Deleuze, G.  (1997) Essays critical and clinical, Daniel Smith and Michael Greco (Trans).  Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press

Introduction (Daniel Smith) xi—lvi

[Very useful and systematic, maybe because it is based on the controversial argument that Deleuze is a vitalist {denied by others in Fuglsang}.  Makes the philosophical evasions pretty visible too]

This book is devoted primarily to literature, but there are references to literature throughout the work of Deleuze—so the ‘critical and clinical project’ was an early theme. [see also Bogue on this]   Philosophy is the practice of concepts, but Deleuze has always been interested in other domains such as science and arts, and the different fields are linked in ‘relations of mutual resonance and exchange…  Though for reasons that are always internal to philosophy’ (xii).  Thus the cinema produces particular concepts, on time and movement, that are specific but which are philosophical nonetheless; the book on Bacon develops a logic of sensation. So these essays are philosophical essays on literature.

Although there are different essays, there are similar themes.  In fact there’s one big theme ‘the notion of Life’ (xiii) [and this whole introduction is about Deleuze as a vitalist].  Deleuze’s vitalism emerges in one of the last essays he published, on Dickens’ Our Mutual Friend, where a dying man is respected as long as he has a spark of life in him, which is somehow independent of the man and his bad character.  Deleuze also notes that there is some basic vitality in newborn babies, who are singularities before they become individuals [which appears in the chapter on judgement below].  Life is impersonal and organic, the will to power in Nietzsche, the elan vital in Bergson: writing itself is a form or passage of life [the first chapter below]

Life is also a matter of ethics, not morality which refers to constraining rules and judgments, but a set of ‘”facilitative”… rules that evaluate what we do say and think’ (xiv).  This conception bridges Spinoza and Nietzsche who advocate a form of facilitation not based on the idea of being a slave, including a slave to passion.  Thus beyond good and evil does not mean me go beyond good and bad, but simply abandon the transcendental categories, choosing ‘an overflowing and ascending form of existence, a mode of life that is able to transform itself…  Always opening up new possibilities of life’ (xv).  This way of living is also what Deleuze means by a style, something which invents a possibility of living.

The notion of health underpins this conception.  Not physical health, which had often the result of some unbearable perception, but a general vitality.  Proper writing does not just tell the story of individuals and the or subjective feelings, although this can be a source of inspiration: proper writing develops insights about life itself which is more than personal.  Deleuze is not interested in texts and how they work, so he does not follow Derrida and deconstruction [and this is another meaning to his ‘pragmatic’ assertion that we look at the use of texts in extra textual practice, especially at the link with vitality].

Deleuze begins to connect the critical and the clinical in his book on Masoch.  Masoch’s novels were were read symptomatologically [by Kraft-Ebbing?].  A typical medical reading [of the body] would involve ‘symptomatology, or the study of signs; etiology, or the search for causes; and therapy, or the development and application of the treatment’ (xvi).  However, symptomatology is the unusual one, more to do with arts and interpretation rather than science and causes.  We can see this in the way in which syndromes are named after the medical men who described them.  Syndromes are not invented but isolated, made of juxtaposed elements, an initial stage which permits more scientific investigation.  Deleuze argues that certain authors and artists also perform symptomatology.  Thus Sade and Masoch isolated their syndromes and set forth symptomatologies, such as the contract in masochism.  Freud used Sophocles in describing the Oedipus complex.  The best authors have always been diagnosticians or symptomatologists, describing syndromes that relate to civilisation itself.  They can usually go further than physicians because they are not bound by the constraints of science.  [All this is heavily referenced to Deleuze and Deleuze and Guattari].

So Deleuze is not doing psychoanalytic interpretation of literature, a technique which assumes that writers are patients, that literature is neurosis or a therapeutic route out of neurosis.  This will involve another oedipal reduction of literature for Deleuze, one which he says is partly driven by the needs of the literary market [referenced this time to Anti-Oedipus, although the bit about commercialism has a French reference]. 

Deleuze uses his own approach to Masoch to deny the medicalization of the syndrome, classically connected to a polar component in sadism.  This was produced by a rush to etiology, combined with inadequate symptomatology.  Deleuze returns to the original authors to discover more complexity, including a separation of sadism and masochism as ‘two incommensurable modes of existence whose symptomatologies are completely different’ (xviii).  In particular he shows that the clinical symptoms are interconnected with the literary styles and techniques of Sade and Masoch, both of whom are really commenting about the relation between reason and the real, resulting in quantitative repetition and qualitative suspense.  Both writers were also referring to political acts of resistance—the French revolution which required permanent libertarianism for Sade, and the place of minorities and women in the Austro Hungarian empire for Masoch (xix).

This book was supposed to be the first of a whole series showing the links between literature and psychiatry.  The aim was not to explain literature using psychiatry, but to ‘extract non preexistent clinical concepts from the works themselves’.  There could equally be, for example a syndrome called Kafkaism or Nietzscheism.  In the book on Nietzsche, Deleuze saw Nietzsche as a diagnostician (of nihilism) by ‘isolating its symptoms (ressentiment, the bad conscience, the ascetic ideal), by tracing its aetiology to a certain relation of active and reactive forces (the genealogical method), and by setting forth both a prognosis (nihilism defeated by itself), and a treatment (the revaluation of values)’ (xix).  The same goes for Spinoza who could be seen as diagnosing the passive state and offering a treatment for becoming active; or Proust who examines symptomatically the signs that ‘mobilize the involuntary and the unconscious’, while arguing that the world of art transforms the others.  Kafka can be seen as offering a diagnosis of the appalling powers of the future.  All the essays here treat specific writers like this, not as conventional authors, but as proper names standing for ‘a determinant multiplicity or assemblage’ [so cinematic auteurs would be the same?] (xx), just as in named medical syndromes.

Anti-Oedipus developed a different emphasis, this time a critique of psychoanalysis as a misunderstanding of symptoms, especially in the case of schizophrenia.  Smith points out that schizophrenia is nearly always defined negatively [that is not very well], and too rapidly reduced to the oedipal triangle.  The intention was to see it as a positive form of life, one that is always in flight.  [However, this produces a necessary philosophical evasive distinction, between actual schizophrenics and schizophrenia as a much grander form of political process—Smith says this ‘has led to numerous misunderstandings’, xxi].  Schizophrenia as a process is the process of nonorganic and impersonal life itself, while schizophrenics are unintended victims of that process [akin to the crack up or alcoholism].  Thus Deleuze and Guattari argue that certain authors know more about schizophrenia than psychiatrists (apparently in Thousand Plateaus).  Thus literature has a “schizophrenic vocation”’ (xxi).

Deleuze later saw literature as a machine [see Bogue] producing certain effects or signs [and Joyce is the one who describes some of these effects as epiphanies, apparently].  Again the point is not to interpret and ask what works mean , but to examine how they function.  This in turn requires certain ‘immanent criteria capable of determining legitimate uses’ [quoting Anti Oedipus -- so we can't just impose our own criteria and aims as St Pierre does], especially making sure they do not reintroduce hierarchy.  Smith says that this requirement assumes that we must be stripping away any prior signification, as in seeing the world as fragmented, not based on some unifying totality or subjectivity, but ending in ‘a chaotic and multiple impersonal reality’ (xxii).  Elements worked on by the machine must be seen as pure singularities without unity, united somehow by their very difference, so that ‘”Dissociation” here ceases to be a negative trait of the schizophrenic and becomes a positive and productive principle of both Life and Literature’ (xxiii).  What art does is to establish a new form of communication between these dissociated elements, an added totality acting as a new singularity specially fabricated [relates to the stuff about the speed of thought as in discovering Spinozan essences in the essay below?].  Proust does this, inventing a whole which effects the separate parts even though it leaves them disconnected and intact.  This is also what Deleuze means by empiricism [that is no prior relations are assumed?]. [Odd sort of empiricism though -- assumes we already know about the empirical? Certainly no way to investigate it systematically]

Another aspect is that ‘relations are always external to their terms, and the Whole is never a principle but rather an effect that is derived from these external relations, and that constantly varies with them’ (xxiii).  It is apparently necessary to operate such concept if we are to explain the production of the new.  This in turn explains why Deleuze insists that we must make the multiple, not just start with it as an assumption [apparently in Negotiations].  We do this by first obtaining pure singularities, and then establishing relations between them [through entirely speculative processes, or something like transcendental deduction?].  This is how Deleuze sees Life as non organic and impersonal—it creates singularities [including us?] and sets up a system of [contingent?] relations between them which is ever open to novelty [including emergence?]—Hence the vitality of life.  Apparently that, there is some support for this in some recent biology, although Deleuze wishes to avoid ‘arbitrary metaphor or a forced application’ (xxiv)—he simply thinks there are convergent areas where science and philosophy can both comment.

So the critical and clinical project develops into a question of determining genetic elements in the production of literary works, akin to a genetic code, so a real source of genesis.  If that covers critical, clinical now means not just diagnosis, but examining ‘the criteria according to which one assesses the potentialities of “life” in a given work’, detecting the power of life as a process (xxiv).  Five ‘effects’ follow as consequences from this version of the death of god, and these become five themes in forming understanding the work of specific writers—again not as interpretation but as conceptual creation.

Theme one: the destruction of the world.  Leibniz is the philosophical basis for modern literature, with his notion of the emission of singularities, with individual monads as actualizations.  He defines singularities in terms of things like being the first man, living in a garden of paradise and so on  (xxv).  Deleuze sees these as events or ‘indeterminate infinitives that are not yet actualized’.  Once actualized, individuals acquire predicates connected to these events— actually being a first man and so on.  The singularities constitute the entire world, but there is incompossibility between them [the example given, relating to the Eden myth is ‘to be without sin’—equally possible in an abstract sense, but incompossible with the other events actualized in the world of Eden].  In this way, a series of singularities diverge as well as converge.  For Leibniz, God ultimately chooses which events will be actualized, choosing the one ‘richest with reality’ (xxv).  Each actualized monad therefore expresses a single compossible world.

Literature finally developed to allude to the virtual and not confine itself to the actual.  The Borges story about the forking labyrinth, where a visitor can be a number of possible things, described in Logic of Sense and elsewhere is an example—god doesn’t choose any more, but all the possibilities coexist in the same chaotic universe.  Deleuze further addresses the narrative structure required to allude to the virtual in the section on the powers of the false (Cinema 2).  The example is the multiple possibilities [in Last Year in Marienbad, but also the broken narratives of Godard] possibilities are illustrated, but they can be connected in a number of ways that are incompatible yet perfectly possible, illustrating a whole possibility of ‘dissonance and unresolved chords’ [with a reference to Boulez].  Formal logical connections between actual predicates give way to the logic of singularities.  It is on the basis of this ontology that Deleuze and Guattari used the term rhizome—‘a multiplicity in which a singularity can be connected to any other in an infinite number of ways’ (xxvii).

There are also three types of syntheses connecting singularities—connective (if…  then), referring to single series; conjunctive (and…  and) which constructs convergent series; a disjunctive synthesis (either…  or), which is a positive synthetic principle ‘which affirms and distributes divergent series’.  Narration describing this domain must be false [which I still think largely means not natural or empirical, or by longing just to the actualised].  Deleuze goes on to show how various disjunctive syntheses have been developed by various writers—portmanteau words in Carroll for example, Roussel’s activities making divergent series depart from the homonym, Joyce and the conjunction of Ulysses and Bloom, or Finnegans Wake which depicts chaotic connections of divergent series.  This universe exists only in thought and can be depicted in art, but it can be used as a critique of the stability of the normal world.

Theme two: the dissolution of the subject.  The monad becomes a nomad [nice!, xxviii].  Individuals express divergent series impacting on them from the outside, with no centre.  Individuals become multiplicities [here again, it looks like this means multiplicities as actualised?].  However, singularities are not the same as actualizations [hence the mysterious saying about how wounds can pre-exist people who are wounded].  Individual subjectivity is to be transcended, through a schizophrenic process, shifting from one singularity to another, as Artaud does, or as Beckett’s characters do [with the aim of exhausting the possibilities—see essay below].  The self is overcome through emphasizing becoming, which in turn implies zones of in distinction or Indiscernibility between two multiplicities, connected by lines of flight—the self is only ‘a threshold, a door, a becoming between two multiplicities’ (xxx) [a frozen becoming].  Becomings can relate any multiplicities.  Moby Dick is one of the best examples, described in ATP—Ahab enters the zone of indiscernibility between himself and the whale, and the whale itself becomes pure whiteness.  This sense of external relation ‘is what Deleuze calls a pure affect or percept, which is irreducible to the affections or perceptions of a subject’ (xxx)—Ahab and the whale experience a patchwork of affects and prospects.  These effects exist beyond autonomous subjects

Deleuze illustrates pure affect in cinema one, with a scene from the film Pandora’s Box—the characters interact between themselves and with objects like knives and mirrors, but the film also illustrates pure qualities, ‘ideal singularities and virtual conjunctions’ (xxxi), some direct illustration of qualities of sensation which are actualised in particular ways.  This is what Peirce called firstness—‘the category of the Possible…  qualities in themselves as positive possibilities, without reference to anything else, independently of their actualization’(xxxi).  Secondness is a category of the real where qualities have become forces related to each other, actualised in specific circumstances and individuals.

An affect is a complex identity, a virtual conjunction of a set of qualities, expressed in art [not actualised he insists].  Of particular importance is the close up [cinema one], where qualities are revealed free from actual persons: in close up, the face becomes an autonomous entity, disorganised into parts, revealing intensive forces, even in human ones [which explains all the blathering about faciality?].  Dreyer’s Joan of Arc aims to get at the power of forces behind the characters.  In literature, novelists invent affects and reveal them as the becoming of the characters.  It is not a matter of aiming at pure affects, but rather showing their effects in becoming—the passion that connects Catherine and Heathcliff, the metamorphosis of Gregor [and various other literary examples].

Percepts are also something that exceeds perceptions—a potential exceeding empirical limits [the essay on  Bartleby, apparently].  Again, becoming is involved, exceeding the limits of the subject—the percept in Moby Dick is the ocean that connects Ahab and the whale, exceeding the limited human perceptions of Ahab.  It is the desert for Lawrence [see below], grasped after becoming Arab.  [And an example from Virginia Woolf].  Percepts are haecceities for Deleuze, ‘in which the mould of individuation of “a life” does not differ in nature from that of “the climate,” “a wind,” “a fog,” or “an hour of the day”’ (xxxiv).  Affects and percepts can join in assemblages [which is the origin of the story about the dog and the road?].  This is how we ‘”become with the world”’ (xxxiv, citing What is Philosophy).

Early cinema attempted to show nonhuman perceptions, including the construction of any space whatsoever.  In painting, close detail can go beyond the normal human gaze, as Cezanne apparently claimed, while Klee insisted painting was to make forces visible,[ and musicians make similar claims].  Only art can do this, because human perceptions are too limited.  Style is needed to express percept in perceptions and affects in affections.

Affect and percepts are the elements of life itself, connected together on an imminent plane of consistency, in the virtual.  Individual subjects are constructed on planes of organization, with forms organs and functions in chronological time.  Naturally, both planes pass into each other, since becoming is continual and universal—[and the virtual needs to be expressed in something actual, I think the argument is here, xxxvi].  [Goethe and Kleist are compared, the latter admired a more for expressing impersonal forces, blocks of becoming as petrifications. Proust is particularly admired].

We must pass through the death of the subject in order to acquire true individuality.  This is what lies behind Deleuze’s discussion of the role of the proper name, and how you find your real name only after depersonalization and experimentation on one’s self [with a reference to TP].

Theme three: the disintegration of the body.  Just as the subject is dissolved, so is the organic body, seen as a product of the body without organs.  The simplest model is the ego which is an intensive field, literally without organs, but the BWO is also life itself ‘a powerful non organic an intensive vitality that traverses the organism’ and it follows that ‘the organism, with its forms and functions, is not life but rather that which imprisons life’ (xxxviii) [a bit of bodily loathing here?].  The BWO also describes some of the experience of schizophrenics, who see their organs as intensities with infinite possible connections [with some examples from literature, including DH Lawrence].  The danger is reducing intensity to zero, where the BWO becomes a model of death, as in the catatonic schizophrenic—hence the notion of transitions in schizophrenia.

Delirium is a form, or matrix, which permits intensities and becomings to enter the socio political field.  The socio political elements of delirium is one of the problems that Freudian analysis overlooks.  Smith in particular emphasises the racial content of delirium [through the racist anxieties reported by particular schizophrenics including Artaud].  Delirium is an artistic force as well—Artaud’s theatre of cruelty emerges from his schizophrenic confrontations with other races and religions [another examples are given in Nietzsche, for example—his identification of himself with the other figures results from ‘identifying thresholds of intensity that are traversed on the body without organs [but]  with proper names’ (xxxix).  In this way, every literary work can be analysed as constituting a kind of delirium, imaginary journey as involving struggles with races and various becomings.  American literature can be roughly sketched as a search for an American code reacting to Europe, the slave system in the south, capitalism in the north, and a shifting and displaced frontier in the west [in ATP apparently, maybe Plateau 1].  While Anglo American literature has pushed lines of flight further, they have still ended up being blocked or damaged.  More generally, art can be situated between a schizophrenic pole, involving lines of flight and becomings (even becoming beasts or Negroes), and a paranoiac pole, where intensity turns into fascism, moralising, and racism.

Theme four: the “minorization” of politics.  [Bogue is very good on this] Writers do not typically write on behalf of existing people—instead, we find that ‘“the people are missing”’ (xli, possibly a quote from Klee?).  This prevents premature actualizations, avoiding the sad fate of American and Russian revolutions, aimed at a society built from a melting pot, and from universal proletarianization respectively, and thwarting the fate of those literatures that celebrated those initial hopes.  In cinema, Hitler showed how pedagogy could sink into fascism addressing automata.

We should do something instead, ‘inventing a people who are missing’ (xlii).  Whitman apparently had identified the problem of non communication between social fragments, but the problem arises in colonial societies, where the population is been made into a linguistic minority.  The notion of ‘minor’ is crammed with allusions to music, literary and linguistic forms as well as political ones.  It’s not just quantitative, but refers to being measured against some ideal standard [gets close to the idea of hegemonic masculinity].  The trick is to exempt yourself from the standards, especially in the form of axioms of capitalism.  This opens a new dimension to the usual idea of objective minorities struggling to become majorities and share equal rights—since standards are ideal, no one measures up, so everyone is a minority, and even majorities are dominated by the standard.

[In order to avoid premature actualisation?] A minority is always a becoming, promising new connections and assemblages that do not run through capitalist states.  The ideal nomadic formation organised on a line of flight is the war machine, and the idea is for minorities to destabilise the majority and its standards.  This gives a role for literature and cinema in building on the experience of being minoritized, depicting ‘the intolerable, that is a lived actuality that at the same time testifies to the impossibility of living in such conditions’ (xliii).  There is a parallel artistic difficulty, since representing the interests of minorities is to risk falling into categories of the colonisers [as backward primitive people and so on].  The myths of the colonised are also restricting.  The artist cannot simply invent new stories for this risks a new colonisation.

There is one possibility, as displayed in Perrault or Rouche—taking real characters and showing them creating legends or telling stories.  This produces ‘a pure speech act…  Neither an impersonal method or a personal fiction, but a collective utterance’, produced by both the writer and the people as a form of becoming—the writer/filmmaker steps towards the people, and they step towards becoming authors.  This is Pasolini’s free indirect discourse, an autonomous form, an act of mutual subjectivation ‘as if the author can express himself only by becoming another through a real character, and the character in turn could act and speak only if his gestures and words were being reported by a third party’ (xliv). One up on Bourdieu’s ‘understanding’ ,which involves only the first step, although the second step is implied in his view that anthropologists often recruited cultural intermediaries who are willing to speak for the culture they come from?].  This is a way of calling into being a community through literary enunciation.  Deleuze says that both Kafka and Melville often do this, since [marginal] writers are better placed to express these potentials.  Whole discourses can emerge from linking this sort of speech act.

This is what Bergson meant by fabulation, a visionary faculty initially exercised in religion, but also developed in art and literature, Deleuze thought.  It’s a kind of myth making involving real parties, relating real people to produce collective utterances.  Minority writers avoid majority discourses, minoritized myths, the mass media and so on to develop a creative storytelling as ‘an act of resistance…  that creates a line of flight on which a minority discourse and the people can be constituted’ (xlv).  This is never entirely possible, but artists can at least invoke the emergence of a minority people: it is true that ‘an oppressed people could not concern itself with art’ (xlv), but they already fabulate.

Theme five: the “stuttering” of language.  We have already implied that it is possible to create a foreign language within a majority language, and this is done through stuttering, not just of characters but of language [see essay below].  In this sense, a minor language can be a different treatment of a language.  Actual minorities and immigrants often have to be bilingual, which raises the question of how  particular languages assume dominance—and encounter political struggle.  Gobard [admired by Deleuze] thinks languages can be vernacular, vehicular ‘(languages of commerce and diplomacy, which are primarily urban)’ (xlvi) , referential [referring to the past] and mythic, and diverse languages can represent these different functions—Latin was a vehicular language in Europe then a referential and a mythic one; current American English is vehicular, but this means it can also bring with it colonising cultural and ethnic and vernacular functions as well.

However there is another tendency where minoritarian language subverts majority forms and creates new vernaculars such as black English [Deleuze admires Labov].  Such subversion is ambiguous and can be reactionary, but they can also emerge as a local form of resistance, a genuine becoming-minor.  A whole micro politics of language ensues, a constant struggle over territorialization and resistance.

Minor literature often involves bilingual speakers such as Kafka or Beckett, and the positive powers this can release [raising more possibilities than dominant languages].  However, such writers also encounter impossibilities, but these too can be creative [OuLiPo!], since they can produce lines of flight.  Thus Kafka chose to write in a particular German language found in Prague deliberately as an act of deterritorialization—he ‘invented a minor use of the major language’ (xlviii) [so lots of possibilities for minoritarian feminism?].  So ‘minor’ really refers to revolutionary conditions, different treatments or uses of language, deliberately exploiting variation [and Labov is mentioned here, xlix]—the opposite is to codify and make language consistent.  Deleuze wants to see these possibilities as actualized variants of the virtual systems, with formal studies of language as in structuralism as one option for one variant.  This explains the remark about school teachers who teach grammar as also dealing with order words, requiring submission to social laws (TP), and it links with a general critique of trying to define [scientific as well as linguistic?] constants and laws as political.

Minor uses of language involve restoring variation, going for the agrammatical and asemantic.  Lots of the essays below show how writers do this, from Roussel to Jarry, and through Artaud’s breath language [other examples as well, (l)].  This is paralleled in music where a minor mode ‘is derived from dynamic combinations in perpetual disequilibrium’ (l—li).  This is what style does, it modulates language and introduces variations, until language meets its own limits: this points to something outside language, such as affects and percepts.  Style causes language to flow, as a process, a form of schizophrenia.  Reading similarly is never just interpretation to find what is signified, but an act of experimentation, to extract the forces from a text [referring to Anti- Oedipus].


So the main themes in the project are: ‘(1) the function of the proper name; (2) the nonpersonal “multiplicity” or “assemblage” designated by the name; (3) the active “lines of flight” of which these multiplicities are constituted’ (li).  The first two components constitute the symptomatological method, a form of literary diagnostics.  The proper name refers to the constellation of signs and symptoms.  The style of the writer is seen as creating a collection of symptoms and signs [the syndrome] so that we might refer to Kafkaism just as we do to masochism.  However, beneath these constructions lies Life as a non organic and impersonal power.  This process abstracts and produces [stuttering—agrammatical etc elements which are better described as] 'singularities and events, affects and percepts, intensities and becomings’ (lii).  It produces continuous variation and invention, by forming relations and syntheses between elements.

Deleuze sees writing as pursuing the same project, revealing life.  We begin as actualized subjects, in the actualized world with its particular political order and language.  But we trace lines of flight back to the multiplicities of lived experience so we can recombine different elements on a plane of composition.  We establish ‘nonpreexistent relations between these variables in order to make them function together in a singular and nonhomogeneous whole’ (lii), releasing new possibilities of life, new modes of existence and sensations, new possibilities in language, new forms of people.  The apparent destruction of convention is a necessary prelude to the positive activity of creation.

This is what forms Deleuze’s ethics.  Health means the capacity to construct lines of flight, affirm the power of life, and create.  Ill health means becoming exhausted by being uncreative.  This argument comes at its clearest in the essay on judgement, below.  Deleuze thinks we should not judge works of arts in terms of transcendent criteria, but evaluate them clinically in terms of their ability to affirm vitality.  Vitality can be blocked by ressentiment, overorganization, the clichés of standard languages, the dominance of majority standards and the judgement of God.  We can still decide what is good and bad, however, by using the criteria of the becoming of life.  This becoming always operates in the middle, without a privileged origin or a goal.

Literature and arts are about life, its impersonal power and autonomy, never ends in themselves. They trace becomings, active flights, a journey into the realms of the asubjective etc [referenced to TP].  This is what unites the critical and the clinical, for Smith, ‘when life ceases to be personal and the work ceases to be merely literary or textual: a life of pure immanence’ (liii, referenced to Dialogues).

The essays [only  very brief notes, of course -- impossible to summarise. You really need to read them for yourselves]

1.On writing as becoming, setting out to discover others ( incl women and animals) by playing with language and exceeding it. Likes the usual people esp DH Lawrence. Aim of writing to get to the singularity not generalities [so better than soc sci?]. Risky though. Ends by saying v few people are writers in this sense [classic slippage to the definitional, with smuggled elitism]

2. On schizos and creativity. Bit more on Woolfson and Roussel who were interesting in Logic of Sense for their weird experiments in lang – choosing words, breaking them into phonemes, finding words in other languages with the same phonemes in order to escape from the mother lang. Or using sentences in one account to launch into another one. Little bit on Artaud and the breathless lang as well. Notes say that Foucault first wrote about Wolfson Roussel and Brisset -- so this is a commentary on him?

3.On Lewis Carroll and Alice as a creature of the surface not depths etc (Logic of Sense again). Nonsense and Carroll’s techniques (better in LofS I think), mathematical, reversed logic and mirrored worlds. Praise for Sylvie and Bruno too (must try and read it) esp the gardener’s song and whether lang comes before or after events.

4 Beckett’s Film, apparently the product of something called Irish cinema. More explicitly about the politics of identity compared with the piece in Cinema 2. People feel threatened in controlling their identity if they are viewed at angles greater than 45 degrees behind them. The camera shows this ill ease and reactions to it – flatten oneself against a wall, panic on spiral staircases, cover up or evict mirrors etc.

5. Kantian notions of time. Still haven’t read enough Kant to really get this, but Kantian time is systematic measured chronological time which replaces earlier conceptions of time as circular or as tied to natural cycles and event. Helps to standardise space too since things coexisting at the same time coexist in space, and thus of movement. Hints of the Bergsonian position that deep time ( duration) constitutes this chronological time and straight-line movements ( at least in the sense that duration energises them or that when we think of subjective time it becomes apparent that it determines what we do?)

6. Chapter 6  Nietzsche and St. Paul, Lawrence and John of Patmos. Commentary on DH Lawrence on the apocalypse, weaving in Nietzsche.  Interesting view that the loving, forgiving Christ is an aristocratic conception centred on the individual soul. John of Patmos offers the old popular ressentiment-based visions of revenge of the poor, interwoven with pagan imagery and symbols, so collective. Says Judas speaks for this constituency who felt betrayed by Christ’s abandonment of bloody revolution. Some definitional stuff on symbols too. St Paul (in editing the Bible) was aristo too, but left in the blood-curdling stuff right at the end as a compromise. Little bit on women as companions and/or whores (of Babylon). This one originally as Intro to DHLawrence's Apocalypse, and authored by Gilles and Fanny.

[more detail]

DH Lawrence joined in the debate about whether it was the same John who wrote both the gospel and the Apocalypse.  His argument takes the form of a typology, suggesting that the two Johns were two types of man, 'two regions of the soul, two completely different ensembles' (36).  The gospel is aristocratic, whereas the Apocalypse is uncultivated and savage.  John of Patmos does not write as an evangelist, but develops 'a mask' that is superimposed on the mask of Christ.  Whereas the gospel deals with human and spiritual love, the Apocalypse talks of power and judgement.  The implication for Deleuze is that different ways of living and surviving are implied.

There's a relation to Nietzsche and the Anti Christ.  Nietzsche points to a definite opposition between Christ and St. Paul, the bearer of glad tidings opposing the domination of priests and their judgement versus the invention of a new type of priest 'even more terrible than its predecessors', one that installs the herd instinct and the doctrine of judgement.  Lawrence is picking up the arrow first fired by Nietzsche, and selecting John of Patmos as his main target, opposing the individuality of Christ to the concern for the collective: Christ largely ignored the collective in an aristocratic sort of way, even though Caesar had to be acknowledged, and this was bad politics, particularly poor at galvanizing and leading the disciples, which Judas in particular saw as a betrayal.    In this sense, Christianity itself comes to oppose Christ, imposing some beautiful collective soul, symbolized by the lamb. The Apocalypse takes the side of the poor and weak, but those who were well organized collectively, out for revenge, symbolized by a lion.  Modern thinkers actually combine the two, thinking of Christianity as symbolized by 'the carnivorous lamb', who bites and then appeals on the grounds that it is for everybody's good: they no longer need the priesthood, because they have 'conquered many other means of expression, many other popular forces' (39).

The popular collective soul wants power, wants to destroy power, initially that of the Roman Empire, but also wishes to achieve cosmopolitan power, something self sufficient, answering only to god [something like hegemony?].  The system of judgement become central to this particular will to destroy  to infiltrate and to have the last word, symbolized in the Trinity.  Power exists only in the form of constant vengeance, the revenge and self glorification of the weak, and this is common both to Lawrence and Nietzsche.  A new type of priest is required, someone universal, the Christian priest not the Jewish one.  Christianity has also to be revised, so that it supports the collective soul, constructs a collective ego: we see this monstrous ego connected to Christ in the Apocalypse, which is all about power, in this violent sense.  Christ is resurrected, but in a new guise, as a 'cog in the system of judgement' (40).  Christian philosophy becomes a matter of working out the system of judgement.  Unlike the Jews, destiny was not to be postponed, but this time deliberately programmed, spaced out through a sequence to be developed while we wait through all the stuff about the seven seals and the seven trumpets, 'a kind of Folies Bergere with a celestial city and an infernal lake of sulfur' (41).  We're providing the tremendous detail of the program, an organized wait, with a definite preprogramed end, the satisfyingly vengeful end of the world.  These predictions emerge from Christianity, not the Old Testament with different visions of the apocalypse, and the prophet is filled with ressentiment, not just longing.  Christians no longer wait just for the return of Christ, but a destiny that takes place within life, a global death before the reappearance of Christ. The interval between is filled with visions of various kinds, apocalyptic ones, and with detailed programming, 'an entire theater of phantasms', a classic expression of vengeance.  It is not just standard prophecy, based around the eternity of Christ. 

There are Jewish sources, however, including the system of reward and punishment, the need for long suffering of the enemy, allegory to express morality.  There's also 'a diverted pagan source'.  Lawrence says are two kinds of composite books, one where the book includes several other books by different authors, another where several strata are straddled and mixed, rearranged in a hierarchy - 'a probe book'[I think this is Deleuze].  In particular, pagan bits fill up gaps in the Christian stratum, especially the bit that where the pagan myth of the divine birth is used to gloss over the problems with Christ's birth.  Such emergence of paganism is rare, and tends to appear only where particular visions are required rather than words [says Lawrence], since the Christian and Jewish god is classically invisible.  Once the Word takes over, such visions are not required.  John of Patmos, however, was not fully aware of Jesus and the evangelists, so he had to rely on pagan metaphors and symbols.

There is a strange admiration of this book by Lawrence, just like Nietzsche also found horrible and disgusting things to be fascinating.  Lawrence probably sympathizes to some extent with John of Patmos, because he displays some of the virtues of the weak, some of their excessiveness and hardness, a certain openness to suppressed elements which we do not find with the aristocrats, including St. Paul.  St. Paul wanted to bury the pagan stratum and seriously modify the Jewish one, and had the cultural resources to do so.  John of Patmos is more a man of the people, like one of the English miners that Lawrence knew and admired.  'Miners know all about strata'[geddit?] (44) and are more in touch with their paid in backgrounds.  They also appreciate the machinery the industrial organization of the Apocalypse.  St. Paul, by contrast 'is the ultimate manager'.  Thus, for Lawrence, the differences between the gospel and the Apocalypse are well grounded [blimey nearly social class!].

Lawrence of course has his doubts, his 'distrust and horror', because he sees a new paganism in John of Patmos, aimed at the Romans, and invoking cosmic destruction.  In fact, cosmic destruction is a politically convenient diversion to attack the Roman Empire, and paganism is the only resource to do so.  Lawrence has a particular definition of the cosmos here, as 'the locus of great vital symbols and living connections'.  The cosmic harmony of god and the individual soul is the characteristic of Christian cosmology.  The pagan world is still alive, but has to be definitively replaced: the Apocalypse is its swan song.  Pagan conceptions often featured cycles, but John of Patmos sees it all as ending once and for all.  Destruction does not follow some injustice, as with the Greeks, but is itself just.  Even the  Romans can be praised for starting the destruction, but the point is to destroy the unspecified enemies who oppose god's order.  Everyone is to be marked, every humans success is to be seen as a sign of impending destruction.  There are similarities with the science fiction, 'military industrial' future we are promised currently, a worldwide state.  The apocalypse is not a concentration camp, but the new [and violent] state.  The apocalypse glorifies itself, and claims some great judiciary and moral power.  The new city is entirely artificial.  Many of the predictions could be seen to be at hand.

Lawrence writes some 'beautiful pages' [!] (46) in his analysis of pagan symbolism made reactive, to spot a parallel with Nietzsche.  Thus, hell becomes part of a cycle, an elementary injustice in paganism, but the idea that it is separate is a Christian notion.  Second, the horses in the apocalypse are actually men - horses, so that white stands for blood, while red is blood mixed with bile, so the horses communicate, unlike the dumb ones of Christianity.  Third, there is a discussion of colors, so that the oldest dragon splits into two, a red one appearing to men, and a green one 'in the midst of the stars', and finally turns white, the white of the logos [more fanciful stuff, 47].  Fourthly, women are transformed from the great cosmic mother, to the inverted form of the whore of Babylon, presenting the only choice for women [Lawrence himself thought that modern women were expected to cope in modern life, but that this was even worse].  Fifth, the pagan world was dualist, hence the frequent appearance of twins, who master passages, alternations and disjunctions, and they have to be murdered in the Apocalypse to permit a single measure.  Sixth, symbols become metaphors and allegories, losing their cosmic dimensions and connecting with  mundane power.  Lawrence sees this as the result of a process of expanding sensible consciousness, 'becoming conscious' instead of inhabiting a fixed moral universe.  It is driven by intensive affect, leading to a threshold in consciousness, the intellectual consciousness of allegory.  Allegories involve a rotating group of images, not only linear chains, images which point to the mysterious connection between them, operating in the middle, acting as a milieu.  Symbols are different, acting to propel us towards the decision, but allegory constantly postpones, requires judgement not decision.  Its appeal increases as we develop books and readings, points and lines beginnings and ends.  Allegory particularly privileges the [cool. appraising?] eye, while symbols involve all the senses.  There are some ambiguities in the Apocalypse, like those involving the need to successively break seals: this symbolizes flow and the flow of thoughts rather than intellectual linear pursuit [we are nearly at the distinction between serialists and holists here!].

We've traced some of the pagan strands, but there is another one, turning on the person of Christ, his aristocratic notion of love as opposed to power and popular collective dimensions.  Once collectivized,  love becomes 'an enterprise of revenge' (50), and Christianity becomes warlike.  Links between the gospel and the Apocalypse can be reconsidered.  They compensate each other.  Lawrence thinks that Christ's love was already too horrible to bear, and became converted into  'an  ardor to give without taking anything', almost to suicidal levels.  Lawrence went on to write about a Christ who returned and experienced nausea at the knowing power of those who reciprocate and match those who want to give by supplying some endless demand for giving.  In this sense, Christ and John of Patmos are reciprocal says Lawrence, while St. Paul closes the link by offering a kind of collective arrangement to put martyrs together with devotees.  All this is essential in the formation of the system of judgement, self glorification and martyrdom, a cult of death and judgement.

Lawrence ends his commentary with a manifesto, like Nietzsche's law against Christianity [Anti Christ], urging us to stop this selfish giving with its connected judgement, stop giving everything and preserve a part of your self.  Subjects always have an ego, even if it is a dirty secret [I think this means that even the martyrs had egos] .  For Lawrence, individuality lies in relations with the world, and the point is to live as a flow, exploring the sexual and the symbolic, avoiding egoistic annihilation as in Christ or Buddha.  The soul wants to 'live, struggle and combat' encountering disjunctions, preserving them against tendencies to annihilate them, combat but not war.  The collective problem involves pursuing a 'a maximum of connections'(52) [an academic's heaven] .  Normally, disjunctions are converted into binary choices and oppositions, normally, flows become a 'bloodless' abstraction, judgement comes to dominate.  It is not just that we need to return to nature.  It is more that we must resist the temptation to turn physical relations into logical relations, symbols into images, flows into segments, collective souls into egos.  Lawrence saw those as 'false connections' like the money relation.  We cannot return to nature, but need a political solution.  Natural sexuality is fine [!], if it means following the 'individual and social physics of relations', without subjecting it to 'asexual logic'.

7. On Masoch. A note says this essay, written after the book, contains its main themes. Masoch is not actually much of a theorist of masochism but his novels get there. They are all about suspense, pain used to delay pleasure or heighten awareness of it and a contract at the heart of it. This involves transference of power not just straight submission – the maso trains the domme who then trains the maso. Transference too if animals areinvolved, with hints of becoming-animal as a pleasure. This notion of delay informs the use of language in the novels – repetition and ‘stammering’ [see also the bit in Thousand Plateaus, ch. 6].

8 On Whitman. I dozed off with this one. Ostensibly about the effects of the American landscape ( v conventional) and the melting pot on American literature. I think minority languages are defined as the language of minorities here, the nations included in the USA, but not in the one on Masoch where it is all about escape and becoming -minoritarian.

9. On children and what they say. Not typical children but Little Hans and Little Richard as in Klein. Crits of Freud and Klein for uncritl interpretation where what is needed is a recognition of the importance of maps. Hans was mapping out possible journeys, including becomings. It was a map of intensities or affects. Why is this not also an interpretation though, especially given the second hand nature of the data? V poor basis for support of progressive education!

10. On Melville. Quite long. Begins with Bartleby and the ungrammatical/enigmatic nature of ‘I would prefer not to’ which makes it problematic. Bartleby as a character without references or qualities (link with Musil deliberate), tactical refusal without offence induces sympathetic and confusing responses. Gets on to other themes in Melville. Becoming whale, the whale as the wall, Ahab’s betrayal of the laws of the fishery – he chooses his victim and excessive choice a threat (Claggart also chooses to victimise in Billy Budd). The way Melville tells us the background of his characters – home lives of Radburn or details about the whale – as basic information ,then introduces his main themes – monomaniacs/excessive choosers/newly-promoted attorneys in Bartleby (like Schreber says D) vs innocents/angelic with prophets and seers as third type. Final theme – America as patchwork, rejecting father figure of UK ( incl the patchwork nature of the white jacket) in favour of brotherhood. Ends with failures of US and USSR as a matter of reoedipalisation.  Led to US psychosis instead of European neurosis. Likes Pierre a lot -- the ambigty is Pierre  becoming-woman. Confidence man as American type seeking brotherhood but also advantage.

11. On Jarry. Pataphysics is that which exceeds and constitutes metaphysics and it gets close to Deleuze’s own position. Interesting series of transcendental deductions to get there. Husserlian phenomenon is that which appears to consciousness ( an example of the limit to ordinary consciousness of phenomenology). But behind all the different appearances and perceptions, there is the phenomenon itself as it is, as part of Being. OK then –what lies behind Being. Of what is Being an epiphenomenon (actually put the other way round – Being has another epiphen, pointing the other way, so to speak). Answer will lead us to the chaosmos. Lots of additional stuff on Jarry and Heidegger. I found Jarry on the Passion considered as an uphill bicycle race online.

12. Nietszche and the Ariadne myth. See Ariadne as following two sorts of heroes – Theseus and Dionysius (whose metaphor was the bull in the labyrinth). Theseus is the wrong kind of overman, burdened with duty and responsibility, focused on the single mission of slaying the bull, disinterested in Ariadne except as a means, driven by ressentiment. Dionysus is the real superman, playful and interested in relationships(!). Various reinterpretations of the labyrinth and the thread ensue. NB Foucault's book on Woolfson etc refers to a labyrinth too.

In more detail...

This is the poem in question, part of the Dionysus Dithyrambs, some of which were included in later editions of Zarathustra found here, and reproduced solely for scholarly purposes, spo we can see hopw Deleuze reads the poem:

Ariadne's Lament

Who will warm me, who loves me still?   
Give warm hands!  
Give the heart's brazier!
Prone, shuddering
Like one half dead, whose feet are warmed;
Shaken, alas! by unknown fevers,
Trembling at pointed arrows of glacial frost,
Hunted by you, Thought!
Nameless! Cloaked! Horrid!   
You hunter behind clouds!
Struck down by your lightning,
Your scornful eye, glaring at me out of the dark! 
Thus I lie,
Writhing, twisted, tormented
By all the eternal afflictions,  
By you, cruelest hunter,
You unknown—god ...

Strike deeper!
Strike one more time!
Stab, break this heart!
Why all this affliction
With blunt-toothed arrows?
How can you gaze evermore,
Unweary of human agony,
With the spiteful lightning eyes of gods?
You do not wish to kill,
Only to torment, torment?
Why torment—me,
You spiteful unknown god?

You creep closer
Around midnight? ...
What do you want?
You push me, press upon me,
Ah, already much too close!
You hear me breathing,
You eavesdrop on my heart,
Most jealous one! — 
What are you jealous of anyway?
Away! Away!
What's the ladder for?
Do you want inside,
Would you get into my heart,
And enter
My most secret thoughts?
Shameless one! Unknown! Thief!
What do you wish to steal for yourself?
What do you wish to hear for yourself?
What will you gain by torture,
You torturer!
Or am I, like a dog,
To wallow before you?
Devoted, eager due to my
Love for you—fawning over you?
In vain!
It stabs again!
Cruelest sting!
I am not your dog, only your prey,
Cruelest hunter!
Your proudest prisoner,
You robber behind clouds ...
Speak finally!
You, cloaked by lightning! Unknown! Speak!
What do you want, highwayman, from—me?...

A ransom?
What do you want for ransom?
Demand much—so advises my pride!
And talk little—my pride advises as well!

Me?—you want me?
Me—all of me? ...

And tormenting me, fool that you are,
You wrack my pride?
Give me love—who warms me still?   
Who loves me still?
Give warm hands,
Give the heart's brazier,
Give me, the loneliest one,
Ice, alas! whom ice sevenfold
Has taught to yearn for enemies,
Even for my enemies
Give, yes, surrender to me,
Cruelest enemy —
Yourself! ...

He has fled,
My only companion,
My splendid enemy,
My unknown,
My executioner-god! ...

Come back!
With all your afflictions!
All my tears gush forth
To you they stream
And the last flames of my heart
Glow for you.
Oh, come back,
My unknown god! my pain!
My ultimate happiness! ....

A lightening [sic] bolt. Dionysus becomes visible in emerald beauty.


Be clever, Ariadne! ...
You have little ears; you have my ears:
Put a clever word in them! —
Must one not first hate oneself, in order to love oneself? ...
I am your labyrinth ...

Deleuze begins with the last verse, and notes that Nietzsche refers to Ariadne elsewhere (eg Ecce Homo). As argued in the main book on Nietzsche, we have to render these comments about mythological persons as comments about forces, seeing questions like 'who [knows Ariadne]?' as a reference to forces and wills [excellent way to manage away the problem of anthropomorphism, even though the French term 'qui' is explicitly used in the translations].  Theseus can then be referred to a section in Zarathustra referring to the 'sublime man' who is skillful at solving riddles, but who possesses a certain asceticism of the spirit.  He provides qualities of the higher man like seriousness and heaviness, a taste for bearing burdens, an inability to love and play, and interest in revenge.  This discussion is a critique of humanism, with the higher man as realizing all the powers of men, to overcome alienation from self, to affirm man itself.  But this is not a real affirmation, only a travesty, overburdened with responsibility, affirmation as dealing with everything that is heavy, a kinship with the ass and the camel, not even the bull, even though that is subdued by Theseus.  Nietzsche takes the side of the bull!  The higher man subdues all sorts of forces of which he knows nothing, rather than learning from them.  Heroism must be discarded.

The will to power is both affirmative and negative ['two tonalities' (100)], and has two qualities: action and reaction.  The higher man gets as far as he can by combining negation with reaction, nihilism with bad conscience and ressentiment, and then bears the result, in an illusion of an affirmation.  He also claims knowledge that will permit him to explore 'the labyrinth or the forest of knowledge'(101), but morality is more than knowledge, although again it appears in a reduced form, as the ascetic and religious ideal.  These help to subdue the bull, deny life itself, reduce it to reaction.  As the higher man comes to his full powers, he does not need god, and can burden himself, 'all in the name of heroic values' [whether Nietzsche himself avoids male heroics is much more in doubt, for my money -- Zarathustra is one of these male heroes]. The other allegorical men represent other properties of the higher man, [the Kings, the magician, the shadow and so on], and these form a procession or series [mysteriously, the French word théorie appears here as a synonym].  They represent different tonalities of the negativity, but all the powers of the false, forgers, even the man of truth who pursues the truth from the dubious motives of condemning life.  [And there's a link to the essay on Melville and the forgers].  Each man can expose the forgery and the other, but not forgery itself, not the falseness which lies at the heart of conventional notions of truth.

All the time Ariadne loves Theseus, she is his accomplice in the denial of life, and represents the reactive forces, their soul, the power of ressentiment.  We see this in the complaining tone of the song.  Apparently, in Zarathustra, the sentiments appear in the words of the magician.  Ariadne is that [dreaded figure] the resentful woman always judging her brother, and Nietzsche warns us constantly to beware of women like that, who hold the thread, but as a spider does.  Ariadne indeed fulfills the prophecy of Nietzsche [!] that it will end in death because she hangs herself after being abandoned by Theseus.  This episode should be understood as a further stage of nihilism, where the alliance is broken between the will to nothingness and the forces of reaction.  At the crucial moment, 'midnight', nihilism produces its opposite [still dialectical for me], reactive forces become active, and affirmation succeeds negation, as nihilism defeats itself.  [This is analyzed in more detail in the book].  The myth of Ariadne expresses it.  Ariadne is abandoned but is then approached by Dionysus, the bull, pure affirmation, carrying nothing, laughing, playing and dancing, exceeding man, becoming the overman.  Ariadne had to dally with Theseus, but then be abandoned by him, so she could be approached by Dionysus, and she becomes lighter herself.  She recognizes that her earlier activity was 'an enterprise of revenge, mistrust, and surveillance' (102).  She sees that she has fallen for the myth that bearing burdens is an indication of strength.

Theseus was 'not a true Greek', but a German before the event!  Dionysus is the true Greek, and she gets transmuted after his approach, providing the energy for affirmation. Dionysus adds the last couplet to the song, making it a proper dithyramb.  We see now that the whole nature of the song has changed, according to who has been singing it, and this is 'in keeping with Nietzsche's general method' [his perspectivalism].  Dionysus needs Ariadne as an affirmation of his affirmation, as a fiancée.  This double affirmation appears elsewhere in Nietzsche as the affirmation of Being at the first level, but the affirmation of this affirmation at the second level, so that it can become-active.  All the symbols of the Ariadne change meaning as a result.  She no longer expresses ressentiment, but becomes active [Deleuze says this is the meaning of the bit that says "Who are you?…  Me – you want me?  Me – all of me?"].  The labyrinth also changes, and is no longer a matter of knowledge and morality, with a single path through it, but has become Dionysus himself.  We also have [overkill] with the idea that the labyrinth is the ear, the small ear shared by Ariadne and Dionysus.  Dionysus teases Ariadne by reminding her that she once had long ears, like the ass, the beast of burden.  Now she has 'the round ear, propitious to the eternal return' (103).

The labyrinth itself is no longer architectural, but musical, something light and weightless.  This is also a way of rebuking Wagner.  There might an apollonian dimension, [Apollo is likened to Theseus], but music is traversed by all kinds of forces, activities, ethics and territories, and can take innumerable forms.  Music has to free itself from burdens, and express 'a powerful song of the earth...  The great ritornello' (104) [inevitably, a hint of return again -- 'the Ritornello, the eternal return in person' [see Thousand PLateaus, of course,especially ch. 11].  This is also seen in the form of the lied, which sets off from earth and nature.  All the higher men can pursue routes, like the different ones to Zarathustra's cave.

What makes Dionysus's labyrinth more true?  Art and music also expresses the power of the false.  All sorts of lower animals 'return' as they repeat their actions.  [Then an interesting bit about how the last part of Zarathustra has each aspect of the higher man performing his own particular circus trick, in the spirit of Roussel on the Incomparables— in Impressions of Africa, a bizarre and rewarding novel in my view].  Each of the mimes follows a fixed form, and contain truth of its own kind, despite an overall falsity.  It is like the difference between a forged copy of a painting and the original, which reproduces forms accurately enough, but cannot recapture the creation of those forms.  The higher men similarly can never represent the will to power itself, and in them, there's often a will to deceive or to dominate.  Only Dionysus is the creative artist, only he carries creative powers [the artistic powers of the false] to their limit, in an expression not of the forms but of transformations, 'the creation of possibilities of life: transmutation' (105).  Here, the will to power represents pure energy, noble energy which can transform itself, compared to those more mundane forms of energy that reproduce existing forms.

Ariadne passes from Theseus to Dionysus as a matter of preserving her health.  Dionysus needs Ariadne to support or affirm his affirmation, which then becomes doubled.  The union of Dionysus and Ariadne produces the eternal return.  Dionysus himself cannot produce the eternal return 'because he's afraid that it brings back reactive forces' [well, Zarathustra certainly fears this] .  Ariadne helps him see that there is something new, that the eternal return is also selective, occurring after a transmutation, reappearing as 'the being of becoming', returning only the affirmative [another sense of double affirmation].  The reactive forces and the wills required to deny life are not returned.  Ariadne has forgotten Theseus and he will never come back.  This explains the reference to the circular ear, the wedding ring, the labyrinth, all of which are affirmative and active.  We do not just traverse labyrinths, because our path returns.  The labyrinth is not just knowledge or morality, but life and 'Being as living being' (106).  Ariadne and Dionysus themselves produce the overman, the overhero, the living being, 'the son of Ariadne and the Bull', and also, 'the only child conceived through the ear'.

13. Stuttering. Not just characters that stutter but language too. Here the idea is to take a normal majority language and make it serve some special minority purpose. As well as the Woolfson, Roussel and Brisset stuff, there are other examples – TE Lawrence disrupts English to make it allude to Arab music and speech patterns [would love to see some examples -- didn't notice this myself] , Beckett disrupts it too. Other techniques include using knowledge of foreign langs to disrupt. A French poet literally uses words and phrases to stutter and repeat. This presumably justifies philosophical neologisms and fragmented lang.

14. On TE Lawrence (mostly Seven Pillars). Admiration of Lawrence’s style and the way he accessed new percepts and affects by projecting his image of the desert and the Bedouin on to life actually lived with them. I think it is an admiration for the documentary style too, together with shame – at betraying Arabs and the British, causing casualties, having to live with the animals (he hated camels, apparently, despite his occasional admiration). Own take on the body –‘molecular sludge’ attached to the mind but also a basic substrate – humans could never sink below the animal. Helped ameliorate his guilt at getting an erection during torture etc [some critics say the whole episode is fictional, of course]. And stuttering again – apparently noticed by Hardy[?], immobile language, never flows etc. [NB I wonder what Deleuze would make of the politicians’s phoney occasional stammer – gaining pause for thought but also alluding to uc upbringing – a recuperation?].

15.On judgment [important as a further discussion of the BWO] . The abstract notion of judgment [as a matter of making value judgements] has always been associated with some sort of tribunal, either a social one, or some 'fantastic subjective tribunal' as in Kant (126).  Or, of course the divine one.  A number of critics have addressed this structure, from Spinoza to Nietzsche, DH Lawrence, Kafka and Artaud.  All had suffered personally from arbitrary judgments as 'accusation, deliberation, and verdict converge'.  [It is easy to see this with Kafka, with his constant cycle of apparent acquittal only to meet further charges, and we know that Artaud suffered 10 years in a punitive psychiatric asylum.  Apparently, Lawrence was constantly accused of being immoral and pornographic, especially with his paintings.  Nietzsche was also generally socially condemned and forced to wander].

Nietzsche put his finger on the nature of judgment, which involves being in debt to the deity, that this debt becomes infinite and can never be repaid.  Human judgments are justified against this form of divine infinite debt.  Lawrence argues that Christian power turned into the power to judge, to exercise final authority.  Artaud saw a contrast between the judgement of God and the infinite.  All four saw judgment as inevitably bound up with organisations, including 'the psychology of the priest' (127), and saw infinite postponement as the secret of its power.  Whoever can weigh up current existence and infinite consequences is given the authority to judge: there is underneath 'a prior moral and theological form', involving God as standing for the infinite.

How could this structure be challenged?  Is there something before judgment, or something that grounds opposition to it, some kind of anti Christ, or collapse?  In empirical social relations, there are finite forms of [obligation] and redress, and Nietzsche argued that this relation between creditor and debtor was primary to all social life .  Promising to repay a debt becomes a bond between the parties, an affect.  This is more radical than Mauss or Levi Strauss:  Nietzsche wanted to suggest that there is something other, some notion of justice opposing judgment which underpins empirical forms of obligation like laws. Social relations are always mobile, always having to be reenacted, sometimes with blood, and these appear as signs on the body, such as 'incisions and pigments' (128).  This produces 'an entire system of cruelty'.  Judgement is far more abstract and autonomous, recorded in some book, which is why debts are infinite and eternal.  This looks more moderate than the old forms, but it is in fact a matter of 'endless servitude and annuls any liberatory process'. The system of cruelty is developed especially well in Artaud, stressing 'the writing of blood and life that is supposed to the writing of the book' but is also found in Kafka.  Cruelty refers to 'finite relations of the existing body with the forces that affect it', rather than notions of the immortal soul in infinite debt.  This is why 'The system of cruelty is everywhere opposed to the doctrine of judgment'.

The system of judgment emerged [as a process of abstraction from material forces], from immediate and passive gods, to a more abstract activity of judging, where the gods allocate lots to human beings, making them fit for some form or end.  The problem is to work out what one has been allotted, and how this relates to aspirations.  This is the basic form relating actual life to higher values—we value our own lots, and these confirm or dismiss particular claims, in a form of judging and being judged.  Mistakes about what we have been allotted leads to false judgement, 'delirium and madness' (129), and recognition of the eventual superiority of the judgement of God.  The structure arises from the need to identify false judgments.  In Christianity, the system of allotment is abandoned, we are responsible for our own lots, while the judgement of God becomes infinite [nasty].  Oedipus might be taken as an example of this new understanding. Our obligation to a single omniscient God becomes total [reminds me of the terrifying uncertainty in Calvinism, where no one can ever know if they have been elected].  The Christian God no longer supplies a 'system of affects' to guide us in our attempts to gain knowledge from experience. Instead, we have something like a dreamworld for the production of lots and forms, no longer immediately related to or tested by experience.  This means that 'the question of judgement is first of all knowing whether one is dreaming or not' [is it really God's will that I do this?]. We start to get a notion of the physical and organic form of our bodies as a limit or prison, something produced by an inaccessible dreamworld lying outside us.

[This is why dreams are actually very conformist and disciplining, as we will see].  We can instead prefer 'states of intoxication' as an 'antidote to both the dream and the judgement' (130).  All four authors see dreams as too immobile and 'too governed'.  We see this in the punitive trend in people who were interested in dreams, like psychoanalysts or surrealists, they are 'quick to form tribunals that judge and punish in reality'.  [We get a hint of the reason that Artaud split with the surrealists here, arguing that dreams in fact reflect some creative thought, and it is that to which we should be paying attention].  Both Artaud and Lawrence have been interested in intoxication—Mexican peyote rites for A.  They describe the state induced by intoxication as a form of dreamless sleep, one that leads to insight and clarity in the form of 'Lightning'.  This dreamless sleep,'in which one does not fall asleep, is Insomnia'.  There are insomniac dreams, which are not daydreams nor conventional sleeping dreams, and they arise not while sleeping but 'alongside insomnia'[referenced with a bit from Kafka which looks like an account of some sort of out of body experience, or astral travel].  It is with this dreamless sleep that we achieve 'the state of Dionysian intoxication...  escaping judgment'.  [Weird stuff, discussed by various other critics who suggest it is a testament to the creative powers of intoxication, or drug induced hallucination.  Apparently, there is a word 'somniation' a particular state of consciousness, hinted at in the notion of somnambulism.  I also wonder if this is not what Deleuze and Guattari referred to as délire, a kind of intoxication with words.  There is also note 13, (200) which refers to Blanchot, arguing that insomnia is more appropriate to the night than sleep, and Char has also produced a work which refers to a state of 'sleep in which one is not asleep and that produces a lightning flash'].

Cruelty also opposes theological doctrines of judgment 'at the level of the body'.  Judgment requires organised bodies [which slips to a system of organs], and these permit God to organise us forever.  There is a 'relationship between judgment and the sense organs' [presumably, this is what has been argued before, that we detect affects?].  Physical bodies can escape judgments because they are not just composed of organisms.  It is God who has transformed this original 'vital and living body'into an organism, and 'woman has turned us into an organism' (131).  Hence Artaud's notion of the body without organs, the original that God has stolen and organized.  This BWO is 'an effective, intensive, anarchist body that consists solely of poles, zones, thresholds, and gradients.  It is traversed by a powerful, non organic vitality'.  Lawrence alludes to such a body [in his Fantasia of the Unconscious], as something vitalistic, experiencing inorganic affects, exemplified by mixtures of bliss and exasperation on hearing some music.  Vitalistic bodies are constantly compared to ugly and unattractive actual bodies in characters such as 'the fat retired toreador or the skinny, oily Mexican general'. This BWO relates to 'imperceptible forces and powers', 'just as the moon takes hold of a woman's body'[this could be indirect free discourse, channeling Lawrence?].

Artaud writes about 'the anarchist Heliogabalus', who describes the contradiction between [primeval] forces and [concrete] powers as 'so many becomings: becoming-mineral, becoming—vegetable, becoming—animal'.  If you want to escape judgment, you need to find or make your self into a BWO.  This was Nietzsche's project 'to define the body in its becoming, in its intensity, as the power to affect or be affected, that is, as Will to Power'.  Kafka also describes the collision between two worlds or two bodies, the body of judgment and the body of justice, which he sees as 'nothing but intensities that make up uncertain zones'.

The system of cruelty also stresses combat which replaces judgment [I am sure I have read this before, possibly in Difference and Repetition].  Combat can sometimes oppose judgment and authorities specifically, but there is also combat between our own parts, between liberating and subjugating forces.  The whole of Kafka could be read as being about this combat and the need to anticipate attacks of various kinds.  Some come from outside, 'The combat against the Other' (132), but there is also 'the combat between Oneself', a becoming, an alliance of enriching forces to produce a new ensemble. For Artaud, the combat is against God, but it involves harnessing powers latent in nature, in stones, animals, or women, in processes of becoming as forms of alliance.  Lawrence describes mundane combats between men and women, but also sees them as 'two flows that must struggle' (133), to form alliances of various kinds, including chastity 'which is itself a force, a flow'.  Nietzsche is also influenced by the same source as Lawrence - Heraclitus.  All of them have no time for oriental notions of noncombat: renouncing combat results in 'a "nothingness of the will," a deification of the dream, a cult of death'

Combat is not war, however, which is only a particular form of combat-against, often harnessing some judgement of God.  War reduces and simplifies creative powers, it is 'the lowest degree of the will to power'.  Combat instead is 'a powerful, non organic vitality that supplements force with force, and enriches whatever it takes hold of'.  It is the vitality of a baby, which offers us 'nothing but an affective, athletic, impersonal, vital relationship'.  Babies demonstrate the will to power more accurately than warriors.  Babies miniaturize and then focus these forces.  All four authors also develop miniaturization or'"minorization"': Nietzsche with the game, Lawrence with one of these characters called 'the little Pan', Artaud with the momo, Kafka with a man who makes himself very small.

Actual powers are idiosyncratic combinations of forces, two-way relations between dominant and dominated forces.  Lawrence has called these combinations symbols, 'an intensive compound that vibrates and expands, that has no meaning, but makes a swirl about until we harness the maximum of possible forces in every direction' (134), each force receiving new meaning as it relates to the others.  Decisions result from these whirlwinds of forces that lead us into combat.  It resolves combat positively, 'it is the lightning flash appropriate to the night of the symbol'.  All the writers use symbols, sometimes as aphorisms or parables.  All these uncover a maximum of reactive forces.  In Artaud, there is a connection between the plague and the theatre; the horse appears as a contradictory and vitalistic symbol, in Lawrence, Kafka and Artaud, and there are symbolic animals in Nietzsche [explained carefully for us by Deleuze].  Combat is the way we have done with God and his judgments.  There are no ultimate judgments in combat.

In summary, our writers oppose existence and judgment: 'cruelty vs. infinite torture, sleep or intoxication vs. the dream, vitality vs. organisation, the will to power vs. the will to dominate, combat vs. war'(134).  We are sometimes reluctant to abandon the structure of judgment, thinking that this will leave us unable to offer any forms of distinction between beings or modes of existence, 'as if everything were now of equal value'.  But judgement presupposes fixed criteria at some higher level which makes it unable to 'apprehend what is new in an existing being'.  This notion of the creation of something new is central to combat, insomnia, and cruelty.  Judgment is conservative, closed to the creative forces that are harnessed and combined.  We need to bring things into existence and not to judge.  We need to separate out what has value, and include things that seem to defy judgment [the example is stifling creativity in art by premature expert judgement].  We need to apply [what looks like a version of Spinoza's ethic of joy]: 'sensing whether [other existing beings] agree or disagree with us', whether they expand our collection of forces, or enforce 'the rigours of organization', or the reduced forms of dreams or war (135).  [It is Spinoza]: 'as Spinoza had said, it is a problem of love and hate and not judgement'.  This is not mere subjectivism, because we are referring to external forces, and this 'already surpasses all subjectivity'.

[I found some of these commentaries quite interesting and helpful:

Alliez, E Dream of Insomnia [Insomniac Dream Workshop – FAR – 17.02.12]

Kerslake, C (2007) Deleuze and the Unconscious A and C Black

16.On Plato. Familiar stuff by now. Origins of the Idea in the need to judge claimants in Athens etc. Only new emphasis – participation itself some sort of guarantee of possessing Essence.

17 Spinoza’s Ethics. [see D's book]  D’s main point is to note three kinds of argument within the apparent smooth structure of the book (all laid out in statements, demonstrations, explanations and ‘scholia’). 3 sorts of argument really for D. My interest more in the specifics, read as a kind of learning theory. In Spinoza, affections are produced by collisions of bodies [interaction] registered as sensations. Come to see other bodies as emitting ‘signs’ of how they will produce affections – signs register other qualities such as distance. Affects are different, specifically vectorial, leading us to joy or sadness. Also have signs. Note that Spinoza and/or Deleuze admit it is not easy to choose action on the basis of joy rather than sadness,since there might be mixed effects, different short-term and long-term effects etc. The same problems affected Utillitarianism and the 'felicific calculus' [which I think resembles the Spinozan scheme rather embarrassingly], and that is before we even get on to issues such as the higher and lower pleasures/joys, what to do if one person's joy is another's sadness and so on.

The notions or concepts are something more to do with intellect – degrees of commonality or generalizations, limited at first to dyadic interaction then getting more and more general. Not sure if intervention of the intellect means not so ‘automatic’ as earlier kinds. Then there are the most generalized statements – essences or percepts. These seem to be grasped by the third kind of argument, a flash of insight, a joining together of separated things.  D (or maybe S himself) has this irritating habit of referring to this sort of increased scope not in spatial but in temporal terms – infinite speeds as opposed to the slower speeds of deduction etc. These essences appear in the scholia. They are definitely to do with intellect not just experience.

18. Commentary on Beckett (who I do not know). Long and detailed. Seems to be about how Beckett exhausts language in order to avoid the conventional associations with words and ordinary speech. An example of pushing to the limit. The only one I could relate to is a play where 4 characters occupy four corners of a square and combine in various ways – duets, trios and quartets --almost until all the possibilities are exhausted. Could be the same idea in the commentary on Film in Cinema 2, where not all the possibilities are exhausted by Beckett so Deleuze(s) complete the set with a diagram. This is quite a late essay, so maybe it shows Deleuze’s exhaustion too?

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