NOTES ON: Boundas, C. and Olkowski, D. (eds) (1994) Gilles Deleuze and the Theater of Philosophy.  London: Routledge.

[Excellent critical discussions here, but probably requiring a fair bit of knowledge already of the earlier works]

Editors introduction.

Deleuze's works can be seen as theatre, involving the constant creation of conceptual characters.  Philosophy 'traces a prephilosophical plane of immanence (reason), invents pro philosophical characters (imagination), and creates philosophical concepts (understanding)' (2).  Ideas are incarnated and actualized through dramatization, and '" There is drama beneath every Logos"'[the reference to a French article].  Drama offers a picture of the world made up of pure determinations with larvae as actors, as in the theatre of cruelty.  Actual philosophers are conceptual characters, indeed, 'the envelope of his main character'.  On the stage, Deleuze retraces abandoned philosophies.

The point of this collection is not to find hidden signifieds, but to see how the texts work, to 'trace the diagram of the series that make up his work, instead of "representing" it' (2).  Deleuze on stuttering begins the series.  Six chosen themes are pursued, even though Deleuze does not offer thematic organization, and indeed criticizes it [a summary of the subsequent chapters then ensues].

Deleuze, G.  He Stuttered (23--9)

The best novelists stuff to themselves, instead of letting the characters stutter or whisper, a 'performative' possibility, which introduces words that are themselves affected by stuttering, a stuttering in the system of language itself.  This introduces a 'an affective and intensive language' (23).  Good writers allude to this effect by having their characters stutter in particular milieu [examples include Kafka and Melville].

It is language itself that stutters, not just speech as a local variation of an homogenous system.  It is possible to make language reveal its bifurcations and variations, its modulations in speech [with an example of a French linguistic, who apparently takes each term to indicate a moment in an underlying dynamic].  Other writers have introduced poetry into language [an example is Keynes, who used the notion of 'boom' to describe economic growth and thus was able to introduce desire!  (25)].  Another way is to consider transitions from one language to another, although the best writers do not just mix two languages, but 'invent a minor use for the major language'[and the parallel is to a minor keys in music, which apparently express 'dynamic combinations in a state of perpetual disequilibrium' (25)].  Writers like Beckett or Kafka deliberately introduced disequilibrium into language, relying on their minority status.  They make language produce new meanings.  Apparently TE Lawrence was accused of not writing in English—'he made English stumble in order to draw out of it abilities and additions of Arabia'(25).

Language works by choosing disjunction or selection of similar is, and then either connections or 'sequels of combinables' (26).  In a normal state of equilibrium disjunctions are exclusive and connections progressive, but it is possible to introduce disequilibrium by inclusive disjunctions and reflexive connections [the example are connections between words like fat cat, fatalist and catalyst, and combinations like gate, rogate, abrogate].  This reverses the directions of conventional language.

Beckett offers examples of inclusive disjunction, affirming disjointed terms without choosing between them.  Examples include the way in which the characters walk in a peculiar way, as a form of expression.  It is perfectly possible to conceive of the reverse, where people speak as they walk or stumble: both would 'transcend speech towards language, and the organism transcends itself towards a body without organs' (26).  An example of a Becket poem ensues, where language apparently grows from the middle, like grass or a rhizome.  [Further examples include Péguy].  Roussel makes sentences stutter by perpetually inserting propositions into the middle of them, in a series of parentheses, which have the effect of seeming to extend language but which actually overwhelms it.

What these experiments show is that the language system can be seen as one state of a variable, a position on a line which 'bifurcates and prolongs itself in other lines' (27).  A new kind of syntax emerges, not just the formal one, but one 'in the process of becoming, a veritable creation of a syntax that gives birth to a foreign language within language and the grammar of disequilibrium' (27).  This syntax tends towards a limit outside of conventional syntax or grammar [and one example is Bartleby whose phrase 'I would prefer not to' 'has absorbed all previous variations, achieving a final limit', like the 'brute state in Artaud's gasp words'(28).  Lines of variation are inevitably connected to these limits, but as the outside of language, not external to it as such.  The words 'paint and sing, but only at the limit of the path that they trace through their divisions and combinations' (28).  Eventually, it is possible to strain the language system so that it can only end in silence.  This is what style does, as 'a foreign language system inside language'(28): the whole idea is to cause language to stutter and to bring it to its limit [no doubt as a way of breaking the conventional image of thought].

May, T.  Difference and Unity in Gilles Deleuze (33 - 50).

Deleuze claims to be interested primarily in difference, although the philosophers he uses have argued for monism, and he supports the univocity of being.  One way of understanding this is to say that the theme of difference is not developed coherently  [consistently].  Nevertheless he has explored difference in various experimental ways. He cannot be assessed as if he were a conventional philosopher—'Instead, he is offering us a way of looking at things' (34), offering an ethics as he says himself.  This issue arises at its clearest when discussing Spinoza. 

The point is to create concepts rather than manage different perspectives, to explore the implications of questions.  It is not about exploring truth or knowledge, but rather pursuing 'categories like interesting, the remarkable or the important' (35).  This is not because there is no truth, but rather that philosophy ought to be about creating concepts instead.  In his collaboration with Guattari [What is Philosophy] he says a concept must be defined by its intersections with other concepts, a practice intersecting with other practices; it should be defined by the unity among its constituent parts, its consistence, its ability to articulate heterogeneous elements; it is a singularity, an intensive trait, a productive force that creates effects.  The concept is not a representation, but the point in a field or on a plane.  It should be judged not by its truth but by its effects on the plane and outside it.  Concepts are also referential, and create the objects they explain that the same time.

In this sense, philosophy is a constructivism, creating concepts and tracing planes.  The plane itself is an 'open whole'showing their relatedness of concepts.  The planes traced by philosophy are planes of immanence—no determinants above or below,  no notion of the transcendent.  One example is drawn from Spinoza who posits a common plane of immanence on which minds and bodies and individuals are situated, with concepts providing its geometry, not explaining it in any transcendental sense.  In this way philosophy becomes a practice with effects.  It is possible to argue that some effects indicate the truth, but there is no independent truth, such as an argument that there is a reality.  Agreement turns on agreement about the results of concepts.  It is not possible to say that a concept is better than another one, although there are certain 'immanent criteria'(37).

But this is where ambiguity awaits.  May thinks that Deleuze is not arguing for the rejection of all independent values outside of planes of immanence, but rather for rejecting a particular form of 'moral realism', referring to some independent moral reality.  Total rejection leaves us only with 'aestheticism that allows for the possibility of a barbaric set of philosophical commitments'that could not be criticised because they lie on a plane of immanence.  It's possible to argue instead that barbarism has its own plane of immanence, which would save the position, but at the price of philosophical 'modesty'(37).

The notion of a philosophy of life in Deleuze also shows some ambiguities.  He admires Spinoza for embracing life fully and denying any transcendental evaluation of it, although there are political and empirical evaluations.  Yet the philosophy of life affirms a particular philosophy, which implies it must be transcendent to the plane in question, even if not to all possible planes.  This is a normative position, and evaluation.  It is implied in the whole idea of seeing philosophy as creative and affirmative practice.  Otherwise, the values which Deleuze attacks would be equally important.  There is then a value position. Philosophy is primarily 'a normative endeavour'.

This is what contexts the discussion of difference, which combines ethical and metaphysical claims.  In parts, difference is akin to affirmation, but this gets 'perilously close to a naturalist fallacy' (38).  Or is it just that he says that all forms of affirmation must involve difference (which threatens relativism again)?  Instead of either of these views, Deleuze might just be saying that affirming difference helps shape or perspective to see things in a new way, that his claims are not metaphysical, but to do with a new perspective, and his ethical claims are what follows from adopting this perspective.  This leads us to think about how the notion of difference actually produces effects [and it is this that underlines the so-called pragmatic view about pulling books down if you don't like them].  Asserting difference is to attack unifying forces in philosophy, and to replace them instead with different series, which Deleuze also calls singularities.  We see this in the Logic of Sense when discussing how sense arises by composing heterogeneous series of words and things, each of which can be seen as 'composed of prepersonal, preindividual singularities' (39).  The singularities arise in the unconscious and they unify themselves through nomadic distributions, rather than fixed distributions, in the activities of consciousness.  In this analysis, difference is fundamental, and unity depends on the play of difference.

This eliminates an overemphasis on synthesis and unity.  Deleuze agrees that philosophy and other discourses can still deterritorialize, but the problem arises with concepts that argue that unifying principles are necessary.  However, there is still no underlying structuralism [No sociological reasons for any consistency or unifying principle -- instead, a philosophical argument by authority: the Stoics saw a difference between destiny and necessity, with destiny still having bits of contingency.]  Here we see difference as playing or disruptive role, insisting on irreducible series, contingency, denying any unifying principles or essences.  Difference resists transcendence as its 'essential role' (40).

It is about dispelling philosophical illusions of unifying principles, criticizing the history of philosophy.  There are no depths/heights, only surfaces [May sees this also is a criticism of Derrida on différance as the principle].  Surfaces are not be seen as derivative which would simplify them.  However, how can any plane develop?  What makes the proliferation of a series come to be seen as a plane?  Does not the concept of surface already reduce difference?  Deleuze on Spinoza explorers this further.

Deleuze agrees with Spinoza that they can be no transcendence, no outside.  The key concept here is expression as a relation between the various levels of substance attributes and modes.  Essences do not emanate, but rather express themselves, necessarily, in existence.  Expression involves 'explication, involvement and complication'(42).  Explication refers to an evolutionary development,  conceived as logical not chronological—the essence of God is infinite and only some of these attributes get explicated, and attributes involve substance 'in a fashion similar to the way the conclusion of the syllogism involves its premises' (42).  Complication refers to the synthesis of different attributes, in multiplicities.  In this sense, being is univocal, but it produces different outcomes through expression, rather than tightly determining anything and producing similarities. In this way, the complexity of surfaces cannot be avoided by philosophy, even though they are still seen as surfaces.  Differences are important, but they do not just 'float ethereally as pure singularities' (43), even though Deleuze sometimes implies this [if they did, they would not be in a relation of difference just separation?].

However, to get to this position, of Deleuze had to create 'a surface composed of different but related concepts: concepts such as difference, expression, surface, and univocity' (43).  A plane of immanence exists to relate these concepts, but only as 'the unity without which these concepts would not be the concepts they are'[which explains the desperate special pleading and torturous reasoning to make it all fit together].  This shows the 'dual necessity' of unity and difference in Deleuze. This helps us understand the notion of the rhizome.  Trees are transcendental projects, but rhizomes are not reducible either to some primary root or to stems.  They show a 'play of the unity of its stems and their difference' (44), a surface that unites unity and difference, an example of the univocity of being.  It arises as a genetic product.

So Deleuze is not really simply a thinker of difference, but should rather be seen as a holist.  His rejection of a single unitary principle in transcendentalism must extend to rejecting the primacy of difference 'at the same moment that he rejects the primacy of unity' (44).  Radical difference 'renders all discourse impossible'.  Deleuze recognizes this, but also wanted to minimize it to privilege difference, which produces 'a tension that he is never entirely able to move beyond'.

This tension between unity and difference can be seen in his critique of representation and in the notion of singularities.  In the first case, representation reveals a tendency for the privacy of identity to get 'sedimented', suppressing differences—'identity comes to dominate difference' (45), and philosophy becomes a matter of defending claims to truth [there is even a hint of the critique of identarian thinking which suppresses all the differences and complexities].  Deleuze is then led to attack the idea of representation [in Diff and Rep apparently, and no doubt which justifies his non representational style], and in Logic of Sense, where there is no simple relation between words and the world, but rather something emerging at the boundary between propositions and things, something incorporeal, beyond categories, an event of sense, which does not belong either to the thing or to the proposition or to the person.  Sense is also founded on nonsense—'not an absence of sense but rather a play of different series of singularities' (45).  Here, a unity becomes 'a second order phenomenon composed of differences' (46), and this must arise for coherent thought—'if meaning were merely the product of difference there would be no meaning, only noises unrelated to each other' (46), and we are close to Saussure after all, with his notion of a logical system of difference.  Here, Deleuze is exaggerating the role of difference, even embracing 'a binary opposition between the primacy of identity and that of difference' (46).  We have in effect a nontranscendental unity occurring on the plane of immanence, not of course a strict correspondence between words and states of affairs.

Other terms that Deleuze uses, such as singularities, haecceities or even constituents also reveal a tension.  They emphasize a primary difference.  They are best seen as 'place holders for what lies beneath all qualities, which compose but do not themselves have qualities…  The positive difference  that subtends all unities' (46).  They  'subsist.... beneath all phenomena of experience'.  They explained things' but they are not themselves explained, since they represent a prime difference that cannot be explained.  Again this causes problems.  In some ways it is a simple inversion of the usual primacy of identity.  It shifts attention from the surfaces, so important in the criticism of transcendentalism, by suggesting a source beneath the surfaces, and this denies the all important atention to surfaces in the pragmatism and empiricism of the project].

And some ways, when discussing Spinoza and Bergson, Deleuze realizes that difference cannot be privileged.  Privileging difference either leads to incoherence or to a new transcendentalism.  The best work is done in connection with the work on the surfaces and rhizomes, not singularities or haecceities.  It is impossible to innovate difference which avoids unity: 'difference…  must be thought alongside unity, or not at all.' (47)

Badiou, A.  Gilles Deleuze, The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque (51 - 69).

 Leibniz had to refer to god and his judgment to explain why particular worlds emerged, but Deleuze takes a different view.  To discuss it, we need to think of Deleuze's notions: the fold as a representation of the multiple, qualitative and irreducible; the fold as an anti dialectic concept of the event; the fold as an anti Cartesian and anti Lacanian concept of the subject and interiority.  [Very fine French writing here].

For Badiou, these definitions are contestable—for example the multiple is a set of elements not subsets.  There is a problem with thinking what it is that is folded, some pure existence without qualities which somehow contains the being of the fold.  This is an implicit challenge to set theory ontology in that it suggests that the basic unit of matter is the fold not the point, and which rejects set theory's analysis [of being as the emergence from the void set].  To challenge the dialectic, no oppositions must be admitted.  There is a trio of points, however—the point fold, the mathematical point, both a convention and a site or locus of vectors; the metaphysical point, which has a point of view, a mind or a subject, arising 'at the conjunction of the point folds' (53).  How do these three interconnected points represent the multiple 'in itself', and what alternative conceptions of the multiple might be considered?

Deleuzian philosophy involves narration, the point of view or subjective and enunciation describing the unwinding of the multiple.  This is indistinct, though, about the relation between the one and the multiple.  It is descriptive and enunciated or stated.  It is a matter of concepts being only more or less clear, intertwined with the obscure.  This is hostile to the notion of the clear, as in Plato or Descartes, and it refuses the demands that the elements of the multiple be properly exposed to thought.  Deleuze does not insist on obscurity instead, but uses nuance—'the anti dialectic operator par excellence' (54), to apparently dissolve oppositions, especially the one between the clear and the obscure.  The intention is to provide an notion of the multiple that is ultimately [colonialist]: 'Its aim is…  to inseparate itself from all thoughts, to multiply within the multiple all possible thought of the multiple'.  This is implied by the notion of the world as intricate and folded, where everything that is different or divergent is contained, all of it activated by folding. It explains the support for the baroque.

There are only two ways of conceiving the multiple—mathematics and organic system.  To oppose the notion of the set reanimates organicism, which Deleuze openly defends and admirers in Leibniz.  The underlying issue is one of singularity and its relation to the concept—Deleuze opts for Leibniz rather than Plato, Descartes or Hegel.  Deleuze's chapter on the event introduces, the category of singularity, or transmission of singularities.  Again, this is to be universal to explain all events, but this risks taking everything that exists as brute facts, and to be describing a generality.  The paradox appears in Deleuze where an event is a singular continuity in a fold.  Events generate concepts, a singular and remarkable version of truth—so events are 'both omnipresent and creative, structural and extraordinary'(56).  It also follows that events can only be understood as immanent inflections of something continuous, with nothing before or from the outside; the world must preexist, there must be some 'shadowy' part of the event, and it must be some organic background [appearing in the discussion on mannerism, which I have not yet tangled with]. 

Attaching a concept to the event requires both 'a commitment and a subtraction', to the world [as it is?], and the infinite respectively [Badiou wants to explain the infinite differently as well].  The chapter on sufficient reason begins by arguing that everything has a concept, and this is what really motivates Deleuze's own philosophizing.  The way he deals with it, in fact blurs the old distinction between nominalism and universalism, which is good, but he operates through nuance again.  [The argument, which is hard to follow, seems to be that concepts do not just specify types as in universalism, but actually produce singularities in the form of events, restoring a notion of individuality which is important for nominalism.  Apparently it's got something to do with the way in which nomads operate, which Badiou says confuses statements about whether something is an element of something else, and whether it belongs to, as a kind of predicate, a category of knowledge—this is a 'fertile equivocity'(58).  I've tried to make a similar point about the term 'expression' which is both human and nonhuman].  Badiou argues that there is an incoherence here expressed in the claim that everything has a concept—if the multiple really does contain all the other multiples there can be no one individual event to have a particular concept [except as a subjective judgment?].  If on the other hand there are particular concepts, it must be that the multiple possesses properties of its own, which gets close to the notion of essence. 

Leibniz has apparently systematically confused the notion of having properties for describing being, which Deleuze has noted in one of his critics [none other than Tarde].  These terms can only work as metaphors, but Deleuze takes advantage of the ambiguity.  At least Leibniz had some ultimate unity at the top of it all—God.  Deleuze tries to deal with the problem by distinguishing the operations of knowledge from the operations of truth, general concepts from concepts as events.  It then all depends on the point of view—from the point of view of moments there are concepts but not events, from the point of view of the event there are local truths, which may relate to general concepts.  Deleuze tries to incorporate this by distinguishing actualization of monads from realization of bodies [roughly that the one deals with truth of the other deals with 'encyclopaedic' concepts].  However, Deleuze then wants to say that the two levels are folded after all [which somehow refers back to the underlying problem that discontinuities are best seen as 'a high level ruse of continuity' (59)]. Traditionally, Leibniz is criticized because of his focus on monads rather than relations.  Deleuze denies it, but only by defining a relation as '"the unity of the non-relation with a matter structured by the couple: the whole and its parts"'(59), which Badiou finds 'stupefying'[he argues that we need to think about the multiple and the void]

There is a contradiction [in Leibniz] between the idea that everything possesses a concept which binds everything to everything else, and the notion of indiscernibility 'which claims there is no real being identical to another' (59).  However, for Deleuze, this is not a contradiction but a higher kind of continuity—indiscernibility is a cut not a gap in continuity, and thus everything does have the concept, everything is included in continuity after all—through the notion of cuts and folds.  Deleuze cites Mallarmé as an advocate of the fold, books are folds of thoughts and of events.  Mallarmé , with Nietzsche, is also responsible for the argument about throws of the dice and chance, which underpins everything.  The aim here is to show that our actual world, in the middle of all the possible foldings, is the result of a gamble—[a throw of the dice causes the incompossibles 'to arrange themselves' not the will of god]. 

Badiou accuses Deleuze of an arbitrary choice of thinkers to support his notion of the event as a kind of rupture.  Deleuze has to think of the event as a creation of novelty, but it is unthinkable without the background of the continuous, a persisting flux which produces the extensions and singularities.  [Then a strange bit where Deleuze wants to reconcile language, the attribution of concepts to the same creative schema—maybe, 60].

This relates to the notion of the interiority.  The real impact of the concept of the fold is to relate the outside to the inside, connect the world with thinking, the macroscopic/molar with the microscopic/molecular.  Deleuze wants to define the subject not in terms of a reflecting ego, nor intentionality, and nor is it a mathematical point.  The interior is absolute, but also connected to the world.  Leibniz calls this relation the 'vinculum', and it explains how monads can form relationships with exterior monads without compromising their interiority.  Deleuze explores the possibilities of linking classical conceptions with empiricist conceptions of the subject, without giving way either to reflection or 'mechanical passivity'(61).  He has to argue that each individual monad has one inseparable body, but individual vinculums belong to an infinite mass of monads, a kind of organic single body, which is comprised of individual bodies [maybe].  In this way, there is a primitive link between the interior and the infinite world.  What this does is:

(A) break the connection between knowledge and specific objects—knowing is a matter of 'unfolding an interior complexity'(62), and specific perceptions must be only hallucinations;

(B) define the subject as an unfolding series, directly multiple.  This series has limits, but this should not be confused with the subject itself, which is unlimited [and there is an obscure criticism of humanism, where the rights of man is seen as some limit to subjectivity].  This serial subject 'provides multiple supports for the relation of several serial limits' (62). 

(C) show that subjects and their points of view offer 'a function of truth'.  This might be relativist, except that the truth does not vary according to points of view, rather that the truth is variation which can only be grasped by a point of view.  We can only see this by analyzing domains of variation, where points of view order ' cases' of truth.  However, points of view must themselves be connected, inseparated as are events above, belonging to some higher continuity.  This might compromise the singularity of the points of view, but there is no alternative unless truth is to be left to chance—and this would undermine the 'ontological organic system…  The Great Animal Totality' (63).

Deleuze wants to do no less than describe in thought the life of the world, and one assumption is that the description itself is included in life.  The full nature of life emerges in concepts of flux, desire and fold.  This means that concepts are in effect tested in terms of biology, hence the occasional references to modern biology.  This leads Deleuze to consider what bodies actually are.  We know that folds 'pass between minds and bodies, but also between the inorganic and the organic, species and minds'(64).  Deleuze flirts with mathematicians like Mandelbrot who model organic forms.  Deleuze has in mind a particular kind of description, non-essentialist and non dialectic, roaming and nomadic, aimed at sharpening perception, with mobile hypotheses.  One aspect of this is the [indirect free] style, so that 'you never know exactly who is speaking nor who assures what is said or declares himself to be certain of it…  Leibniz?  Deleuze?  The well intentioned reader?' (64).  The point [the subject?] is 'to be left to the point of capture or a focus where these determinations define a figure, a gesture, or an occurrence'. 

Badiou says that he has opted for the other ontological choice involving mathematical modeling [based on a particular kind of set theory].  He agrees that events signify some edge or singularity that permits us to discuss what is true.  He agrees that truth has got nothing to do with adequacy or structure but is an infinite process, beginning, 'randomly in a point'(65).  To take some specific  examples:

The event is creative and does represent an excess, some 'inexhaustible reserve', but creativity arises from a notion of purity, from being separated from this reserve.  A requirement is that events are named as such [and the online lectures go on to argue that this naming must suggest that events have universal consequences].  More formally, there is no dark background, but rather a particular kind of multiple, which somehow cannot explain the event.  This means that the virtual part of an event is an infinity to come, something that arises after it comes into existence, and which reveals the separation of the event [the lectures describe this as an addition to a set from outside].  The event as creative means that it must be possible to conceive of an absence of continuity, a 'suspension of significations', something subtracted from encyclopaedic concepts.

In his critique of essences, Deleuze promotes activity, the active form of the verb over adjectives, a dynamism which exceeds simple judgments of attribution.  Badiou wants to generalize, and see the event as not grasped by any relation, not even the doing of the verb, 'the being of the copulative'(66).  Deleuze's reliance on 'the great All' ultimately 'crushes individuation'.  A proper conception of singularity demands an absolute distance, a vacuum, which must itself be 'a point of Being', without having to rely on essences or an organic notion of everything.

Mallarmé's poem is not just about folding: there is something 'which places the fold in absence'(66) [argued using some remarks about Mallarmé].  Instead it is about 'detaching…  Separating…  The transcendent occurrence of the pure point, of the Idea that eliminates all chance' [pass].  Particularly, chance not just the absence of any principle, but the very negation of the principle, closer to Hegel than to Deleuze.  Chance is therefore the support of the dialectic not just a gamble.  Chance is not a universal principle of the whole world, but the  'autoaccomplishment of its Idea'[meaning it is limited to particular acts?]. [For Mallarme still?] The accomplishment of chance does not produce incompossibles or 'whimsical chaos' (67), but rather a constellation [pass].  That which is opposed to chance cannot be reduced to nothingness.  Instead it points to the 'absolute separation of the event', a process of attaining purity, not folds.

The 'objectless knowledge' only holds to a certain extent.  Objects are not required in the conception of interiority which Deleuze advocates.  Again this is not a matter of unfolding, however, but the way in which truth is 'the process of making holes in what constitutes knowledge'.  This 'perforation' produces subjects, not the 'primitive tie to worldly multiplicities'.  Deleuze does not entirely dispense with objectivity anyway, which reappears as the notion of activity and passivity, folding and unfolding at the centre of knowledge.  An organic notion of the multiple cannot fully dispense with the object, but the mathematical conception can, by dealing with holes [voids] which produce 'paths and encounters'.

Deleuze is right to think of the subject as not just a simple limit as in humanism, but he wants to see it as more than just a multiple configuration of the kind that arises constantly.  For Badiou, there is a need to think of the subject 'as a finite difference in the process of a truth'(68).  In Leibniz and Deleuze, the subject subordinates infinity, rearticulating the one with the infinite, implying inevitably the notion of god as 'the One - as - infinite'.  This must be implied since everything else equally is event [no One and no infinite].  The whole scheme of interiority linked to exteriority needs to be replaced by a notion of the 'local differential of chance' which matches 'a finitude and a language'[it is language that introduces the infinite].  Deleuze's subject is too concrete, with too much substance and too much folding.  Instead 'There is only the point and the name'

Deleuze toys with the idea of a whole mathesis, but only tests it locally, in descriptions of bits of the world.  Perhaps philosophy ought to aim instead at the salvation of truth, even if this involves turning from the world.  A mathematical concept opposes the empty set to the fold, the separation of the event to the flux, 'inference and axiom' to the descriptive, the experiment to the gamble, and the 'founding break' to creative continuity.  It operates with a strict separation between 'the operations of life and the actions of truth' (68).  To join these, even though they oppose each other, will only end in sterility [with a hint of political powerlessness as well, 69].

Canning, P.  The Crack of Time and the Ideal Game (73 - 98)

What is the relation between subject and object?  Multiplicities are multi dimensional and human ones have constantly changing dimensions every time another connection is made, an expanding assemblage.  Event multiplicities on the other hand change through actualization and differenCiation.  We understand this by avoiding any 'overriding command program'[which is what he means by subtracting 1].  But is there not still some transcendental subject that synthesises perceptions, especially of a subject's existence?  We seem to need this kind of unity, but this will prevent us understanding multiplicities [amidst a lot of bullshit pseudo Deleuzian stuff].  A unified identity never manages to overcome multiplicity, partly because there is constant deterritorialization.  [Try this for bullshit : 'The immanence of the unifying force consists in its potential ubiquity throughout the multiple system (transcendental field) of which it is a nomadic presence' (74).

Assemblages have constantly to manage chaos and they change inevitably, despite our intentions.  These changes are lines of flight, emerging from deterritorialization.  The only alternative is to preserve an 'habitual mold'[with every day mundane examples of escape such as altering patterns of behaviour or accent or itinerary].  Indeed, 'an assemblage is defined by its lines of escape rather than by fixed coordinates' (74), certainly with rhizomes.  All are 'beings of becoming' (75).  This includes languages that can produce singular  ideolects, naturally 'in a semiotic rhizome—tissue'.  Atypical expressions can arise as language events, and these illustrate the tendency of languages to push towards their limit and thus affect the whole system.  The normal way of regulating language through order words can be subverted by using 'and', producing new conjunctions and reconstructions.  Every line of escape becomes a dimension of the rhizomes and increases its indeterminacy and virtuality, and this is characteristic of 'life'[reads a bit like some view of evolution towards complexity?].

Human beings are 'affect - multiplicities or waves of emotions, bands of intensities producing 'polymorphous' assemblages [well American academics are], and these change every time we make different connections.  Society itself can be seen as a manifold of interwoven social forces.  Human beings have a potential for involution as well, folding back into past times, multiplying in different directions and dimensions, or becoming bodies without organs.  The BWO can be seen as an 'interval of death within lifetime' (76), a constant way of escaping habit and structure.  We need the concept to understand the subject at its limits with the benefits above. Social relations themselves mutate and vary, sometimes as a result of qualitative connections adding to duration [a qualitative multiplicity for Canning, citing Bergson].  Duration is constantly open to change and this can produce further change.  'Characters are like languages in that variety is their idea and essence'.

Deleuze has to manage the concept of eternal return [to preserve this notion of constant unending variety], and uses it against both cyclic and linear time [apparently Kant attempted to define standard time, based on regular movements].  This notion of time has been challenged in modern physics, but it also needs to be rethought in philosophy.  Humans are not subject to preexisting time or space, but rather 'create [s] the spatial temporal milieu which it expresses like a spider exuding a web' (77) [fancy language and metaphors instead of argument].  Kant saw time in terms of the static synthesis of events, but Deleuze wants to consider time as a whole, as a pure form [Aion] [genuine obscurity here, as usual].  Breaking from the usual order of time liberates us, and we are forced to manage it by action.  [Something like realizing that becoming capable of escaping time involves risking the crack, but this also makes us into '" an event unique and formidable"'(77), liberating ourselves from god and developing an anti oedipal line—'to release the singularities of desire from their signifying chains'(78).  There is something about escaping the past as well, to avoid repeating it, and reconstructing the world instead by synthesizing singularities in a different way].

'This has something to do with writing and composition'[!].  If we can liberate herself from the false image of real time, we can explore instead interior time, and consider the event as something between times, between its occurrence and its actualization  [this liberates us as a proper subject?] [Serious lyrical bullshit ensues].  We become aware of our own image as others and how they affect current action.  We can see how nonsense precedes sense.  This insight proceeds according to the activities of the automaton [here described as 'the second order automaton of the human body - brain rhizome'(79).  We become aware of the operation of duration.  All this can happen in a very small internal circuit, the immediate, something insignificant in real time.  These processes can begin as a result of a mirror image which triggers an awareness of the constituting effects of all the layers and strata of the past, through the 'brain - rhizome - affect - percept - concept continuum', which persists through all its determinations [through the usual irritating stuff about operating at infinite speed and so on].  Deleuze's rhizome structure adds dynamism to Bergson's image of the cone in describing time, and sees each layer as a loop, connected transversally [what else?]

Philosophers must themselves assemble sheets and planes from this continuum, to connect the present and the past, and this is what reading and writing does— 'the composition of the plane of immanence' (80).  It is this that Mallarmé meant  by a constellation [Canning prefers the term 'quasi aleatory feedback loop'].  Thought itself produces this ensemble of elements derived from several sheets of the past [and there is a lot of phraseology that refers to brains and their lobes, 'cerebral membranes' and the like, 80—referring to Deleuze 1985, which might be the one on Bergson?  The style of this collection is particularly annoying because it doesn't actually list Deleuze's works anywhere].  Subjective time involves this connection between the past and the present [sounds like the through and through interconnectedness of subjective time to me], and there is also the need to distinguish the virtual from the actual to get the lived present.  The virtual is 'the form of cerebral time' (81).  These two interrelate and exist at the same time, they are 'double', both body and mind, and the normal human subject can only be understood in terms of the split—not a permanent one, likely to be returned to the process of becoming and returning.

This necessarily involves the disappearance of any independent objects, and installs the notion of description and narration into philosophy, a necessary concession to 'the power of the false'(82) [but that can have creative consequences too as we know from the work on cinema].  Becoming can be illustrated in the form of the diagram.  Particular singular forms of the diagram are produced by forces from the outside, including the throw of the dice [the example is the development of the prison from an entire disciplinary diagram].  The process of going back from singularities to diagrams is a creative act, possibly an hallucination, to imagine the unimaginable.  It is necessary to think of subject and objects as images, as in cinema—'the passion of the subject' (82).

Differences of intensity lie behind actualization, including that of the idea [concept?].  The idea retains an excess as a result, a complex which produces an ideal half in the virtual and the actualized half.  Can we conceive the subject in the same way as an ideal I and an actual me?  Subjects arise from passive synthesis initially [that is habit] which manages the effects of duration, and eventually leads to the construction of the usual conceptions of past and present.  We have to return to the notion of intensity to get to 'time immemorial, beyond the active synthesis of memory' (83), and to the idea of the multiplicity which persists 'through all of time' (83).  Deleuze cannot abandon the notion of the subject altogether because he wishes to preserve the idea of interiority as internal multiplicity and continuity—the subject then becomes a cut or an interval in this continuity [then more stuff on the brain and subject, this time referenced to What is Philosophy, as a fold of the world, as a physical nervous system 'in topological contact with its own exterior' (84)].  So the subject can be seen as a split between the virtual and the actual and their folding together.  Actual individuals can still be seen as singularities produced by nomadic distributions.  Subjects can deindividuate, however, pursuing disjunctions and ambiguities: this takes the form of the will to power [the reference is to Difference and Repetition] and involves rethinking the processes that condense singularities, including the recognition that chance plays a major role.  In this way, we can connect singularities back to virtual and past dimensions.

This will also dissolves the conventional notion of the I, however.  It raises the question of how things begin in the first place, which, for Deleuze and Guattari, involves grasping the idea of the chaos with directional components, which connect up singularities in series and ensembles [with the usual annoying metaphors about vibrations and music—in the latter case, chaos is halted in particular milieux, where we find repetitions, managed by rhythm].  The milieux can communicate with each other and this can shape a new 'component or dimension: a mutant form, or perhaps a malformation' (85), or produce a line of escape.  Chaosmos can be modelled as a membrane, managing chaos with 'nonlocalisable rhythms and webs'(85), and not located in time or space but in Aion [as another example of pseudery, one among so many, try this: 'This Aion (lifetime) we are disjunctively continuing, immersed in strange waters of the afterlives' (85)]. 

So partially stable bits take place between chaos and order, producing a repetition.  Recognizing this forces us to think and to philosophize.  We cannot rely either on the past which is inaccessible, or the future which is excessive.  The world appears as 'an irrational remainder' (86).  Thinking of what lay in the beginning [chaos and all that] undermines a sense of identity and agency, and replaces them with an awareness that we are simply a part of being.  To combine this with a will to power is inevitably paradoxical and must be borne as a necessity—we have to forget our origins.  We have to affirm becoming, 'An ontoethical game'(86) [philosophical heroism], and we are constantly threatened by irruptions of both future and past.  We are threatened by the intrusion of an outside, but only the interior can manage this and make everything whole.  Even so, we are forced to think of 'what cannot and must be thought'(87) [philosophical paradoxes such as realizing that the past affects us even though it can't return, that the actual and a virtual are connected and both real, although they cannot exist at the same time for us, that what we take as fixed and stable is simply an aspect of an overall diagram or abstract machine, that new actualizations are possible.]

Planes of immanence imply a necessary indiscernibility, and vulnerability to the reassertion of chaos.  It is rhythm that produces consistency, the only kind of repetition, providing a milieu [and this milieu is defined as the Idea sometimes].  This leads to the BWO as a plane or underlying substance through which intensities pass [but Canning wants to bang on about rhythm again, and identifies intervals in these intensities as singularities which are linked to inside and outside space].  The plane is a cut or section through chaos, and chaos acts as the limit, the infinite, the indiscernible.  Through it, we discover 'pure empty time before creation'(89), and an absurd origin of everything, a mere series of singularities, the potential for everything.  [lots of delirious lyrical shit here].

[A discussion deep into lyrical delirium about ideas and their relation to the crack of time].  There is 'a pointless origin of all sense and sensibility'(90).  Thought makes connections between series [resonance as a metaphor here], if one pursues a suitably [delirious] style to connect thoughts and intensities', to develop the imagination and so on.  We get to realize that time is a playful throwing of dice.  Apparently, we should think about the BWO to clarify this game, and Aion.  I think this means that we consider what perception itself might be rather than tying it directly to objects or subjects, perception is becoming and metamorphosis, to begin in the middle of indiscernibility.  Music is the model because it deterritorializes the voice [liberated from just speech], and of course it shows the effects of rhythm and desire.

Deleuze describes chaos as a system of crowned anarchy.  It is not that there are no rules at all, but rather that the rules change with every move, every thought.  Repetition as a form of synthesis is no longer available to us [as philosophers] to manage the future.  We can at least prevent the past from determining our actions by realizing that there are no fixed rules, no foundations.  This leaves us only with situational ethics, an affirmation of divergence and incompossibility.  [The only sort of social relations seem to be the rather temporary ones between readers and writers, 'mobile figures', and the chaosmos beckons].

[Good stuff. Now I am off to buy a bag of compost and get down the allotment]

Boundas, C  Deleuze: Serialization and Subject Formation(99--118)

Much post structuralist debate fails to specify exactly what is meant by subjectivity.  Further, everyone likes the idea of the death of the egoistic and oppressive subject reducing and dominating the other, but apart from that post structuralists actually vary. 

Deleuze has done much to criticize the conventional subject, but his actual theory of subjectivity is dispersed throughout his writings.  One key element is the idea of the fold, '"the inside as the operation of the outside"' (100) [I think this is best described in Deleuze's commentary on Foucault—see the last chapter].  Recent attempts to replace the subject with the notion of narrative must also be criticized, especially if they are based on phenomenology or hermeneutic.  Both still assume that the subject itself somehow constructs the narrative.  But subjects can be self-deceived by ideology.  Selves and narratives can also be fragmented and multiple narratives generated—why should the phenomenological self be prioritised?

For Deleuze, 'narrativization is serialization' (100).  It all starts with a disjunction which produces singular points in diverging series.  These series can be conjoined again or  bundled up, usually around one of the original divergent options.  However, serialization is zeugmatic, both in content and expression. ['zeugmatic'—pronouced 'zoog-matic', and, according to Wikipedia, a figure of speech that relates to different things in the same sentence, depending on wordplay.  The example given in the online dictionary is: 'after a day's fishing, he had caught three mackerel and a bad cold'.  I bet this gives you lots of fun if you are a French philosopher, and avoids saying exactly what you mean].  This gives a rather contingent series and bundles of series, and affects the way the original disjunction allows divergent series to communicate and resonate with each other.

There is still an agent providing the syntheses, but, in Deleuze, this is '"object = X"' (101) [Boundas goes on to say this provides a critique of Kant by introducing difference, but it also has a history in structuralist linguistics as an empty space, something which is not fully determined by linguistic rules, and which therefore offers a chance for change and innovation].

We can extract an overall theory of subjectivity from Deleuze's texts, remembering that the various segments will be zeugmatically related.  Deleuze creates series which might converge and diverge, indicate compossibilities, and resonate with each other [resonance is quite an important term, and Delanda tries to argue that Deleuze is using this in the same sense that scientists do to describe harmonies arising between different sequences of noises.  However, as usual, I personally find it a much more metaphorical notion in Deleuze, although sometimes he does seem to take the view that things like human brains actually do resonate with each other in an electronic sense].  We have to find the series going across books.  We can identify several according to the problems addressed:

The Hume series—how does the mind become a subject?

The Bergson series—how is the subject produced from prepersonal and preindividual singularities and events?

The Leibniz series—what is individuality?  Is it simply asserted?  What is its concept?

The Nietzsche - Foucault series—how can we develop the notion of interior subjectivity through the idea of a fold and the internalisation of outside forces which will avoid both internal and external determinism?

The Nietzsche- Klossowksi series—how can we reconcile the idea of the subject with the notion of inclusive disjunctions and incompossible worlds?

The series develop along their own lines [of flight, naturally] and are united only by the notion of chaosmos, which allows the affirmation of all of the series, producing the subject eventually, but only as an 'always already "cracked I"' (102) [annoyingly, this particular quote is not referenced, but the discussion immediately above refers to Logic of Sense].  Things are not made easier [!] By the different terms used to refer to the self the subject individual and so on.  Boundas uses the term 'subject' to refer to a particular subject, 'that can be deduced from the universal structure "Subject" '(102).  'An individual' is a singular entity that cannot be deduced from this universal structure [something 'without a concept' in Deleuzian].  As does Deleuze, Boundas also uses the term singular or singularity to refer to those preconditions which constitute individuals and persons.  A person is another term for the particular entity.  For Deleuze, this means that the individual is not something that cannot be described at all, but rather is to be understood as a singularity, with a history and the potential to become, an actualization of a multiplicity [of forces].

The Bergson series [what happened to Hume?].  This can be found in various texts including the books on the cinema, and forms the frame for discussion in the two books on capitalism and schizophrenia [Anti Oedipus, and A Thousand Plateaus].  Deleuze wants to moderate Bergson because of his [D's] sympathy for current politics of identity, the other 'as a victim of ...[an]... identitarian self' (103).  However, these have to be seen as empirical and political matters, and grounded on a false transcendentalism [which reproduces the image of the empirical].  For Deleuze, the subject is not given and the mind 'is, in fact, a set of singularities' (104).  This leads Deleuze to try to construct a static genesis of the subject.  We must break with the usual views of the conscious and perceptual field and develop a new image of thought, in order to contact the non human or prehuman world which is the 'real transcendental ground of visibilities, statements, and fields of interiority' (104).  We need to displace the notion of consciousness or something that constructs reality, and get back to things, singularities and events which are not individual or not personal. We've already seen that the singularities occupy complex series, that they are 'nomadic' (104). Philosophers must allow for radical contingency and radical differences.

The singularity is redefined as an event.  Events are not just state of affairs, accidents arising from the collision of bodies.  Events are outside bodies: they are 'incorporeal', and they take place beyond the present.  They are virtual.  They can act back on bodies and states of affairs, and, in effect, constrain the future of the interactions of bodies and also those elements of the present that will become the past.  Deleuze uses the infinitive to refer to events—'to green, to cut, to grow , to die'(105).  To refer to these in the infinitive mode is to allude to specificity and determinacy while avoiding the need for a speaking subject or for particular objective coordinates.  Infinitives like this 'stand for a selection of forces, intensities or acts' (105).

This helps us see being as a matter of becoming, of movement, rather than made up of static building blocks.  We can map out becoming as the diagram of forces.  [There is a philosophical advantage in this too, in challenging all those earlier philosophical notions of Being as something static]

The Leibniz series.  This one resonates with the one above.  Deleuze borrows from Leibniz the idea of 'the individual as a unique point of view upon the world'(106), but sees the individual and the world as folded together—the individual's point of view happens to be a particular piece of the outside world expressed in a particularly individually clear way.  In this discussion, Deleuze introduces the idea that singularities are extended in a series of ordinary points (actualized) until they encounter another singularity.  When several series converge, an intersubjective world is constituted, and this in turn constitutes individuals and their points of view.  This series of singularities themselves constitute a set of compossible worlds [and divergent series constitute incompossible worlds].   [Thinking] subjects are formed by incompossible worlds and divergent series.  'Deleuze is also prepared to admit that there is something common to all worlds…  The universal subject' (107).

Deleuze goes on to argue that the world that gets included in individuals takes the form of predicates not attributes [which turns on the difference between incorporeal events which form series, and external qualities and essences—loose determinism as opposed to tight determinism].  The world and the subject are intensive [not objective or measurable] events.  The world does not determine subjects, but acts as a ground, and individuals can select ways of understanding according to their point of view.  This is a 'fictional' world, with 'delirious' subjects (108).  It makes more sense [!] If we see the world outside the individual as a virtual level of reality, something that is not yet been actualized or pinned down in terms of extensive measurements.  The same goes for the individual being discussed here.  Apparently, this adds to the Bergson series the idea that subjects formations can be traced back to singularities, but we need to understand the ways in which series work, hence the next series.

The Nietzsche-Klossowksi series.  The issue here is to manage the operation of inclusive disjunctions and incompossible worlds.  Apparently, Klossowki conceives of the self as not something determined but as something positive.  In Nietzsche, we can apparently see that incompossibility can become a means of communication.  This helps us abandon God as the ultimate source of sufficient reason, who obviously chose the best of all possible worlds and saw divergence and disjunction as negative.  For Nietzsche and Klossowski, divergence is positive and affirmative, and divergent series resonate rather than representing negative possibilities.  The argument then becomes how does this synthesis of an original disjunction occur?  [Boundas repeats all the irritating metaphors in Deleuze—'accelerations and decelerations, leaps across molar thresholds, transversal movements, aparallel evolutions, affirmations and negations, resonances and rhythms'(109).  As usual, it all ends by arguing that it is initial differences that form the background for everything specific, so, in a bizarre philosophical way, it is this background that makes them all similar.  I never know if this is unusually subtle or just a way of having it both ways].

The Tournier series [where the fuck did this come from?].  Apparently this extends the series above [Tournier is discussed in Logic of Sense—it is the novel about Robinson alone on the desert island, used to explore otherness.  Robinson loses his normal sense of identity as the island returns to its elemental stage].  Deleuze was interested in the 'other structure' as a component of the subject.  Normally we see others as subjects like a ourselves, but imagining a world without them would radicalize this intuition— would we still retain a subjectivity and the notion of the real world?  For Deleuze, the 'other structure' is not integral to the notion of the subject, but it does interpret and explain the external world.  Robinson encounters a world of necessity, no longer a matter of the virtual and the possible.  Robinson encounters  purified form of desire, separated from sexuality and from other people.  This helps us grasp the world without mediation by other people, and this can be liberating.  It gives us a new  insight about what the other is—for Deleuze and necessary structure affecting perception, and helping to constitute 'the categories of subject and object' (111).  It is the  other and not the ego that makes perception possible, helping us 'relativize distances and differences, and assembling a background from which forms surge forth' (111) the other provides us with notions of space and time.

Deleuze borrows this from phenomenology, but for Deleuze, the other is not a person or a subject, but rather 'the expression of a possible world'(112).  Without others, possibilities would not exist and the necessary would triumph [so we would never develop conceptual thought about alternatives].  So Tournier helps us think out the issue of the other, but when describing the final stages of Robinson's isolation, when the elements themselves seem to impinge directly upon him, we also see a discussion of the virtual and the way it relates to the actual.  It's not just a matter of the possible which can be realized, but the virtual which can be actualized—again the first option depends on subjectivity.  For Deleuze, the virtual is real, but becomes complete only when actualized [so is there is some Hegelian drive towards completion?].  Both other and self are actualizations, so the two issues are connected [the series are related in Deleuzian terms], since both are unstable.  This instability causes repetition, communication and resonance.  'this agent of repetition is the virtual energy of the phantasmatic series'(113) [I think the phantasmatic series in this case refers to the potential for actualization—there is a reference to the discussion in Logic of Sense]. Deleuze sees it both as chaosmos and the 'cracked I', 'becoming world and becoming subject'.

The Nietzsche - Foucault series, which provides the idea of the dynamic genesis of the subject, as a matter of folding and internalization.  This series provides the reason for serialization and subject formation.  We have seen processes, but not explored motivations.  Here we have forces of bending, unfolding, the 'captivation of outside forces', originating with the Greek project of mastering others through the mastery of one's self, the folding of outside forces through a series of practical exercises.  Again there is no single agent, but rather a series of 'intersecting forces', but 'It is the individual who causes the outside to fold, thereby endowing itself with subjectivity', but still conceived of 'as the "relation which a force has with itself"'.  The outside is always ontologically prior, and there is no inside other than 'the doubling of the outside' (114).  Subject and world are not opposed, the subject does not just reflect the outside.  The outside is 'the irrecuperable  and inexhaustible force of negentropic energy and of capture-resisting subjectivity' (114), apparently, this has 'a clear political significance'[a version of the old argument that experience constantly throws up contradictions with official ideologies and is a never ending source of subversive ideas?].  As before, the outside acts like difference in constituting all the other locations, never exhausted, always deterritorialized.  'It is the virtual that haunts the actual and…  makes it flow and change' (115).  This is why Deleuze supports Foucault on 'the primary of resistances'.  Overall then, 'the subject is the individual who, through practice and discipline, has become the site of a bent force, that is, the folded inside of an outside'(115).

Olkowski, D.  Nietzsche's Dice Throw: Tragedy, Nihilism, and the Body without Organs (119 - 40).

This relates to Grosz below, and raises the question about whether the body in Deleuze and Guattari might be seen as male, or as relating to themselves specifically [raises some feminist concern about male authorship?].  Nietzsche is involved, despite his unpromising gender and and personal style.  Butler has also written about Nietzsche and desire.  Anyway, Deleuze's book on Nietzsche raises the issue of what a body he is—not just a field of forces at work, since all reality is a matter of force; bodies express relationships between forces, and do not relate specifically to physical bodies—it all depends on the regime of signs being deployed; body is not a final finished thing, but something multiple, and it can only be 'articulated in terms of each system of signs, semiotics informed by pragmatics' (120).

Nietzsche refers to evaluations to mean modes of existence of those who evaluate, connecting beliefs and feelings according to a style of life.  [This seems almost to be a class theory here about the origin of good values conceived by nobles to distinguish themselves from plebs]—the noble high minded people 'created "good" as a value'(121).  Deleuze apparently admires the active component of these evaluations, the ethical as well as aesthetic dimensions, part of Deleuze's stuff on joy as affirmation and creation as opposed to Kantian passive contemplation.  Origins of values become important.  This ethic of joy runs through the Greek concept of the tragic [in the sense that this affirms life despite tragedy].

Other evaluations arise from resentment and reaction, and these have probably dominated.  We need to disentangle the various ways in which struggles between forces have dominated things, without just focusing on their use—utility is a limited form of the will to power.  'A genuine critique (active ethics)' (122) is required to investigate the background forces, not just Kantian critique [which is too passive and neutral, and thus defends the existing system of values.  The transcendental point of view is responsible, and 'Kant never provides an account of the genesis of reason, understanding, and its categories' (122).  Bourdieu does though!].

It is possible to see these themes in Anti Oedipus, which critique the priest and the legislator, the defence of current knowledge and morality.  These get internalised as an inner kind of reason, leading Deleuze to 'oppose all reasonable beings' (122), doing genealogy and creating new values, as in Nietzsche and superman.  The concept of force is central.  For Deleuze, forces are quantitative and qualitative, with quantitative difference generating actions and reactions [must be intensive difference?].  Forces do not interact in terms of the dialectic, through negativity—all is affirmation and enjoyment of difference instead, and investigating these: 'This is Nietzsche's empiricism' (123).  This is 'essential to Deleuze's conception of desire', based on difference.  [There are the usual 'nuances'—original difference is quantitative and generates quality, but this difference is not reducible to quantity—'difference in quantity is the element that is irreducible to quantity itself'].

Heraclitus was on to this, according to Nietzsche, seeing forces at work in the cosmos as a series of struggles between contestants enjoying combat, and refereed by judges, all interrelated and engaged but sharing a quality—pure justice.  This is 'the game Zeus plays' (124). Opposite qualities actually come out of single forces, and there is a process at work preventing permanent stability.  Apparently Nietzsche are traces this to the notion of the individual Greek in society [poor man's sociology of knowledge as usual—it is all to do with how individuals fighters individuals].  This is Deleuze's philosophy of the flux, and Nietzsche's admiration of the heroic fighter quick to find joy.  Only limited individuals feel guilt or injustice or hubris, only a constant impulse to play.  All additional moral judgements are unnecessary, even 'construction and destruction [are] innocent…  Radically just' (125).

Difference and Repetition amplifies many of these themes.  There are no Greek heroes, but there is still a single voice of being.  This is worked through a discussion of propositions and how they express meaning—for Deleuze they can contain distinctions of quality or (phenomenological) essences, while their formal distinctions can be traced back to single being.  This is because being is not said but expressed in the same sense in each of its designations.  This is really not a matter of essences of course [because we get back to the usual weasel that the differences in propositions are sufficient to deny their essential nature, but not their expressive unity].  All depends on a metaphysics of flux, and Deleuze is inspired by Nietzsche's image of the game of chance.  An underlying difference in the will to power produces forces that are either active or reactive [which become qualities].  Actual relations between these forces is only subject to chance.  Again, 'existence must be understood… as radically innocent and as just, a game of chance'(126).  There are however two gaming tables, on earth and in heaven, and the same throw of the dice affirms chance in two ways—as becoming and as the being of becoming respectively [that is the heavenly dice throw ensures that being is a matter of becoming, while the earthly dice throw actually gets on and produces some becoming?] This explains the variations, and not any dialectic.  We only get to joy by affirming this situation and abandoning guilt or bad conscience [this is the Stoical stuff, surely?].  Chance also implies multiplicity and chaos, while we attempt to domesticate it by imposing notions of causality and repetition—Nietzsche apparently argued that we can never experience a cause as such [it was always a combination of will, responsibility and intention—obviously this only applies to humans?]. Human beings should affirm the process itself as a form of pleasure, but we constantly misunderstand what is going on and fail to critique our more reified assumptions and views.

Since the will to power generates forces, it must also interpret, estimating the qualities of forces, and evaluates, awarding significance and value to what occurs.  This provides Nietzsche with an historical method that denies both history as accident and history as fully determined.  Each occurrence is a sign or symptom, so philosophy is symptomatology and semiology, examining how particular quantities of reality are related to force.  This replaces causal analysis.  There is nothing outside: 'all of nature is semiotically constructed, in "regimes of signs"' (128), from evaluations in the Nietzsche sense.  This is 'another way of saying ethics'.

The will to power affirms and denies as qualities of action and reaction.  Affirmation is required in order to become active, and the opposite.  We have to judge whether things are the result of active or reactive forces, and also how this force is nuanced [sic].  Since relations are contingent, only humans can interpret the qualities of this will to power [so who actually possesses the will to power?].  This is still heroic.  There is no underlying principle or telos.  Being finally provides the beliefs and feelings and thought 'that we deserve'(129) [so we either are heroic or not?  We cannot become heroic to acquiring knowledge?].

The negative is important in Nietzsche, but not in a dialectic sense, not as an original difference between forces.  It is complicit with denial and reaction, 'a diminished quality of active force' (129).  Reactive forces deny activity rather than affirming themselves, but this can be misread as dialectic.  Active forces can also be seen as limited, as an Hegelian evolution.  This is why Hegel is a reactive thinker, denying fundamental difference: reaction really begins by denying rather than being always there.  This has led to other misinterpretations of the will to power.  Deleuze wants to argue that active forces are the same as desire, and reactive ones the same as law.  Excessive law will lead to inactivity and nihilism.  So will any attempts to limit the will to power, as when the weak decide to bond together—they can only limit, not become an active force of their own.  That is because 'The slave…  is a slave by reason of a weak capacity to be affected and to act' (130) [convenient!  Of course these are philosophical "slaves', conceptual personae, not real actual sweaty captives or prisoners of war].  The argument is that bodies are somehow predisposed to extend their power as far as they can, [and this is a kind of consolation, since that is all any of us can do].  At this point 'Deleuze drops this heroic expression and simply emphasises that desire is what experiments with forces'(131) [with reference to Deleuze and Parnet].

Deleuze sees the idea of the natural hierarchy which distributes capacity as something more like a nomadic law '" an allocation of those who distribute themselves…  In a space without precise limits"' [Difference and Repetition], also called a delirium.  We have departed from Nietzsche who saw the origin of the law in aggressive warrior societies.  The paradox arises when that law becomes seen as reified, and active forces are devoted to upholding it, that is to reacting.  There is no ultimate synthesis.  Law and power can get misinterpreted as mere representations of human superiority, and this induces a further kind of weakness, and eventually ressentiment—'the sick represent themselves as superior by negating the healthy'(132).  This helps the weak develop an identity.  Their attempts to limit are sometimes seen as being the same as proper activity.  Deleuze wants to avoid these value judgements of sickness and health, while retaining the idea that power exists before its representation.  Generally, he keeps the idea that active forces are affirmative, and reactive ones will nothingness. 

Reaction can never have a power of its own, and can only limit power, attempting to restrict it to nothingness.  This can work as in some of the ways above [reification of the law and so on].  Nevertheless, the more actively a force exerts its power, the more affirmative it becomes.  Deleuze takes this in his project to understand the limits to philosophy, how people support the system of oppressors and victims, and this motivates the radical politics in Anti-Oedipus.

This means that philosophy can serve no power but must be a critique, or, for Nietzsche, a philosophy of the future.  Memory simply fuels reactive forces, producing an active desire to stay within the power of these forces, mostly by resisting activity and potential and the present.  It is this that produces anti humanist forces like hostility and cruelty, the results of the 'bad conscience' (134).  These unconscious forces often lie behind specific forms of reaction. 

It is therefore important to make a particular effort to forget, as Deleuze says, because it constantly limits the potential for happiness.  However, it is difficult to do this, given the unconscious pressure of reactive forces.  This is the origin of ressentiment—'an inability to admire, respect or love' (134), perpetual accusations, passivity, to the extent that is not possible even to react, simply to feel.  The resentful actually welcome active evil, so that they can appear to themselves as good [a bit of Durkheim], and anything that does not hold itself back is seen as evil, including the strongly active.  None of this is biological, or physical, but is rather rooted in ways of feeling and thinking, themselves traced to ways of being [which also justifies the Superman, as equally authentic to his being?].

Deleuze widened this argument to see ressentiment as the result of an underlying principle of nihilism, and 'All the categories of rational thought (identity, causality and finality) presuppose a nihilistic interpretation of force as ressentiment' (135).  It is impossible to say what life would be like without ressentiment, since 'This is a different question for each one who throws the dice'.  We can liberate ourselves to some extent, though, because we can see the forces that have affected this as equally contingent, without imposing some narrative of ressentiment [Nietzsche had tried to do this to explain his own terminal illness].  It becomes possible to see how everything that has happened to us can become transformed into something that we have willed [very consolatory in my view, one of those stoical comforts open to philosophers].  Again it is difficult to do this, but adopting this stance of total positivity is what really makes tragedy into something affirmative and noble, not just a psychological experience.  We are subject to forces which endow us with different capacities, and this is the result of chance: there are no probabilities or leaps of faith.  Working with probabilities is another phony way to manage contingency.

Experience is always formative, and so activity gets an existential basis not an heroic one. For Deleuze the issue is about 'what we have experienced and how we have critiqued' it (136).  Of course it is not enough just to record experience—we need to ascribe it to a mode of life, with particular forms of evaluation or interpretation.  We also need to take into account actual possibilities in social life of deterritorialization and territorialization [once we have accepted all this other stuff about chance and contingency, avoiding ressentiment and all that].  We can widen our experience by reading and attempting to understand, but we must also seek out experiences of contingency.  However there is no explicit way to understand or to become a Superman.  We should realise that 'tragedy is the tonic to pessimism' (137).  Pessimism itself arises from an inadequate way of life, and we should not get distracted by 'partial or small affirmations'.  Indeed it is 'best if we read [and act?] with no interests at all!  This is the nomadic nomos' (137).  [reinforces Massumi about the pointlessness of little things like struggling for autonomy in the classroom]. This explains Nietzsche's withdrawal from normal social life, to avoid all mundane interests with their connections 'with a base evaluation'.  We need to go through the first stage of nihilism in order to arrive at the affirmative.  'This is the importance of eternal return for Nietzsche.  Only eternal return guarantees the move to complete [in the sense of going beyond]  nihilism.  Tragedy is the means by which he makes this move'.

Does Deleuze think this too?  He does think that we should thoroughly revise our values, but he is much more interested in 'cultural situatedness', and our social and personal commitments, which would prevent physical isolation.  Instead, he follows a line of flight that will eventually lead to becoming and the BWO, using Artaud as a guide.  Artaud can be seen as offering a kind of performance art based on actual experience, and so is akin to a tragedy in a broader sense.  Nihilism arises by considering bodies outside of normal definitions, social organizations, sexuality and the law, since all these limits the energy and life of the body.  What remains is a multiplicity, something unorganised and unstable, intensive, a nomadic nomos.  Artraud saw organs as particularly useless, hence the need to remove them as a metaphor for removing any form of organisation, including any form of personal inscription.  What is left is 'nothing—no scene, and no place, no support, no interests, nothing to interpret—only the real' (138) [with a reference to A Thousand Plateaus].

Deleuze and Guattari know that 'active nihilism is dangerous' in our social and political environment, hence the warnings not to go too far, especially through drug addiction or schizophrenia.  These 'must not be romanticised'.  Artaud saw that stage of nihilism before reconstruction as suicide, the final challenge to the law of the body.  The BWO is also  'the field of immanence of desire', desire as intensive, consistent, a matter of becoming.  Here they agree with Nietzsche but the point is to experiment with caution, explore opportunities and forces, attempt to annihilate stratification and constraint.

Patton, P.  Anti- Platonism and Art (141 -56)

Art as well as philosophy has attempted to break with the conventions of representation.  Platonism and its rejection became central to this project.  Deleuze has recognized explicitly that parallels between the tendency away from representation to abstraction in art, and the intention to develop a thought without image.  Most of the discussion takes place in Difference and Repetition.  Similarities and differences with Derrida are also pursued.

Art attempted to abandon representation of appearances in favour of doing something else—expressing feelings, exploring formal possibilities—and then finally returning to the issue of appearances.  A lot of postmodernist art reproduces appearances, including those of earlier artworks themselves.  This is the reproduction of appearances, however not of their original realities.  It is about artistic production, both the transformation of a raw material, and 'the creation or  institution of a difference where none existed before' (142).  The means of production includes the conceptual equipment as well as the physical one.  Above all, there is no intention to maintain an identity between representation and that which it represents.  Such identity was always best seen as a goal rather than an actual attainment, of course.

Late modern or postmodern art breaks with identity and illustrates difference 'by means of perceptual similarity' (143).  Duchamp and Warhol offer variants.  This return of representation attempts to transform representation itself.  The aim is not to produce copies but simulacra.

Deleuze declares an intention to overturn Plato, but this is ambiguous, and can mean both overcoming as well as reversing: Patton believes both are involved, and cites Nietzsche's claim to have inverted or reversed Platonism, in both the moral and metaphysical sense.  The metaphysics involved the distinction between real Ideas and the sensuous realm of appearance.  This reduces human life to a copy of the truly real, but it is no good simply reversing the hierarchy: it needs to be abolished altogether by rethinking the difference between the real and the apparent.  For Nietzsche, Plato was a nihilist in reducing human existence to a shadow of the divine, including its Christian form.  Again, simple inversion will not do, since that would be to replace higher values altogether.  Nietzsche also realizes that Christianity has had a deep effect on our value system, so that even the concept of truth has been affected.  What is required is a new conception of human beings, a new evaluation of life, a new ontology and a new ethics.

For Deleuze, the point is to critique representational thought which domesticates objects by assuming thought is fundamentally benign, and involves mostly recognition and the steady accumulation of fragments of knowledge.  Deleuze wants to see thought as creative in terms of concepts, 'where concepts themselves are understood as existing only in immediate relations with forces and intensities outside thought' (145).  The convention, based on recognition, has privileged identity and resemblance as 'unquestioned values', so that it becomes impossible to think of difference as such.  The specific critique of Plato includes an accusation of incomplete thinking, dominated by the theory of Ideas rather than attempting a systematic categorisation of objects and types of representation [the Socratic species and categories].  Platonic  limits are themselves the result of upholding moral or political goals, to select among different claimants on the basis of their authenticity.  This has led to a difference between copy and simulacrum.

Deleuze develops his critique by picking up on various anti Platonic arguments mentioned by Plato himself [which preserves some aspects of Plato's thought].  Deleuze does the same thing later with other philosophers such as Leibniz or Kant, and the whole celebration of the minor traditions.  For Plato, only the Ideas or Forms are real, and they are manifested in earthly imitations or copies.  Such copies are authentic since they have a certain identity with the Forms, and thus resemble real being.  Difference only emerges in the attempt to separate out simulation.  The whole approach sets at the heart of philosophy the issue of how thought represents reality, and how to recognize it in resemblances.  Deleuze sees this as necessarily incomplete as an account of representation, constantly having to deal with things that look the same but do not really participate in Forms.  Thus Sophists are condemned as mere imitators, mimics of the wise. Writing, as an image of discourse, can only simulate thought, and this includes the 'imitative poets', who can produce corrupting simulations of knowledge: such imitators should be excluded from the ideal community.  The whole scheme is rather ambiguous, however [since there are both good and bad forms of imitation, on some kind of continuum, and it is hard to be coherent]. Derrida makes this point, since all representations are different from the objects they represent, and a perfect imitation would actually be 'another instance of the same thing' (149).  Derrida says that Plato sees writing as a good kind of image of speech, so good that it can imitate speech perfectly.  [Deleuze takes on a similar argument in Plato to show ambiguity, where sometimes, for example, the perspective of the spectator needs to be taken into account, so large sculptures need to be distorted in order to look real]

Deleuze's argument is that imitation and copy are only distinctions within representation itself, and these are value judgements.  Plato fails to grasp real difference, and sees it only in terms of certain resemblances, including 'an internal, spiritual resemblance with the ultimately real things themselves' (150).  Simulacra include disparities and dissimilarities, including those where the particular interests of an artist have intruded—a particular perspective on an object, for example.  Simulacra therefore do not take identity and similarity as prior, unlike proper representations.  Poets are criticized along these lines as we saw.  However, these criteria are limited, and obviously based on the argument that there are Ideas or Forms in the first place.  Thus Deleuze argues the whole platonic scheme is based on the political need to exclude the inauthentic, the Sophist or the simulator.  Often, the argument is justified 'by recourse to myths' (151).

What is at stake is also the desire to maintain a 'stable and hierarchical world without excessive emotion'(151), to break with immediate appearances [shades of the high aesthetic again!].  The whole case against simulacra is moral for Deleuze—'"What is condemned in the figure of simulacra is the state of free, oceanic differences, of nomadic distributions and crowned anarchy"'.  Deleuze operates by straightforwardly reversing this schema, to celebrate the ability of simulacra to challenge representation, and Deleuze thinks Plato himself hints at this inevitability.  Celebrating simulacra means celebrating difference, abandoning ultimate foundations and original identities—'everything assumes the status of a simulacrum' (152).  What counts as the relations between things, including how bodies can affect and be affected, a world of multiplicities and rhizomes, where things get individuated as a result of relations between different potentials, or where there are 'haecceities, understood as complex configurations of intensities'.  This appears to be a 2-step model like deconstruction, where the denial of a hierarchy as originary leads to critique of the whole system of representation, where what was excluded now becomes central.  However, Deleuze does more than Derrida in ending not just in ambivalence but arguing for positive difference (153).  For Derrida, simulacra are only copies of copies, 'difference in the second degree', whereas for Deleuze, simulacra are different from copies, and break with the continuum between good and bad copies.  The simulated appearance of the original is simply an effect of this fundamental difference, a secondary characteristic: simulacra result from free differences.  A different notion of repetition also results, not the recurrence or variable repetition of the same, but the kind of repetition of appearances that we discussed at the beginning

This free simulation is what defines modernity for Deleuze.  Modern art reveals this tendency, especially in pop art, which [in Warhol for example] quite explicitly reproduces images of images, simulating modern life.  The point is to use such simulacra 'as the material support' of artistic invention, aimed at producing effects, including an effect of resemblance, although this particular effect is not privileged.  As a result, 'Abstract expressionism is perhaps a better example' (155), since canvases by Pollock, say, do not represent anything but attempt to 'transmit states of experience or to produce effects in the viewer'.  Deleuze saw a similar development in philosophy, not to make concepts represent things, but to let them act in themselves as intensities in relation with other events and processes.  Deleuze argued that Spinoza did just this, encouraging encounters and passions, while Kierkegaard and Nietzsche created '" an incredible equivalent of theatre within philosophy"', where concepts are signs aimed directly affecting readers.  Ironically, then, Deleuze is advocating something akin to the powerful emotional poetry about Plato found so dangerous [ of a very elite philosophical kind, of course] .

Braidotti, R.  Toward A New Nomadism: Feminist Deleuzian Tracks; or, Metaphysics and Metabolism (159 -86)

Feminism has reacted to dealers and ambivalent ways.  Feminism is both a political practice and 'discursive field marked by a specific set of methodological and epistemological premises, which I would call the political practice of sexual difference' (159).  The new feminist subject needs to be defined and affirmed.  A positive notion of sexual difference is integral to feminist politics.  There is a need to articulate the questions of gender and identity with theory and epistemology in a new way. 

Feminist post structuralism led to a new 'metamethodological mode', a new critical theory.  Problems that were highlighted included the need to talk about agency together with the will to change, the unconscious desire for the new, and therefore 'the construction of new desiring subjects' (160).  Rethinking desire is important in order to finally break with phallogocentrism [later rendered as a phallo-logocentrism, but I will keep to the first spelling because my speech recognition software is used to that], and develop new modes of representation of women as subjects.  This in turn will value an entitlement to speak, or a 'desire to become'.

Desire is more important than the will.  We are discussing ontological desire, not just libidinal desire, 'the predisposition of the subject towards being'.  This draw support from Lyotard's critique of modernism, which links cognitive and political domination, and also marries 'the individual will with the concept of capital'.  The subject demonstrates the will to have and to possess, while postmodernism revalues the libidinal and unconscious.  Feminist theory sees female subjects as corporeal and sexed.  An initial stage is to reassert the value of the body as a location, a ground for discourse.  The body, of course is neither biological nor just sociological, but is to be understood as 'the point of overlap between the physical, the symbolic, and the material social conditions' (161).  This is paradoxical in its implications for the 'subject "woman"', since there is no monolithic essence, but rather a process of subjectivity, where subjective desire intersects with 'wilful social transformation'.  It is also the case that sex and gender are also combined with race and class, since these [identities] are developed in the same conflict ridden historical way.

The feminist subject is multiple, even 'rhizomatic' (162), a machinic artefact, artificial but also real.  Women clearly occupy different subject positions at different times [as a kind of concrete multiplicity], which raises issues about how to think otherness, especially given the political need to form political bonds, producing 'a collectivity resting on the recognition of differences'.  There is no humanistic unity or binary dualisms.  There are implications from post humanist analyses.  There is therefore a need for new representations, for humans in general, but particularly for women as the old divisions of gender and sexuality dissolve. Deleuze's project to alter the very image of thinking and to reconsider subjectivity as intensive, relational and multiple is clearly relevant.  There is a need to manage both relativism [and new forms of foundationalism, or  centring on gender and ethnic differences].  There is also a need to do this concretely in terms of political practice.

Deleuze is a major critic of conventional philosophy, like feminists.  It is not that the philosophical crisis of the subject has coincided with the emergence of women as a political force,  rather that Deleuze can be relevant, especially in the way he redefines thinking and theory.  The Deleuzian subject is embodied, but as the product of social and symbolic forces, a 'surface of intensities'(163).  Thinking is about establishing connections between multiple forces.  This avoids transcendentalism and any other dualistic oppositions.  It sees difference as more than just an element of identity and sameness.  The collapse of modernity involves the collapse of this image of
thought.  Deleuze emphasises instead 'activity, joy, affirmation and dynamic becoming'(164), avoiding classic views of the subject is lacking, and as determined by the unconscious, and seeing difference as positive.  This clearly breaks with 'the monolithic image of the self that rests on the phallo-logocentric system'.  Instead there is a nomadic vision of subjectivity, and a new active role for thought, to establish connections.  Braidotti says that this is an aspect of 'life lived at the highest possible power', and necessarily 'about change and transformation' (165), a form of subjectivity that 'is eminently political…  Reconnecting theory with daily practices of resistance'[highly debatable].

The rhizome is the key, involving philosophical exploration and nomadic selves.  The importance of the intensive is involved, 'which opens up hitherto unsuspected possibilities of life and action'.  This makes the search for ideas quite separate from the traditional interest in what is just and true [so real problems of feminist politics really?].  The point is to oppose merely critical or reactive values, and to restore a passion, an affective foundation, 'desire or affirmation'.  Such desire is an unconscious impulse for thought and language, or one of the 'prephilosophical foundations of philosophy'.  Deleuze follows Foucault in noting that discourse is essential for philosophy, but also a constraint, an excessive codification, producing the endless need to integrate new applied discourses.  Nevertheless, there is a desire for philosophy, an affective substrate, prephilosophical desire.  This rescues philosophy as a creative, expressive and enriching underpinning for subjectivity.  There is a need to resist new dogmas and preserve the nomadic, go beyond textual practices.  Even the old binary between writers and readers is to be broken by a new intensive style.  This is not impersonal, but 'rather "post personal"' (167), depicting a web of connections, a rhizome, engaging readers as participants, encouraging us too to think dynamically 'in a multi directional manner'.  We also need to draw rhizomatic connections as we explore our subjectivity.  Such a stance can be 'of use and inspiration to the aims of feminist theory' (167) [probably because we have read Deleuze in this light in the first place?].

Both subjectivity and materialism have caused problems for feminist thought.  De Beauvoir began a debate about strategic essentialism, which ended in a rather sterile polarisation.  Deleuze can help open the debate again.  Deleuze has been received negatively, for example by Irigaray's dislike for the notion of desiring machines and bodies without organs, which contains associations with traditional femininity, while loss of self and dispersion are dangerous ideas, as is becoming, for women who have never even attained the status of speaking subject.  Irigaray sees materialism as connected to the term 'mater', introducing the specificity of the female subject at the origin.  There is a need to reconstruct this'maternal imaginary'(169), with a female humanity connected eternally to female bodies.  Braidotti agrees that there are dangers in the notion of general becoming, and sees a need to incorporate sexual difference into the very heart of theories of difference.  For her, Deleuze is too abstract, failing to see an immediate consequence for differentiation and dichotomy—'the positioning of the two sexes in an asymmetrical relationship to each other'.  Irigaray's embodied materialism is more promising, but it is necessary to see this as a political not a natural matter.

The body can never be a fixed essence, something natural, despite the polemic all value of reasserting the body to overcome mind body dualism.  It must be seen as a surface, displaying intersecting forces and multiple codes, and it is this that makes the body the primary situation, the situated self.  Women artists have done much here to re-represent the body as 'fields of alternative signification' (170).  It follows that women are seen as excessive in terms of masculine systems of representation, offering quite different possibilities.  This has led to 'the textual strategy of mimesis', working through images and representations created of women, getting at the levels of signification. 

This is 'an active process of becoming' (170).  Sexual difference has been understood as an overarching form of difference that cancels out all others, but its main purpose is to challenge the identification of the masculine with the universal and with the thinking subject, raising the possibility of a radically other female subject, challenging women to develop their own versions of the feminine.  Irigaray and Deleuze disagree about priorities here.  Irigaray does seem to suggest that femaleness offers a link between all women, something transcendent 'through "radical immanence"' (171).  However, this is not a simple materialism, but one which involves multiplicity, one which is seen as one of the 'a priori conditions for achieving changes in our symbolic as well as material structures'.  Nevertheless, there are dangers of reverting to transcendentalism and incorporeality again, with no obvious way out of the paradox.

Butler and Wittig offer a critique of Irigaray's notion of sexual difference.  Wittig reads Deleuze as supporting 'a multiple non phallic sexuality', which helps her connect with gays and lesbians, and to reject psychoanalytic beliefs in original sexual difference.  There are '"as many sexes as there are individuals"'for her, with sexual identity being of major importance only to heterosexuals.  Wittig does not systematize her views, however, but offers a 'provocative strategy…  to empower women (172).  She thinks that language is flexible enough to be able to develop new meanings, without the need to develop a specifically feminist writing out of the deep critique of phallogocentrism [in Irigaray and Cixous].  In particular, female sexuality should be dissociated from 'the signifier "woman"', which is 'a man made notion, ideologically contaminated and untrustworthy'.  It needs to be replaced with the category of lesbian.  Butler reads this in terms of her interest in performance, and sees gender as a process to make a women 'female', and men universal, in 'compulsory heterosexuality' (173).  Wittig clearly offers a critique of this monolithic structure, which is even preserved in feminine writing.  All attempts to make the feminine specific are confining and naturalistic.  The way out is to develop the notion of the minority subject, developing a minoritarian consciousness.  Although this looks similar to Deleuze, Wittig retains the notion of the libidinal subject.  Braidotti think she is therefore paradoxical, not really a philosopher. Despite her complimentary reading, Butler also notes the combination between post structuralist theory and 'the humanist philosophy of plenitude' (173) [I think because the subject can utilise all the potential and fertility of language].  There is a danger of just replacing the old phallic subject with the new lesbian one.  Butler does emphasize Deleuze on the subject as displaced, the product of social and other forces.  Sexuality can therefore not be self determined, nor can desire be met within existing social codes.  Subjects can not be coherent, even when they are supposed to embrace affirmative desire in political movements.  For Braidotti, this leaves Wittig with an idealist conception of women [not very well based on a materialism], and of sexed identities that are merely social imprints aimed at social control.  Generally, feminist theory tended to have problems with gender and sexual difference that they wanted both [to valorise politically] and deconstruct.

The options above showed two different strategies to deconstruct femininity: (1) 'extremes sexualization through embodied female subjectivity'(174), as Irigaray; (2), an attempt to get beyond gender itself.  The first one involves itself in a paradoxical search for 'a new gendered universal (strategic essentialism)' (175), the second one claiming to be able to move beyond gender to a third sexual position '(lesbian neomaterialism)', where the female homosexuality is the foundation for a new vision of subjectivity, but also something radically anti foundational in its attack on the feminine.  For critics of the latter position, the structure of desire remains unchallenged, despite the choice of a homosexual object, and femininity is integrally homosexual any way [because women initially always desire their mothers].  Deleuze can be drawn upon by both positions, but there is another way to read him.

Haraway offers an alternative conception ['figuration'], based on impersonality and technology.  The general issue is how to develop feminist knowledge without reproducing dominant scientific discourse.  She develops a 'rhizomatic construction' (176), a new connection between lived experience and critical theory which is dominated by phallogocentrism [the connection with experience has always been used by feminists to attack phallogocentric thought].  Classic rational discourse with its binary oppositions have been denied.  In this, and in the importance of life, there is a link with Deleuze.  Deleuze's radical intentions towards conventional thought can help warn against women being integrated into systems of power as a result of their 'liberation', and avoiding the structures of phallo-logocentrism.  Something completely outside phallo-logocentrism is required, 'new structures' of thought' (177).  This is where 'Trans disciplinary' thought helps preserve the idea of the rhizome, and sees feminist theory as always in transit, or making connections, looking at new forms of relationships, 'epistemic nomadism'. 

Haraway redefines materialism and the body in a radical way, using the language of science and technology as much as philosophy.  It is an expanded notion of science and technology, though [non positivist].  Like Foucault, Haraway focuses on the construction and manipulation of bodies as docile subjects.  However, she is more skeptical about his notion of power and biopolitics, which are now made redundant by technology [and are 'intrinsically androcentric'(178)].  New thinking is required on the basis of post industrial systems, informatics: these have changed the notion of social agents altogether, and altered the contemporary subject and the notion of what it is to be human.  A new kind of temporary and mobile politics is required rather than global sisterhood.  New forms of understanding technology are required, with an understanding of its positive potential.  Instead of critique, a form of sympathy is required 'so as to avoid the oedipal plot of phallo-logocentric theory' (179).  The cyborg becomes a new figuration for femininity, breaking with binaries, making connections, remaining specific but not relative.  The category of the body emerges as an interaction 'between the inner and the external reality' (180), a relation between biology and the machine, a new technological materialism 'for a rhizomatic subjectivity'.  As a result of this multiplicity, we should deal only with '" situated knowledges"', not reduced to gender or ethnicity, but not relativist either; differences not binaries, 'constructed embodiments'.  In this sense, 'the cyborg…  [Is]…  An illuminating example of the intersection between feminist theory and Deleuzian Lines of thought' (180) [the argument seems to be that all images of the feminine, including conventional heterosexual ones can be seen alike as a process, with the cyborg as a kind of diagram.  Braidotti wants to welcome as many relational images and figurations as possible, for political reasons].

Arguments like this are ways of coming to terms with 'the new nomadism'(181), a way of deconstructing conventional images and representations.  If there is an essence, this collection is it.  Female femininity therefore should be a matter of complexity, and asserting a female identity should not just involve the will but the unconscious structures.  Change is not possible from volition alone, including attempts to rename oneself.  Instead, women should pursue a process of deessentializing embodiment, and then strategically reessentializing it, peeling off the old layers.   It is still worth working with the notion of woman, 'phallic as it may be' in order to perform this multiple uncovering (182).  It is important to think of 'new kinds of desiring subjects as molecular, and nomadic, and multiple', and to resist any dominant recoding, to experiment and to leave spaces open, to begin with desires, and to recognise the female embodied subject as 'always already the trace of what no longer is the case.  As such it needs to be started all over again, constantly'.  Nomadism is therefore 'a political and epistemological necessity for critical theory'

Grosz, E.  A Thousand Tiny Sexes: Feminism and Rhizomatics (187 -210).

This is a preliminary exploration of A Thousand Plateaus (ATP).  Feminist were initially critical of Deleuze because of the masculine interests and metaphors, notions like machines and assemblages, an admiration for misogynist writers like Henry Miller.  Deleuze and Guattari were accused of blindness to their own positions, claiming universalism, paying only lip service to feminism, and not realizing that becoming involves being a full subject in the first place.  Jardine makes similar charges [doesn't she just!], and Irigaray also expresses doubts.  To summarise: becoming woman may be a male appropriation to recuperate women struggles and depoliticise them; becoming takes on the form of the universal rather than specifically masculine enterprise; these metaphors effectively prevent women from generating their own explorations; women are being used simply as a ground or excuse, cover for a real suppressed interest in women's subjugation through an apparent self reflection and intellectual commitment; becoming rather than being woman obliterates real political struggles and agencies; Deleuze and Guattari want to provide a romantic model of schizophrenia instead of understanding real suffering, and they run the risk of equating women with madness; machinic metaphors are used through a denial of the role of machines in excluding and exploiting women.  Most of these criticisms refer more to Anti Oedipus, and so the project is to see whether rhizomatics does any better.  The point is to ask not whether the texts escape phallogocentrism, since nothing can, but more to ask if they can be used to support feminist challenges, especially in the attack on Platonism.  This will require an initial 'suspension of critical feminist judgment'(191).  The reading can focus on bodies, desire and more general methodological issues such as 'rhizomatics, cartography, intensities, speed, planes'

There are some initial fruitful overlaps.  For example, the critique of binary logic and 'general metaphysical bases of western philosophy…  [including]…  "logocentrism": the necessary presumption of givenness or presence'.  These are to be seen as surface aspects of a deeper ontology.  This also reduces the centrality of the subject and of signification, which are now seen as the result of processes of sedimentation.  The attack on binaries is particularly relevant for feminists, even if they do not actively affirm feminist struggles.  The centrality of difference, something outside repetition and the One is also of interest: Deleuze and Guattari go on to talk about becoming and multiplicity instead.  A multiplicity is not just a matter of plural identity, but is 'rather an ever - changing, non-totalizable collectivity, an assemblage defined not by…  identity… but through its capacity to undergo permutations and transformations, that is its dimensionality' (192).  Becoming provides 'non teleological notions of direction, movement and process' (193).  However, how these concepts might be used is still an open question.

Nevertheless, there might also be common interest in political struggle as molecular and multiple, and this gets closer to feminist struggle than rival theories including Marxism and socialism.  The concept of multiplicities refers not just to groups but to those internal to subjects, leading to a micro politics, 'struggles without leaders, without a clear cut program or blueprint for social change'.  This is what feminist political struggle does even though Deleuze and Guattari do not acknowledge the connection.

There is a common interest in the body as a series of processes, connected to incorporeal events, intensities and durations, a clear break with the idea of women's bodies conceived through the usual dualisms such as nature/culture.  New possibilities are opened for connections between human and other bodies, and there is a focus on what the body can do, 'the linkages it establishes, the transformations it undergoes' (194).  This will help feminists also think of alternative notions of corporeality, and philosophy that seems inimical to feminism still might help.  Desire is also rethought, no longer negative or a lack to be filled through the attainment of an object, including a woman, which has left women's desire as perpetually enigmatic.  For Deleuze and Guattari, desire is productive, affirmative, not just a fantasy but something that produces the real, 'an actualization, a series of practices, action, production, bringing together' (195). Desire does not need to be associated with the subjects of signs, and nor with some yearning to regain something lost, to be worked through representations, and forever frustrated by the real [the basis of the drama for Lacan].  Positive desire both creates assemblages and identify singularities; it experiments 'it is fundamentally aleatory;  it is bricolage' (196).  This removes the connection between women and the lack, the association of women with fantasy, woman as the man's other.

Ethics in encounters with others also seem to support feminism and the attempts to link up the excluded, the oppressed, and the other.[can't see that -- this is a pretty self-centred ethics focusing on how others affect me?].  Ethics is not seen as an abstract system of moral rules, and nor is it seen as something different from politics.  It is an ethics seen as a capacity for action and passion.  Its scope is [universal?], much wider than 'the rampant moralism underlying ecological and environmental politics', since there is no overarching order or system.  Deleuze and Guattari do not even privilege the other [indeed] as an autonomous being, but concern themselves with '"partial objects," organs, processes, and flows which show no respect for the autonomy of the subject' (197).  All depends on the possibilities and actualities.

There are of course some disjunctions as well [as above?].  The possibilities emerge by considering a particular group of concepts—'rhizome assemblage, machine, desire,multiplicity, becoming,and the BWO'.  All contribute to a project to critique 'prevailing centrism, unities, and rigid strata'.  At the same time, the argument seem 'idiosyncratic…  hermetically sealed to the outsider or the uninitiated…  ridden with jargon and with a mysteriously ineffable systematicity'.  We need to abandon normal preconceptions, for example to think of the subject as a relation, a series of flows and capacities, fragments of bodies and objects being linked, machines as heterogeneous assemblages, produced by tinkering [but who tinkers -- the dice-thrower?] , combinations of elements and discontinuities that do not belong to any totality.  These multiple and temporary alignments are the real.  For this reason, analysis should focus on flows and intensities, flight, and de/reterritorialization.

The work on the rhizome in ATP shows this.  Deleuze and Guattari oppose any notion of depth underpinning surfaces, and instead wish to expound connections and interelations, not semiological or other hierarchies, but 'say, a text and other objects, a text and its outside' (198).  Writing does not signify but map possibilities [typically pointless philosophical activity, obviously driven in reality by an habitus,posing as universal but really elite].  The point is to ask how texts interconnect with other things, 'including its reader, its author, its literary and non literary context' (199).  The rhizome is preferred to the tree [Grosz explains that the tree metaphor was a part of Greek philosophy modelling syllogism], to convey something underground, not unified, growing in proliferating multiple directions [and then the bit about subtracting from the One].  In summary, rhizomes are: structures which connect diverse fragments, including theories and objects and practices; based on heterogeneity and diversity; based on multiplicity; based on breaks and discontinuities; aimed at doing cartography, not model making or reproduction (199-200).  This offers a break with those approaches that attempt to link objects texts or subjects with some hidden dimensions.  It is a pragmatics, focusing on what can be done, what linkages can be made.  The concept is clearly connected to the BWO.

The BWO is a denaturalised body, the product of flows and connections.  It describes a univocal being in the sense that it argues that all things 'have the same ontological status…  Human, animal, textual, socio cultural, and physical' (200).  The concept belongs to Artaud, who wrote about the body 'without a psychical interior, without internal cohesion or latent significance' (201).  This is to be read as arguing for a limit or tendency for bodies, an egg, before being stratified and organized, having no depth or internal organization, the body before sedimentation, opposed to the notion of the organism, the subject, and 'the structure of significance'.  Empty BWOs are pathological, hence the dangers of drug addiction, while full BWOs are full of intensities and energies.  Heading towards the empty BWO leads to annihilation, an inability to sustain itself.  A minimal level of organisation and integration needs
to be retained, 'small pockets of subjectivity and signification left in order for the BWO's survival in the face of the onslaughts of power and reality' (202).  The BWO 'is the field of becomings' (203).

Becomings is where Deleuze gets controversial for feminists.  They argue that there are both molar and molecular forms of subjectivity, minority arian and majoritarian collectives.  Becoming always works at the molecular level within molar unity, including the unities of sex and class.  A number of multiple molecular combinations are possible, relating humans to other humans to animals and to plants.  Gender dissolves into '"1000 tiny sexes"'[AO] (203).  So the molecular traverses and destabilises molar entities, following particular lines—the rigidly segmented line that regulates at the molar level; the  'more fluid molecular line' (204), which charts becomings; the nomadic line, heading towards unknown destinations, and these are lines of flight.  Becoming woman means deconstructing molar is into molecular components of sexuality, then following lines of flight which are already present in 'binary aggregations', an initial multiplication leading to a nomadic line.  These becomings' are never abstract but are always becoming something, 'specific movements, specific forms of motion and rest, speed and slowness, points and flows of intensity'.  It is not just a matter of imitating, or attempting to resemble or mimic, say, animals: a third mediating term is involved [the zones of proximity and all that].  Of all the becomings, becoming woman is the most privileged, the key.  Men and women have an interest in destabilising molar feminine identity, beyond bisexuality, which is merely an internalised binary.  Even the most apparently misogynist writers have the potential to become woman—but feminists find this 'considerably less convincing' (206), and Deleuze and Guattari are ambiguous here, recommending that males become women by sharing particles with them in the zone of proximity, but this looks like stealing women's bodies, as always.  Deleuze and Guattari run risks here by being specific about becoming a woman—' why refer at all to women'[and children, Grosz adds].

Things get a bit clearer when discussing minoritarian conceptions, as a substitute for molecular [she says].  Here the discussion turns on the need to disaggregate men 'as the " molar entity par excellence"'(207) [AO again].  Here, the whole system of binary polarization is to be challenged, but even here, there is a difference between restructuring male sexuality, through introducing 'microfemininities, of behaviours, impulses and actions that may have been repressed or blocked in their development', and the implications for women which are not specified.  Deleuze and Guattari have said already that a certain stability of identity and signification is required, and this has led them to support feminist molar politics, but only as a stage—the need is still to liberate the thousand sexes lurking in apparent single identities.  In what sense is man's becoming secondary to woman becoming?  Only as another pragmatic sequence or stage, aimed at 'the breakdown of all identities, molar and molecular, majoritarian and minoritarian; the freeing of infinitely microscopic lines; a processes whose end is achieved only with complete dissolution and the production of the incredible shrinking "man"'(208) [a ref to the novel in D&G] , the becoming imperceptible.  So becoming woman is a first step, leading to other becomings, such as becoming animal, and aimed at becoming imperceptible [so even humans are not particularly privileged and must become animal].  Apparently, this 'follows the traditional scientific "order of being"'from the most complicated organic forms through the animal world to inorganic matter, down to the smallest points or quantum of energy'.

However, seeing becoming woman as a stage echoes the old claims which say that women must be tied to the notion of generalized struggles over humanity, itself 'a projection of representation of men's specific fantasies about what it is to be human'.  We see this in Marx attempting to subordinate women struggles to class struggle, in other claims that the point is to dissolve all identities [Kristeva and Derrida apparently], and attempts to see women's desires simply as a means of access to the Other [Lacan and Levinas] [gynesis for Jardine].  That women go along with this shows only how well they have uncritically internalized male perspectives.  This should lead to general reservations about any theoretical framework, although feminist theory can benefit from 'encounters and alliances with these theories' (209).  Rhizomatic theory can at least be complementary to feminism, and help critical reevaluations by rethinking phallocentrism.  In particular, the work can help feminists see other approaches, including Marxism and socialism as a matter of reterritorialization, a constraint on women's capacities.  Deleuze and Guattari are critical, experimental and 'self consciously political', which must help feminism, although specific values must be questioned: everything depends on what feminists will actually do with the approach.  The tendencies described above must be remembered, however, especially the ambiguities about becoming woman, connections to male self expansion, and movements towards imperceptibility, which, especially, 'amount to a political obliteration or marginalisation of women's struggles'.

Bensmaia, R.  On the Concept of Minor Literature From Kafka to Kateb Yacine (213 -28)

The book on Kafka looked simply like an application of schizoanalysis—'linguistic pragmatism, desiring machines, lines of escape and other deterritorializing [bits, including?] BWO' (213).  The book is now seen as introducing the concept of minor literature, and Kafka is more controversial: before then, the conception of literature had depended on people like 'Flaubert, Goethe, Hegel, Marx and Freud'(214), which had helped to canonise Kafka and manage its polymorphous nature.  For Deleuze and Guattari, new operational principles of literature were revealed—no longer the desire to tell extraordinary stories, nor to emulate style, but rather to create 'a new regime of writing that enables us to account for what the writer currently apprehends the situation of underdevelopment with which he or she experiments as if it were an extreme solitude or desert'.  The concept of minor literature was to complete the break with the usual notion of literary genre, and literature as subjectification, in favour of particular situations faced by particular people, including having to cope with the language which is not your native language—'a radically new political literature' (215).

There is no possibility of relying on the past codes of canons, but a crisis arising from an existential situation.  This produces the characteristics of minor literature.  First it is created by a minority but in a major language, deterritorializing that language.  The problem arises particularly with those struggling to establish a national literature in a colonizing language.  Second, minor literature is completely political, certainly not psychological.  The private becomes a political concern, and individual can be seen as a desiring machine rather than a coherent even if split subject.  The machines include commercial and economic ones but also 'the horde of bureaucratic and judicial machines' (216).  Thirdly, literature assumes a collective value, referring to communities even if they are virtual ones, avoiding the usual interpellations [with an explicit reference to Althusser] involving the great symbolic subjects represented by great national languages—what is normally taken for granted by those interpellations becomes of crucial importance.

Critics [someone called  Renza] have responded by seeing Deleuze and Guattari as founding a basis for third world literature, using the apparatus of Anti Oedipus and its 'rather anarchist problematic' (217).  This is also a break with Marxism, replacing the notion of labour with the 'revolutionary dimensions of desire'.  Freudian psychoanalysis is also rejected in favour of 'the deterritorializing forces of desire' (218).  This attempt to build an 'antibourgeois counterculture', is what apparently led Deleuze and Guattari to demonstrate the characteristics of minor literature.  This makes the focus on minor literature look a little arbitrary, derivative from theory, and even dogmatic, forming a new literary canon.  However, Deleuze and Guattari are also arguing that these radical works have been recuperated by the canon, the majoritarian model—their reading rescues Kafka and also raises the question about what literature actually is, and whether it can ever be canonised without losing its critical thrust.  The general question which emerged is about subjects and subjectivity not literary genres as such, especially the attempt to link subjectivity with creativity as a kind of licensed freedom.  The canon is exposed as ideological and normative, and there is a hint that it was underpinned by a particular kind of social order that is now being challenged by minority voices.

[The rest of the essay discusses an Algerian writer/filmmaker Kateb Yacine -- YouTube stuff here].  Algeria has been dominated by French culture and French education, despite its independence.  The struggle to define Algerian community and culture was literally a matter of life and death.  Should the 'forgotten and obliterated' past be revived?  Was there a shared one?  In particular, which language should be used—official Arabic, or the Arabic of the steet, and what about Berber language?  There is a need to create the missing terrain, and also to create the missing people.  The struggles focused on language, and two solutions emerged—enrich French 'through all the resources of symbolism... of esoteric sense' (222), but this made sense only to the elite, or to use more sober and poor resources [of the people].  The problem of writing proved too difficult for Yacine, who had developed theatre, turning popular theatre into something more political, breaking with spoken Arabic and French, and developing something else, a 'practical sociolinguistics'[presumably something non verbal or maybe using common speech?].  He transforms French by 'under developing' it 'through the elimination of syntactic and lexical forms' (223) [some connection apparently with Rai].  It was no good turning to classical Arabic because that had also been reserved for the elite, and French seemed more promising—'the French of the immigrant worker…  Berber speaker…  a particular town'.  Apparently it is used to express particular becomings [can't see how— suggests the emergence of a national language, ridicules elites?].  This approach is political  in the sense that it addresses everyday concerns, including the everyday impact of colonisation.  It argues for 'blocs of alliance'with other colonised people.  The idea is to reveal the violence of everyday life.  One technique is to extract 'from... myth a "lived actual" that would make it possible to account for the impossibility of living in the conditions that people have inherited' (224).

So this expresses the real political function of minority literature.  It already had made an appearance, but it needed to be theorized.

Polan, D.  Francis Bacon: The Logic of Sensation (229 -54).

[I am afraid I didn't get very much out of this, because I don't know much about painting or Bacon].  The book has been relatively neglected, but it does offer us a chance to see how Deleuze's general approaches get modified when discussing art.  Deleuze sees Bacon almost as an experimental scientist, a clear break from psychologism.  In particular, there is a rejection of the view that the suffering of the artist explains the work.  However, there is more acknowledgement of individual authorship, almost 'that romanticist appreciation of individual expressivity that often pops out in Deleuze's texts on artists' (230) [there are references to the diaries of Kafka, and, of course, the notion of auteurs in cinema].  Deleuze apparently cites an interview with Bacon as evidence.  On the other hand, as with the cinema, there is also an argument that the artist is a kind of reflexive worker, rather like philosophers, 'the artist rejoins the general camp of cultural workers'.  Deleuze also uses individual authors to launch digressions making comparisons with other authors, or cultural trends—'writing as a form of pickup'.  This places artists in a tradition or more general project.  These two tendencies are in a creative tension, as is the tension between general analysis and the specificity of each work of art.

This is an analysis of representation and the forces and energies that lie behind it.  The very organisation of the book into two volumes—one of Deleuze's commentary, one of Bacon's paintings— reveals the tension between image and concepts.  This has been discussed in trying to grasp film in a way that does not freeze the images, 'or translate the visual into the verbal' (232).  Deleuze tries to overcome this problem by setting up 'tableaus—verbal descriptions of scenes that in their stylistic richness gain all the intensity of the visual presence'.  This is apparently why Deleuze does not include images in the books on cinema either.  However, Deleuze refuses any simple relation between his comments and the images, despite some attempts to reference the paintings in the text.  However, the vividness of the text is what overcomes the 'verbal/visual dichotomy' (233).

[Polan then summarises the arguments in the book, which is organized under a number of rubrics.  I am going to skip quite vigorously].  The idea apparently is to develop a general logic of sensation, culminating in an account of the sensations of colours.  This is seen in terms of a general historical development, ironically enough, where Bacon is seen as the culmination of a search for defiguration: naturally, this is never argued as an explicit history, however.  En route, Deleuze argues with the argument that modern art to ceased to be representational first through the rise of photography, which did documentary better, and then through secularisation, which leads to a freedom from expressing religious objects and themes.  Deleuze argues that even traditional Christian arts had elements of abstraction or defiguration, in its attempts to detect a spiritual realm.  Deleuze also accepts only a limited impact of photography, and sees it more in terms of an anxiety that artists avoid the clichés of photography, which involves art in considerable difficult hard work—abstract art is the example

Deleuze examines Bacon's artistic procedures, in terms of steps in some higher logic—for example in the isolation of single figures by surrounding them with an oval shape, avoiding any narrative.  Another alternative is abstraction.  Deleuze then identifies additional elements [not inconsistency, but rhizomatic, says Polan], adding large flat areas.  He then hints that you can analyse Bacon's painting as structuralist combinations of these three elements, sometimes emphasising the figure in transformation, sometimes the background.  The former tends to dominate, depicting the body 'in the process of a full and violent becoming, racked by spasms, wrenching cries, vibrant thrusts of transmuting flesh' (237), and the oval becomes not a limit but a hole, an openness.  Deleuze describes the process as 'becoming animal' [he apparently did the same with Kafka], and goes on to show the internal disorganization of the human figure, this time discussed in terms of the tension between heads and faces [referencing his discussion with Guattari again] and the tension between the [weighty] flesh and [supportive] bone [shades of all this reoccur in ATP, of course].

The different periods or stages in Bacon are discussed, but seen as simultaneous.  Bacon is seen as heading towards 'the full breakdown of representation', as the blurring of the figure ends in an eventual dissipation, a reduction to pure force.  This leads to a discussion of the entire logic of sensation [presumably, his philosophy of going from empirical to virtual?].  Viewers of paintings experience of sensations of disintegration, untamed by narrative and historical reference.  This is puffed up as the power of rhythm, something non rational and non cerebral, a reworking of subjectivity which is 'hystericized…  Broken up, traversed by intensities, run through with energies' (240).  This is a sensitivity of the BWO.  Other artists have tried to head for this intensity as well, but Bacon is reacting both to organic representations, and abstract geometric art, produced by a spirituality, a search for elementary forces.  Painting in particular can depict this hysteria, 'based as it is on the direct effect of lines, colours and so forth on the eye of the beholder…  an optical specificity'(241).  The psychology of the painter is irrelevant, since painting translates liberated sensations.  Other forms of modern art can share in this too, as when music uses sounds to do the same thing.  Yet Bacon's figures are especially powerful.  The cry of the figures is not just existential pain, but reveals other forces, something more positive and affirmative, an ultimate declaration of faith in life.  The point is to see a battle with pessimistic forces, an heroic struggle, acknowledging horror but overcoming it.

The commentary then returns to the particular techniques and practices used by Bacon, 'a multiplication of the basic painterly elements'(242).  The overall affect can be described as a resonance as the sensations [produced by each element] combine and communicate [that all purpose metaphor again].  Bacon offers a particular combination of a wide range of options.  His shift to depict couples or triptyches is a response to realizing the 'limits of the logic of sensation of the figure'(243), especially the danger of representation.  Multiple figures might risk the return of narrativity or logical connection between the figures, but Bacon depicts that the relations as mobile and vibratory, with the 'increased possibilities of permutations and resonances among panels', so many interpretations of the relationship are possible, and none is privileged were assigned a final meaning [I bet the viewers often assign a meaning though]. 

Deleuze sees this as a contribution to the general artistic project of depicting sensations. The commentary then focuses on the issue of rhythm, combinations of multiple elements, in an increasingly abstract or defigured way.  Anthropomorphism is denied in favour of more abstract interactions and dimensions 'such as vertical - horizontal, descent-rise…  Augmentation - diminution' (244).  Even the deformations of the figures are not meant to represent horror, but possible elements to permit variations.  There is, of course, no single value system to dominate these possibilities.  Even splitting up the elements into binaries as above is rapidly denied, since each one is found in the other.

Authorship is denied.  Canvases are never empty, but filled with elements from earlier traditions and other influences, including an overwhelming world of representations, including clichés.  'Here…  Deleuze's analysis becomes directly sociological {they allmust to gain any significance -- but they are amateurs} as he confronts a modern society dominated by everyday signs and images' (245), and he wants to condemn it as consisting of cliché and stereotypes [which gets him back to the problems of photography which flattens things out, and denies possibilities].  Bacon reacts by deliberately denying any automaticity, sometimes deforming, and sometimes adding random marks.  This shows the work as opposed to photography [the old value distinction beloved by the bourgeoisie]. 

With geometric abstractions, as in Mondrian, there is a higher spiritual energy and meaning to be depicted through the binary codes such as horizontals and verticals.  Painting becomes a code, with manual and tactile elements diminished.  Manual activity is apparent with action painting, but 'optical sensation is diffused, confused, lost' (247).  Bacon offers a third path, retaining clichés but deforming them.  Deleuze sees this in terms of analogy—not a correspondence theory, but an attempt to grasp what is distinct about digital and analogical communication [apparently an example of the work by Bateson on schizophrenia, which sees schizophrenic communication as no longer sharp or digital—this 'has been decisive for Deleuze'].  Here there is a departure from the possible structuralism of the earlier work, which depends on discrete units with no blurring or intermixing.  Deleuze wants to replace this with 'a fluid semiotics'[in the books on cinema], emphasizing 'tonalities or graded shifts' (248) [and the example is the rejection of the flashback to clearly separate past and present in favour of layers of temporality].  Bacon is ideal for depicting these transitions as smears and melting—Bacon therefore modulates reality.  All this leads to the possibilities of pinning down artistic languages, which Deleuze sees every major painter as attempting.

Towards the end, Deleuze seems to argue that there is a mediation between history and individuals, where painters are situated beings.  [Deleuze owes something to Sartre here, apparently].  Although Bacon is specific, it still possible to read off from his work 'the totality of art history' (249) [usual liberal shit, seeking refuge in witty contradiction], 'the dialectic of universal and singular' (250).  Deleuze then attempts taxonomy of possible figurations and defigurations 'around such options as essential/accidental, haptic/optic, light/shadow, colour/light, figure/narrative'[lots of nice binaries again].  Bacon is fitted into this scheme than as an important modifier of an Egyptian tradition, 'art as a haptic aesthetic {referring to touch, something tactile}  based on the flattening of space in the bas relief [and other stuff]'. 

Above all, Bacon operates with a tradition of colour, as a form of modulation not opposition, analogical not digital.  The idea is to modulate light, to use relations of tonality as relations of value, to use colour to depict form, and even time.  Various sub tendencies occur or within this tradition—Cezanne, who apparently used pure distinctive strokes and follow the order of the spectrum, but in the process ran the risk of reconstituting a code, and separating the background too firmly from the foreground, preventing any modulation.  Bacon uses colour and broken tones instead.  This ends in an argument that colour is the prime modulator for Bacon, and colour [and its vibrations, naturally] governs the permutations of the other elements identified earlier.  Thus the background is depicted in a colour which plays with other colour values, and colored sections are used to delimit subsurfaces.  Colour also affects the foreground figure.  Blue and red remind us of flesh and meat, but broken tones indicate the action of forces, including temporality.  The term haptic is supposed to remind us that painting is 'simultaneously optical and manual, an art that overcomes divisions of spiritual and material' (252).  For Deleuze, Bacon introduces the manual through his use of strokes and smears, an evolution from manual action to optical effects, leading to the supersession of both.

Deleuze's discussion of the pedagogy of the image in the cinema books refers to the breaking down and then recomposing images as an instruction in seeing things.  This is another way of seeing artists as workers, like philosophers.  Deleuze is attempting his own pedagogy of the image in his analysis of Bacon, intending to dereify and defamiliarise in order to regain perception.  This can be seen as a romantic longing for some pure force, but Deleuze is aiming this mostly at 'our contemporary society of consumption'(253), which turns images into clichés, 'offering new insights into the possibilities of art in our society of the spectacle' (254). [avant-garde aesthetic of course]

Ropors- Wuilleumier, M-C The Cinema, Reader of Gilles Deleuze (255--61)

'the cinema led Gilles Deleuze to write' ( the books).  [Later, Deleuze's free indirect discourse blurs the distinction between 'propositions determined by  film'(259) and his own theoretical speculations]. Any easy synthesis would betray the idea of becoming.  The point here is to outline some options and 'points of uncertainty' which led Deleuze to philosophize (255).  It would be wrong to confine this to cinema.  The point was to think on the basis of encounters with cinema and to connect with the other work, where the cinema becomes 'an accelerator of reflection, even though this reflection does not pretend to derive the substance of its thought from the cinema alone'.  Bergson is to be read in order to grasp the idea of movement and time, but this leads Deleuze to reread Bergson 'in spite of what Bergson himself said' [Bergson saw the cinema as a mechanism describing how reality is wrongly perceived as a series of snapshots, and he looks dangerously psychological or phenomenological sometimes].  Matter, as image-movement changes into memory, image-time, and we see the present 'as a virtual image of the past it will become' (256).  The cinema represents this, and this helps us theorise cinema.  It is a new application of Bergson, taking him away from psychology and into perception, and it is Nietzsche whose idea of time as circular becoming is developed to grasp modern cinema with its 'short circuits, bifurcations, detours, and irrational divisions, where the notion of intensity is substituted for the truth'.

Thus 'the cinema operationalizes the image of an open totality', with a contradictory temporality—'incessant flux and instantaneous disjunction'.  Deleuze makes a connection between the paradoxical time of modern cinema, and the paradoxes in Lewis Carroll, in that 'sense confirms itself only in the experience of nonsense', showing how language 'runs after the sense of what it says'.  However, the analysis focuses more on the concept of time rather than the heterogeneity of cinema as such, which might have led to a more systematic investigation of cinematic language.  Deleuze avoids this because he wants to critique the uses of semiotic in cinema studies, and he turns to the pre-signifying, which exceeds enunciation.  He draws back by developing Peircian semiotics, privileging sight over all the other 'filmic signals'(257), an attempt at classification rather than analysing multiple connections.

This produces a certain 'contradictoriness by the division of the work into two volumes', with the first volume doing more of the classification, because, it is argued, a premodern cinema focused more on action and linear narratives, rather than the more crystalline versions depicting multiple times.  In effect, 'Deleuze [is] forced in the second volume to give up his Peircian models', but he has to rely instead on the notion of auteurs.  In the first volume, the traditional divisions of cinema are reworked in terms of the categories, but these are abandoned in the second volume.  Montage in the first volume, in Eisenstein, is seen as organic, but things become much more complex in volume two, requiring 'a problematic of discontinuity and disconnection' (258).  Deleuze tackles this by referring to montage there in terms of syntax, the operations of perception, 'crystallization or dissociation'. In effect, this manages filmic material by seeing it as a kind of speech after all, something 'which never stops expressing and enumerating that which is innumerable and  unnamable'

Deleuze thinks that cinema uniquely overcomes a number of dichotomies: 'classical and modern…  the organic and the crystalline', which makes cinema uniquely open ended and disjunctive, while permitting an analysis of quite different auteurs.  All are united by the cinema's role of presenting people with 'the unthinkable of thought'.  On the one hand, the cinema is a unique critical analyser, using 'the power of the false' to make problematic categories such as true and false, real and imaginary, which are found in classical philosophy.  At the same time, Deleuze sees cinema as something universal, accepting everything, 'reconciling us with the whole of everything' (259), helping us live in the world, moving beyond certainty to a kind of redemption, a belief in the wholeness of the aesthetic [refuge in the aesthetic as in Adorno].  The cinema offers a conciliation between the image and the real. 

Despite the hope that somehow the cinema can speak for itself, Deleuze uses 'nothing but analyses that have already been completed'.  This time, he references them scrupulously, a practice which might be 'attributable to the cinema itself' [which borrows the technique from text] but also represents 'Deleuze's desire to break theoretically with the empire of the sign and with the exact coincidence of signifier and signified'.  He collects other people's work as signifieds and changes them into the signifiers of another argument.  This style 'can consume any bit of writing'.  It reminds us that 'the analysis of films is not the ultimate goal of a reflection on cinema'(260).

Yet by rejecting any analysis of texts, including semiological, 'Deleuze limits his corpus to the domain of auteurs'(260), a 'return of a localised signified', which can block transversal thought, especially historical and conceptual problems [so no ideological analysis of realism, for example].  This is 'a cinephilic connivance', a love of the cinema of auteurs [bourgeois taste again].  Despite the abstract analysis, referring to auteurs' names 'inscribes, through an affect of memory, the trace of a presence that the cinema indefatigably renews'.  [In Deleuze's memory that is?]

The texts end with a summary in place of the system, a tendency to synthesis despite the recognition of disjunction.  The cinema finally become synthetic in the form of the spiritual automaton 'connecting man to machine [blending] contradictions and [materializing] the dream of a world where disjunctions communicates and where fusion operates within rupture'.  The same argument is made at the end of Logic of Sense—the 'dazzling event' reveals the univocality of sense after all, in an 'ephemeral instant, when sense and being coincide'.  Cinema restores this possibility, even at the same time of making us aware of paradox.  Even though a taxonomy of cinema is impossible, cinema still makes itself heard through integrating fragments, transforming instances into essences: 'in Deleuze's reading, the cinema answers to the nostalgia of a poetry without writing'

Martin, J-C Cartography of the Year 1000: Variations on A Thousand Plateaus (265 - 88)

[a Deleuzian fine writing meditation on elements of the year 1000, taking in monastic architecture, plain chant, holy relics and various other delights.  It's all beyond me, but I will quote the final sections of the argument:

'From architecture to psalmody, from psalmody to relics, and from relics to peregrination, an abstract machine is outlined, without any hidden support or principal overhang, and it develops its concrete differentiated assemblages according to the flats dimension of continuous multiplicities (N-1).  Here, I have joined together these multiplicities on a map of the year 1000, as in a rhizosphere with fluid coordinates, oriented towards diverging thresholds, translated into irreducible proper names, and placed in variation through illimitative verbs of becoming.  In this context, I have looked for aesthetic thresholds able to mobilize knowledge (savoir) in a direction different from the scientific, in order to translate an architectural work into the problematic terms to which it belongs.  I would have liked to develop more than I did the other thresholds—ethical, juridical, political—tied to different discursive practices, and to follow as a nomad "that foreign land where a literary form, a scientific proposition, common phrase, a schizophrenia piece of non-sense and so on are also statements, but lacked the common denominator and cannot be reduced or made equivalent in any discursive way" [possibly a reference to Deleuze on Foucault].  It is inside this directional space and in continuous transformation that I would have liked to forge my concepts, like an itinerant artisan, with all the tact required by the material - force and support - motif complex, cleansed of their constraining theorems.  I would then be able to follow the intensive lines of flight and to allow our vague essence to wander (errer) in every course (parcours) and every discourse.  Perhaps we must, henceforth, learn to decline (décliner) all this, simultaneously, with an overgrown ear, on the trajectories of a nomadic philosophy' (286).

Lingis, A.  The Society of Dismembered Body Parts (289 - 303).

We conceive of society as a formed by contract binding autonomous agents, or as an organic body, where relations between parts and organs are defined by their functions.  In structuralism, there is a system 'regulating the exchange of words, women, goods and services'(289).  There is also an exchange model where individuals are not just individual humans [?].  Anti-Oedipus offers a new mapping of the libidinal body, an anorganic one.

This body has different states.  Different organs draw on different flows, of air and milk.  For Artaud, the BWO was self sufficient, undifferentiated and closed.  'Deleuze and Guattari identify [this as] the Id', operating with a death drive as primary catatonia.  In Freud, organ couplings can produce erotgenic surfaces, where pleasure emanates from contact.  Here, the organs are productive apparatuses extending pleasure surfaces in various flows of energy or excitations.  This extension of pleasure surfaces blocks the death drive.  'Nomadic, multiple, ephemeral surface egos [result], where surplus energies are consumed in pleasure, eddies of egoism that consume themselves' (291).  The withdrawn contentment that results provides an image of the BWO, but this image of the infant is historical, 'the residue of a historical process of deterritorialization, abstraction, formalization'.

Deleuze and Guattari talk of productive apparatuses or machines, and this fits the notion of DNA molecules as locations for coding.  The social system is also seen as a matter of code, a matter of marking even before exchanging, recording and regulating 'coded flows of libidinal energies'.  Three kinds of coding emerge according to whether these energies are seen as the body of the earth, of the despot, or of capital.  The first image belongs to nomadic societies, where the earth is seen as the ultimate connector between human energies', where there is no division of labour, where people go through initiation ceremonies to mark stages [lots of examples, 292—apparently, they often reflect some attachment to the earth's, as in tribal totems. This sort of free-wheeling 'anthropology' is very like D & G -- overblown, idealist, tautologous/definitional].  This conception precedes exchange, and so offers a critique of Levi Strauss, since social relations exceed those where exchange has been taking place [it is a matter of all those who share things like body markings having an obligation to perform social tasks—this is rendered as 'savages…  [belonging to society]…  as organs attached to the full body of the earth' (293).  Social relations are seen as couplings of organs.  [Loads more examples of savage societies, and their culture—oral culture, headhunting and cannibalism as spiritual capture, status from organizing feasts, excellent memory and storytelling capacities.  Then more stuff on art as a matter of signifying manual dexterity.  Then the visual enjoyment of pain as in marking and perforation, the role of cruelty—apparently Nietzsche notice the same pleasure in witnessing pain, and inflicting it, and this leads him to speculate on the idea of pain as justice via social restoration.  The whole point is to witness initiations like this in public as a kind of basic social pleasure].  Thus these activities are not to be read as signs, but rather diagrams [more florid examples about how things like the paw of a leopard refers directly to the animal itself, the pain it causes, how this might be seen as a sign of a tribe].

Barbarian societies emerging as a result of changed codings, overcoding, where everything converges on the body of the despot, after an initial deterritorialization.  A new kind of coupling between human parts and culture is also produced, as in the emergence of graphics and writing, a function of the need to regulate bureaucracies.  The graphics can be reproduced, and this also breaks the connections between signs and feelings.  Voices are deterritorialized in a linear progression, and are themselves replaced by writing, appearing as 'the mute, impersonal, remote voice' (298).  Meanings are subjected to linguistic laws, which involves subjection to empire.  This [disenchants] sound, and fixes places for individuals [and also produces the problem of colonizing languages]. 

Capitalism turns laborers into hands and eyes, limbs attached to machines. Species being was meant to restore the whole organism, but the capitalist notion of the sovereign individual is more powerful, and makes more sense since individual bodies are definable.  Privatization ensues—of productive energy, of the organs generally [gripping discussion on the social uses of the anus, 300] which become private.  Phalluses become egos.  Marx's integral man has been demolished by this notion of the privatized body.

Deleuze and Guattari propose a 'schizophrenic apocalypse' (301), where body parts would be freed up for 'evermore diverse couplings'.  Globalization will help, especially information technology that detaches bodies [lots of freewheeling stuff again]