity of force. Deleuze's reading of Nietzsche starts from this point, and accounts for the whole of Nietzsche's critical typology of negation, sadness, reactive forces and ressentiment on this basis. The polemical basis of Nietzsche's work, for Deleuze, is directed at all that would separate force from acting on its own basis, that is, from affirming itself.
There is not one force, but many, the play and interaction of which forms the basis of existence. Deleuze argues that the many antagonistic metaphors in Nietzsche's writing should be interpreted in light of his pluralist ontology, and not as indications of some sort of psychological agressivity. Nietzsche's ontology, then, retains the suppleness and reliance on difference while remaining monist. Thus he, for Deleuze, is characterised as an anti-transcendental thinker. Deleuze's reading of Nietzsche demonstrates the extent to which he rejected the traditional, or dogmatic image of thought see 4 d below , which relies upon a natural harmony between thinker, truth and the activity of thought.
Thought does not naturally relate to truth at all, but is rather a creative act NP xiv , an act of affect, of force on other forces: "As Nietzsche succeeded in making us understand, thought is creation, not will to truth. Once again, in Nietzsche, we are confronted with the problem of considering a philosopher who is generally considered to be quite foreign to the tradition of empiricist thought, as an empiricist. As with Spinoza, however, Deleuze's reading of Nietzsche, as he himself indicates, relies upon his characterisation of empiricist thought: as the rejection of the transcendental, both in ontology and thought, and the consequent affirmation of thought as creativity.
While Deleuze often refers to the central concepts of empiricism as classically formulated by Hume in the Treatise association, habituation, convention etc. ES; LS ; DR ; WP , he also develops, throughout his work, a number of other key concepts which should be considered as empiricist. The most prominent of these are immanence, constructivism, and excess. The key word throughout Deleuze's writings, as we have seen, to be found in almost all of his main texts without fail, is immanence. This term refers to a philosophy based around the empirical real, the flux of existence which has no transcendental level or inherent seperation.
His last text, published a few months before his death, bore the title, "Immanence: a life. Deleuze repeatedly insists that philosophy can only be done well if it approaches the immanent conditions of that which it is trying to think; this is to say that all thought, in order to have any real force, must not work by setting up trancendentals, but by creating movement and consequences:.
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If you're talking about establishing new forms of transcendence, new universals, restoring a reflective subject as the bearer of rights, or setting up a communicative intersubjectivity, then it's not much of a philosophical advance. People want to produce 'consensus', but consensus is an ideal that guides opinion, and has nothing to do with philosophy. N ; cf. Deleuze's insistence on the concept of the immanent also has an ontological sense, as we have seen in his studies of Spinoza and Nietzsche, and which returns later in works such as Difference and Repetition and Capitalism and Schizophrenia : there is only one substance, and therefore everything which exists must be considered on the same plane, the same level, and analysed by way of their relations, rather than by their essence.
Constructivism is the title that Deleuze uses to characterise the movement of thought in philosophy. This has two senses. Firstly, empiricism, immanent thought, must create movement, create concepts if it is to be philosophy and not just opinion or consensus. Deleuze and Guattari cite Nietzsche on this point: "[Philosophers] must no longer accept concepts as a gift, nor merely purify or polish them, but first make and create them, present them and make them convincing.
Secondly, in relation to other philosophy, Deleuze maintains that we do not just repeat what they have already said see 2 above : "Empiricism. Constructivism, moreover, does not proceed along any predetermined lines. There is nothing that is necessary to create, for Deleuze: thought does not have a pre-given orientation see 4 b below. Empiricist thought is thus always in some sense strategic LS The concept of excess takes the place in Deleuze's thought of the transcendent.
Instead of an object, a table for example, being determined and given its essence by a transcendental concept or Idea Plato which is directly applicable to it, or the application of a transcendental category or schema Kant , everything that exists is exceeded by the forces which constitute it. The table does not have a for-itself, but has existence within a field or territory, which are beyond its meaning or control. Thus a table exists in a kitchen, which is part of a three-bedroom family home, which is part of a capitalist society.
In addition, the table is used to eat on, linking itself with the human body, and another produced, consumable item, a hamburger. For Deleuze, one can always analyse interminably in any direction these relations of force, which always move beyond the horizon of the object in question. For Deleuze, however, nothing is exceeded more than subjectivity. This is not a statement of ontological priority, but bears on the extreme privilege the conscious-to-self subject has had in the history of Western thought, it is certainly here that Deleuze makes his most significant use of the concept of excess.
Consider, for example: "Subjectivity is determined as an effect. The point is that human forces aren't on their own enough to establish a dominant form in which man can install himself. Human forces having an understanding, a will, an imagination and so on have to combine with other forces: an overall form arises from this combination, but everything depends on the nature of other forces with which the human forces become linked.
While Deleuze protests that he never made a big deal out of rejecting traditional postulates like the subject N 88 , he frequently writes about the notion of the exceeded subject, from his first book on Hume and throughout his work. This in some sense locates him in the landscape of what is known as postmodern thought, along with other figures such as Jacques Derrida , Jean-Francois Lyotard and Michel Foucault.
Difference and Repetition is without doubt Deleuze's most significant book in a traditional academic style, and proposes the most central of his disruptions to the canonical traditions of philosophy. However, precisely for this reason, it is also one of his most difficult books, dealing as it does with two age-old, overdetermined philosophical topics, identity and time, and with the nature of thought itself.
Deleuze's main aim in Difference and Repetition is a creative elaboration of these two concepts, but it essentially precedes by way of a critique of Western philosophy. His central thesis is,. That identity not be first, that it exist as a principle but as a second principle, as a principle become; that it revolve around the Different: such would be the nature of a Copernican revolution which opens up the possibility of difference having its own concept, rather than being maintained under the domination of a concept in general already understood as identical.
DR From Plato DR to Heidegger DR , Deleuze argues, difference has not been accepted on its own, but only after being understood with reference to self-identical objects, which makes difference a difference between. He attempts in this book to reverse this situation, and to understand difference-in-itself.
We can understand Deleuze's argument by way of reference to his analysis of Plato's three-tiered system of idea, copy and simulacrum cf. LS In order to define something such as courage, we can have reference in the end only to the Idea of Courage, an identical-to-itself, this idea containing nothing else DR Courageous acts and people can be thus judged by analogy with this Idea. There are also, however, those who only imitate courageous acts, people who use courage as a front for personal gain, for example.
These acts are not copies of the courageous ideal, but rather fakes, distortions of the idea. They are not related to the Idea by way of analogy, but by changing the idea itself, making it slip. Plato frequently makes arguments based on this system, Deleuze tells us, from the Statesman God-shepherd, King-shepherd, charlatan to the Sophist wisdom, philosopher, sophist DR ; The philosophical tradition, beginning with Plato although Deleuze detects some ambiguity here eg.
DR 59; TP and Aristotle, has sided with the model and the copy, and resolutely fought to exclude the simulacra from consideration, either by rejecting it as an external error Descartes DR , or by assimilating it into a higher form, via the operation of a dialectic Hegel DR However, Deleuze suggests, if we turn our attention to the simulacra, the reign of the identical and of analogy is destabilised.
The simulacra exists in and of itself, without grounding in or reference to a model: its existence is "unmediated" DR 29 , it is itself unmediated difference. It is for this reason that Deleuze makes his well-known claim that a true philosophy of difference must be "inverted-" or "anti-Platonism" DR : the being of simulacra is the being of difference itself; each simulacra is its own model. We might well ask here: what provides the unity of the different?
How can we talk about the being of something that is difference itself? Deleuze's answer is that precisely there is no intrinsic ontological unity. He takes up here Nietzsche's idea that being is becoming: there is an internal self-differing within the different itself, the different differs from itself in each case. Everything that exists only becomes and never is. Unity, Deleuze tells us, must be understood as a secondary operation DR 41 under which difference is pressed into forms. The prominent philosophical notion he offers for such unity is time see 4 c below , but later, in Anti-Oedipus , Deleuze and Guattari offer a political ontology that shows how this process of becoming is fixed into unitary formulations.
Deleuze's arch-enemy in Difference and Repetition is Hegel. While this critical stance is already clearly evident in Nietzsche and Philosophy and from there throughout his work, Deleuze's revaluation of difference itself takes as its most essential form the rejection of the Hegelian dialectic, which represents the most extreme development of the logic of the identical. The dialectic, Deleuze tells us, seems to operate with extreme differences alone, even so far as acknowledging them as the motor of history. Formed of two opposite terms, such as being and non-being, the dialectic operates by synthesising them into a new third term that preserves and overcomes the earlier opposition.
Deleuze argues that this is a dead end which makes,. It is only in relation to the identical, as a function of the identical, that contradiction is the greatest difference. The intoxication and giddiness are feigned, the obscure is already clarified from the outset. Nothing shows this more than the insipid monocentrality of the circles in the Hegelian dialectic.
While offering a philosophical tool that sees difference at the heart of being, the process of the dialectic removes this affirmation as its most essential step. The further consequence of this for Deleuze relates to the place of negation in Hegel's system. The dialectic, in its general movement, takes specific differences, differences-in-themselves, and negates their individual being, on the way to a "superior" unity. Deleuze argues in Difference and Repetition that this step of Hegel's mistakes ontology, history and ethics.
There is no resolution of the differences-in-themselves into a higher unity that does not fundamentally misunderstand difference. Here Deleuze is clearly recalling his Spinozist and Nietzschean ontology of a single substance that is expressed in a multiplicity of ways cf. DR ; : In a famous sentence, he writes: "A single voice raises the clamour of being.
Gilles Deleuze's Political Posture
Hegel is famous for asserting that the negating dialectic is the motor of history, proceeding towards the often-caricatured end of history and the realisation of absolute spirit. For Deleuze, history does not have a teleological element, a direction of realisation; this is only an illusion of consciousness cf. SPP :. History progresses not by negation and the negation of negation, but by deciding problems and affirming differences. It is no less bloody and cruel as a result. Only the shadows of history live by negation. Finally, regarding ethics, Deleuze argues that an ontology based on the negative makes of ethical affirmation a secondary, derived possibility: "The false genesis of affirmation.
For Deleuze, the central stake in the consideration of repetition is time. As with difference, repetition has been subjected to the law of the identical, but also to a prior model of time: to repeat a sentence means, traditionally, to say the same thing twice, at different moments. These different moments must be themselves equal and unbiased, as if time were a flat, featureless expanse. So repetition has essentially been considered as the traditional idea of difference over time understood in a common-sense way, as a succession of moments. Deleuze asks if, given a renovated understanding of difference as in-itself, we are able to reconsider repetition also.
But there is also an imperative here, since, if we are to consider difference-in-itself over time, based in the traditional logic of repetition, we once again reach the point of identity. As such, Deleuze's critique of identity must revaluate the question of time. Deleuze's argument proceeds through three models of time , and relates the concept of repetition to each of them. The first is time as a circle. Circular time is mythical and seasonal time, the repetition of the same after time has passed through its cardinal points.
These points may be simple natural repetitions, like the sun rising daily, the movement of summer to spring, or the elements of tragedy, which Deleuze suggests operate cyclically. There is a sense of both destiny and theology in the concept of time as a circle, as a succession of instants which are governed by an external law. When time is considered in this fashion, Deleuze argues DR , repetition is solely concerned with habit. The subject experiences the passing of moments cyclically the sun will come up every morning , and contracts habits which make sense of time as a continually living present.
Habit is thus the passive synthesis of moments that creates a subject. The second model of time is linked by Deleuze to Kant KCP vii-viii , and it constitutes one of the central ruptures that the Kantian philosophy creates in thought, for Deleuze: this is time as a straight line. In the Critique of Pure Reason , Kant liberates time from the circular model by proposing it as a form that is imposed upon sensory experience.
For Deleuze, this reverses the earlier situation by placing events into time as a line , rather than seeing the chain of events constituting time by the passing of present moments. Habit can thus no longer have any power, since in this model of time, nothing returns. In order for sense to be made of what has occurred, there must be an active process of synthesis, which makes of the past instances a meaning DR Deleuze calls this second synthesis memory.
Unlike habit, memory does not relate to a present, but to a past which has never been present, since it synthesises from passing moments a form in-itself of things which never existed before the operation. The novels of Marcel Proust are for Deleuze the most profound development of memory as the pure past, or in Proust's terminology, as time regained.
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DR ; PS passim. In this second model of time, repetition thus has an active sense in line with the synthesis, since it repeats something, in the memory, that did not exist before - this does not save it, however, from being an operation of identity, nonetheless. These two moments, the active constitution of a pure past, and the disparate experience of a present yet to be synthesised produces a further consequence for Deleuze: as in Kant, a radical splitting of the subject into two elements, the I of memory, which is only a process of synthesis, and a self of experience, an ego which undergoes experience.
DR ; KCP viii-ix. Deleuze insists that both of these models of time press repetition into the service of the identical, and make it a secondary process with regards to time. The final model of time that Deleuze proposes attempts to make repetition itself the form of time.
In order to do this, Deleuze relates the concepts of difference and repetition to each other. If difference is the essence of that which exists, constituting beings as disparates, then neither of the first two models of time does justice to them, insisting as they do on the possibility and even necessity of synthesising differences into identities.
It is only when beings are repeated as something other that their disparateness is revealed. Consequently, repetition cannot be understood as a repetition of the same, and becomes liberated from subjugation under the demands of traditional philosophy. To give body to the conception of repetition as the pure form of time, Deleuze turns to the Nietzschean concept of the eternal return. This difficult concept is always given a forceful and careful qualification by Deleuze whenever he writes about it eg.
DR 6;41; ; PI ; NP : that it must not be considered as the movement of a cycle, as the return of the identical. As a form of time, the eternal return is not the circle of habit, even on the cosmic level. This would only allow the return of something that already existed, of the same, and would result again in the suppression of difference through an inadequate concept of repetition. While habit returned the same in each instance, and memory dealt with the creation of identity in order to allow experience to be remembered, the eternal return is, for Deleuze, only the repetition of that which differs-from-itself, or, in Nietzsche's terminology, only the repetition of those beings whose being is becoming: "The subject of the eternal return is not the same but the different, not the similar but the dissimilar, not the one but the many.
As such, Deleuze tells us, repetition as the third meaning of time takes the form of the eternal return. Everything that exists as a unity will not return, only that which differs-from-itself. So, while habit was the time of the present, and memory the being of the past, repetition as the eternal return is the time of the future.
The superiority of this third understanding of repetition as time has two main impetuses in Deleuze's argument. The first is obviously that it keeps difference intact in its movement of differing-from-itself.
The second is as significant, if for different reasons. If only what differs returns, then the eternal return operates selectively DR ; PI , and this selection is an affirmation of difference, rather than an activity of representation and unification based on the negative, as in Hegel. Chapter three of Difference and Repetition provides a novel approach to an important question in philosophy, the problem of presuppositions.
Deleuze pursues this topic again later in A Thousand Plateaus , and when he writes about conceptual personae in What is Philosophy? An example is Descartes' celebrated phrase at the beginning of the Discourse on the Method :. Good sense is the most evenly shared thing in the world. For Descartes, thought has a natural orientation towards truth, just as for Plato, the intellect is naturally drawn towards reason and recollects the true nature of that which exists. This, for Deleuze, is an image of thought.
Although images of thought take the common form of an 'Everybody knows. Rather, they operate on the level of the social and the unconscious, and function, "all the more effectively in silence. Deleuze undertakes a thorough analysis of the traditional philosophical image of thought, and lists eight features which, in all aspects of philosophical pursuit, imply a subordination of thought to externally imposed directives.
He includes the good nature of thought, the priority of the model or recognition as the means of thought, the sovereignty of representation over supposed elements in nature and thought, and the subordination of culture to method or learning to knowledge. These all imply an a priori nature of thought, a telos, a meaning and a logic of practice. These features,. It is this element, in Difference and Repetition , that founds Deleuze's most serious criticism of the traditional image of thought: that it fails to come to terms with the true nature of difference and repetition.
As a result, it is fair to say that this moment of the book is essential for understanding the way in which Deleuze both wants to base his assessment of traditional philosophies of identity and time, and how he wishes to exceed them: his reformulation of difference and repetition is made possible by this critique cf. The other critical angle Deleuze supplies here is related to the first, and derives from Nietzsche's critique of Western thought:. When Nietzsche questions the most general presuppositions of philosophy, he says that these are essentially moral, since Morality alone is capable of convincing us that thought has a good nature and the thinker a good will, and that only the good can ground the supposed affinity between thought and the True.
DR; cf. As we saw above regarding Hegel, the real point of concern is that this image of thought is in the service of practical, political and moral forces, it is not simply a matter of philosophy, in segregation from the rest of the world. To the question 'why do we have this image of thought? In contradistinction to the natural goodness of thought in the traditional image, Deleuze argues for thought as an encounter: "Something in the world forces us to think.
The traditional image of thought has developed, just as Nietzsche argues about the development of morality in The Genealogy of Morals , as a reaction to the threat that these encounters offer. We can consider the traditional image of thought, then, precisely as a symptom of the repression of this violence. As a result, the relationship of philosophy to thought must have two correlative aspects, Deleuze argues:. This is true, dangerous thought, but the sole thought capable of approaching difference-in-itself and complex repetition: thought without an image.
The thought which is born in thought, the act of thinking which is neither given by innateness nor presupposed by reminiscence but engendered in its genitality, is a thought without image. But what is such a thought, and how does it operate in the world? DR ; cf. This final question directs us towards the central aim of the two texts of Capitalism and Schizophrenia. The collaborative texts of Deleuze and Felix Guattari, particularly the two volumes of Capitalism and Schizophrenia , are outside of the scope of the current article see the Deleuze and Guattari entry in this encyclopaedia, forthcoming.
However, two brief points are important to note. First, that despite the wide notoriety of these works as obscurantist and non-philosophical, they bear a profound relation to Deleuze's philosophical enterprise in general, and develop in new ways many of his concerns: a commitment to an immanent ontology, the importance of the social and the political to the very heart of being, and the affirmation of difference over the transcendental hierarchy in every aspect of this work. Secondly, the manner in which these texts are written by the two writers, between the two and not seperately, means that many new elements emerge that cannot be drawn from their work individually.
As such, regarding Deleuze, many of the central ideas cited above do undergo an interesting and novel transformation into a new direction: the very type of relationship characterised in Capitalism and Schizophrenia as a becoming. Deleuze's work on the arts, he never ceases to remind the reader, are not to be understood as literary criticism, film or art theory. Talking of the 's, during which he wrote almost exclusively on the arts, he states the following:.
But I was writing philosophy. This accords with the aims of Deleuze's empiricism see 3 above , to understand philosophy as an encounter with a work, philosophical or artistic, an object, a person out of which "non-pre-existent concepts," DR vii can be created. Regarding his books on cinema, he is even more explicit:. Film criticism faces twin dangers: it shouldn't just describe films but nor should it apply to them concepts taken from outside film.
The job of criticism is to form concepts that aren't of course 'given' in films but nonetheless relate specifically to cinema, and to some specific genre of film, to some specific film or other. Concepts specific to cinema, but which can only be formed philosophically. N 58; C2 All of Deleuze's work on artists can be assembled under the rubric of the creation of new philosophical concepts that relate specifically to the work at hand, yet which also link these works with others more generally. Not a philosophy of the arts per se, but a philosophical encounter with specific artistic works and forms.
One feature that the artistic works also contain, distinct from many of Deleuze's other books, is a concern with a taxonomy of signs. In Proust and Signs , Francis Bacon , and the Cinema books, Deleuze attempts to develop a systematic approach of classifying different signs.
These signs are not linguistic C1 ix , since they are not themselves elements of a system, but rather are types of emissions from a work.
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Proust, for example, on Deleuze's account, understands experience itself as a reception of signs by a proto-subject which must be understood properly, just as the large variety of images discussed in Cinema 1 and 2 are categorised by Deleuze on the basis of C. Peirce's semiotics. Deleuze often comes to consider the questions 'what is the nature of the artist, and of art?
This characterisation goes far beyond the general consideration of artists as 'creative people', and highlights the manner in which art is itself a creation of movement, not of representations: that is, something radically new, an affect, a movement of force or desire cf. PS xi. While the dominant Western tradition, from Plato to Heidegger, places art in a relationship to truth, Deleuze insists in every case on a Nietzschean argument NP , that the work of art only has relations with forces, and that truth is a derivative, secondary formation: art is active.
In another register, Deleuze suggests that artists are themselves created, within thought, and must be cultured and afflicted by forces which exceed them to develop to the point of creativity NP ; cf. These forces, in turn, account for the frequent frailty of artists and thinkers. While the work of art sets to work forces of life, the artist themselves has experienced "too much", and this wearies and sickens them D 18; C2 Deleuze's insistences that the artist is above all someone who creates new ways of being and perceiving increases in frequency and strength throughout the course of his texts on art and artists.
Deleuze wrote extensively on literature throughout his career. It is quite easy, if one wishes to attach a philosophical point of view to Marcel Proust's work, to see it as a phenomenology of memory and perception, in which his famous text In Search of Lost Time would be oriented towards an understanding of what underlies and gives substance to experience and memory. In essence, Deleuze proposes the opposite of the phenomenological method.
He reads Proust's work as an anti-logos, that supposes, rather than a transcendental ego which is the necessary feature of all experience, a passive, receptive subject at the mercy of the signs and symptoms of the world. For what does in fact take place in In Search of Lost Time , one and the same story with infinite variations?
It is clear that the narrator sees nothing, hears nothing. AO Rather than memory, the central question of the Search , being based within the subject, and as the product of certain transcendental operations, it is a creation of something which did not exist before by way of an original, each-time unique, style of interpretation for experiences PS Deleuze uses the term 'anti-logos' on the grounds that Proust, as he argues, refuses the representational model of experience central to Western philosophy:.
Everywhere Proust contrasts the world of signs and symptoms with the world of attributes, the world of hieroglyphs and ideograms with the world of analytic expression, phonetic writing, and rational thought. What is constantly impugned are the great themes inherited from the Greeks: philos, sophia, dialogue, logos, phone. PS In contrast, Deleuze characterises the Search as a recasting of thought: thought is creative and not reminiscent Platonic and phenomenological. Masoch features in a few of Deleuze's books K ; D , but most significantly in his long study "Coldness and Cruelty".
This early text is a critique of the unity of the clinical and aesthetic notion "sado-masochism". Deleuze argues here that this clinical concept fails to account for the actual writings of the Maquis de Sade and Sacher-masoch, along with making an unjustified unity from a two quite distinct groups of symptoms. Masoch is considered by Deleuze to be an important writer of unusual power, and a master of suspense, the key literary element of masochism.
However, while de Sade has become well-known, and his writings analysed, Deleuze suggests that our poor understanding of Masoch's texts is one of the main culprits in making the confused unity that is sadomasochism. In fact, according to Deleuze, he offers us a new way of understanding existence by displacing sexuality into the world of power M Thus, Deleuze tells us, Masoch was in fact, "a great anthropologist. Point by point, Deleuze develops a reading of the two writers, Masoch in particular, that shows their profound disparity. Alongside this is an analysis of the psychiatric categories of sadism and masochism that reveals the same lack of common ground.
Sadomasochism is one of these misbegotten names, a semiological howler. We found in every case that what appeared to be a common 'sign' linking the two perversions together turned out on investigation to be in the nature of a mere syndrome which could be further broken down into irreducibly specific symptoms of the one or the other perversion. M In "Coldness and Cruelty", Deleuze also elaborates a critique of Freud that points in the direction of Anti-Oedipus , although clearly more limited in scope.
Kafka: towards a minor literature can be distinguished from Deleuze's other texts on literature in that it was written with Guattari, and it strongly bears the stamp of Anti-Oedipus , published just three years earlier, and the concepts utilised there. In many ways, it can be read as a development of the same themes in regard to Kafka's work. This text is a marked departure from all of the dominant interpretations of Kafka's writing, which is generally considered either psychoanalytically as a projection of interior guilt onto the world through writing or mythically, that is, as a reserve of symbols and closely related to negative theology and Jewish mysticism.
Deleuze and Guattari consider Kafka as a proponent of a joyful science, of writing as a way of creating a line of flight or freedom from the forms of domination. They write:. The three worst themes in many interpretations of Kafka are the transcendence of the law, the interiority of guilt, the subjectivity of enunciation.
In contrast, Deleuze and Guattari read Kafka as a proponent of the immanence of desire. The law is no more than a secondary configuration that traps desire into certain formations: bureaucracy, of course, is the main example in Kafka's work, where offices, secretaries, lawyers and bankers present figures of entrapment. The judges, commissioners, bureaucrats, and so on, are not substitutes for the father; rather, it is the father who is a condensation of all these forces that he submits to and that he tries to get his son to submit to. K Thus, for Kafka, according to Deleuze and Guattari, the family are a socially derived unit that works by trapping the flow of desire.
The interiority of guilt is replaced by the exteriority of subjugation. This is best demonstrated in the analysis of Kafka's famous short story, The Metamorphosis K They also wish to read Kafka, not as a writer of genius, who expresses the superior insight of his inner sight, but as a writer of minor literature. This is the key concept of Deleuze and Guattari's reading of Kafka. Minor literature is a writing that takes a dominant language German, in Kafka's case, French in Beckett's, and so forth , and pushes it until it becomes a language of force, and not of signification K In turn, this connects immediately with the situation of minorities, minority groups in the first instance, but also the attempts that everyone makes to create a line of flight outside of majoritarian or molar social formations.
As such, minor literature is an immediately political writing K 17 , which connects the text immediately to micro- political struggle. Thus the third substitution is the collective, that is, political, nature of enunciation, for the traditional model of the subjective intent behind the author's words. Kafka, for Deleuze and Guattari, writes as a node in a field of forces, rather than a Cartesian cogito, sovereign in the castle of consciousness.
One clear feature of Deleuze's relationship to literature is his outspoken appreciation for what he calls Anglo-American literature, and its superiority over the literature of Europe. What we find in great English and American novelists is a gift, rare among the French, for intensities, flows, machine-books, tool-books, schizo-books.
The great European tradition in literature is analogous for Deleuze to traditional philosophy: it always revolves around a relationship to truth, the preservation of some kind of social status quo, the sovereignty of the author over the text; as Deleuze states, "everybody says "cogito" in the French novel.
The strength of Anglo-american literature for Deleuze is rather that it rejects the idea of the book as a representation of reality, and all of the adjacent problems with the dogmatic image of literature, and presents the book as a machine, as something which does things, rather than signifying.
Part of the reason for the impact of Deleuze's writings on cinema is simply that he is the first important philosopher to have devoted such detailed attention to it. Of course, many philosophers have written about movies, but Deleuze offers an analysis of the cinema itself as an artistic form, and develops a number of connections between it and other philosophical work.
Deleuze's first book is entitled Cinema 1: The Movement-Image. It deals with cinema from its development through to the second World War. For Deleuze, the cinema as an art form is quite unique, and deals with its subject matter in ways that no other form of art is capable of, particularly as a way of relating to the experience of space and time. Deleuze's analysis begins by coming to new understandings of the concepts of the image and movement. The image, above all, is not a representation of something, that is, a linguistic sign.
This definition relies upon the age-old Platonic distinction between form and matter, in its modern Saussurean form of signifier-signified. Rather, Deleuze wants to collapse these two orders into one, and the image thus becomes expressive and affective: not an image of a body, but the body as image C1 This collapse comes about with reference to two philosophers, Henri Bergson and Charles Sanders Peirce.
Deleuze dedicated a book-length study to the former entitled Bergsonism , and his use of his notions of movement and time in the Cinema texts is already presaged by this text. Movement for Bergson, Deleuze argues, is not separable from the object which moves: they are literally the same thing. Thus, no representative relationship can be established without artificially halting the flow of movement and thus misconstruing the frozen 'element' as self-sufficient. There is only the flow of movement which expresses itself in different ways.
Among other things, this is one of Deleuze's critiques of phenomenology C1 56, Thus the early cinema is characterised for Deleuze by the reign of what he calls the sensory-motor schema. This schema is the unity of the viewed and the eye that views in dynamic movement. This model of the movement-image is precisely the nature of cinema, for Deleuze. It does not falsify movement by extracting segments and stringing them together in a representative fashion, but creates a wide range of expressive images. It is in order to come to terms with the varieties of movement-images that Deleuze turns to Peirce, who developed, "the most extraordinary classifications of images and signs.
The main part of Cinema 1 is thus devoted to using, with some alterations, Peirce's semiotic classifications to describe the use of movement-images in cinema, and their centrality before the second World War. The movement from the first text to Cinema 2: The Time-Image has a significance closely related to Kant's so-called Copernican revolution in philosophy. Up until Kant, time was subject to the events that took place within it, time was a time of seasons and habitual repetition see 3 c above ; it was not able to be considered on its own, but as a measure of movement C2 ; KCP iv. One element of Kant's achievement for Deleuze, as we have seen, is his reversal of the time-movement relationship: he establishes time itself as an element to which movement must be subordinated, a pure time.
In the cinema, Deleuze argues, a similar reversal takes place. The historico-cultural reason behind this reversal is the event of World War two itself. With the great truths of Western culture put so deeply in question by the before unimaginable methods employed and their forthcoming results, the sensory-motor apparatus of the movement-image are made to tremble before the unbearable, the too-much of life's possibilities, the potential of the present C2 No longer could the dogmatic truths that had guided society, and cinema to an extent, allow the apparently 'natural' movement from one thing to the next in an habitual fashion: 'natural' links precisely lost their efficacy.
And with the use of unnatural or false links, which do not follow the sequence or narrative affect of the movement-image, time itself, the time-image, is manifested in cinema Deleuze considers Orson Welles to be the first auteur to make use of the time-image C2 Rather than finding time as an, "indirect representation," C2 , the viewer experiences the movement of time itself, which images, scenes, plots and characters presuppose or manifest in order to gain any sort of movement whatsoever. Along with this 'external' reason, there is also for Deleuze a motivation within cinema itself to go from the movement-image to the time-image.
The movement image has the tendency, thanks to the habitual experience of movement as normal and centered, to justify itself in relation to truth: as Deleuze argues with regard to the dogmatic image of thought see 3 d above , there is the presupposition that thought naturally moves towards truth. Of course, Deleuze suggests, cinema, when truly creative, never relied upon this presupposition, and yet, "the movement-image, in its very essence, is answerable to the effect of truth which it invokes while movement preserves its centres. In questioning its own presuppositions, Deleuze argues, cinema moved towards a new, different, way of understanding movement itself, as subordinate to time.
This in turn leads Deleuze to abandon Peirce's semiotics to a large degree, since it has no room for the time-image C2 ff. As we have seen in our consideration of time in Difference and Repetition see 3 c above , Nietzsche is the philosopher who Deleuze considers to have made the crucial move with regard to time, surpassing even Kant.
One of the central consequences for cinema that this move from movement-image to time-image makes again highlights one of Deleuze's central concerns, to establish an ontology and a semiology of force: "What remains? There remain bodies, which are forces, nothing but forces. Scenes, movements and language become expressive rather than representative.
Deleuze's central work in the visual arts is his monograph Francis Bacon: logique de la sensation the logic of sensation , but he also engages with a large number of other figures in various texts eg. TP ; WP ch. Deleuze's book on Francis Bacon, as the title suggests, is an attempt to construct a logic of sensations from the artist's work FB 7. This task is largely a taxonomic one. Deleuze develops, throughout the book, a number of key categorial notions and new concepts that allow him to move away from the standard representational view of painting, towards a painting of force, that presents force and creates affects sensations rather than representing or describing a scene.
Three central ideas are at work. The first is an elaboration of the concept of Figure. For Deleuze, while the idea of figuration in painting has largely been representational, he sees Bacon, and to some extent Cezanne before him FB 40, 76 , collapsing the Figure into the world of forces, placing it in a new relation to force.
Thus Bacon's cries, for which he is famous, place the figure in the presence of force: ". For Deleuze the cry expresses an extreme moment of life, rather than suffering or horror. As with Kafka, Deleuze takes Bacon's artistic work, is commonly considered very dark and nihilistic, and considers it as a true sign of life, and of struggle with death.
The second, a refrain familiar from all of his work, relates to a notion of force that makes it ontologically and artistically fundamental rather than politically oppressive, much as desire is reconfigured in Capitalism and Schizophrenia. It is in fact this move that allows Deleuze's general 'positivism' towards Bacon, as we have just seen: "Everything. We have already seen the significance of empiricism for Deleuze's philosophy 3 above.
Throughout his work, however, Deleuze gives a number of further formulations concerning the aim and nature of philosophy. These can be understood in two phases, an early critical naturalism and a later vitalist constructivism. In his early works in the history of philosophy, culminating with The Logic of Sense , Deleuze expresses an essentially critical model of philosophy.
In his book on Nietzsche, he writes:. When someone asks 'what's the use of philosophy? Philosophy does not serve the State or the Church, who have other concerns. It serves no established power. The use of philosophy is to sadden. A philosophy which saddens no one, that annoys no one, is not a philosophy.
It is useful for harming stupidity, for turning stupidity into something shameful. Its only use is the exposure of all forms of baseness of thought. Philosophy is at its most positive as a critique, as an enterprise of demystification. NP