Gilles Deleuze and the
redemption from interest
Deleuze writes a redemptive philosophy. In conjunction
with its mainly artistic allies, it is designed to save its
readers from a situation contaminated by ʻconsciousnessʼ, ʻrepresentationʼ, ʻanalogyʼ, ʻrepressionʼ, ʻlackʼ, and
ʻthe Other [autrui]ʼ. Redemption from these things,
according to Deleuze, provides immediate access to
a very different kind of situation – a situation deﬁned
by its radical self-sufﬁciency, its literal, absolute, allinclusive immanence to itself. In a whole variety of
ways, Deleuze writes the passage from our given,
contaminated situation, to the purer, more primordial
Just how this self-sufﬁciency allows itself to be so
contaminated is the ﬁrst question which Deleuze, like
so many other redemptive writers, must confront. Like
Spinoza, most obviously – but also, like the Christian
St Paul or the Muslim Suhrawardî1 – Deleuzeʼs work
begins with the problem of an all-powerful, all-determining ontological principle somehow repressed or,
denied through its own power of creation. Consideration of this problem throws into question some of
our most cherished assumptions about Deleuzeʼs work
– his alleged subversions of authority and the subject,
his refusal of ʻtotalizingʼ knowledges, and his afﬁrmation of a radical pluralism or ʻdifferenceʼ.
I will argue that Deleuze, like Spinoza, Suhrawardî
or Paul, writes a relentless attack on speciﬁc, worldly
knowledges and worldly differences, in favour of an
other-worldly redemptive force. This force is deﬁned
by its absolute power to negate or transcend relation
as such. If Deleuzeʼs radical philosophy of immanence of course entails the critique of transcendence
just as it implies the refusal of negation, this very
critique obtains only through a preliminary transcendence of what might be called the ʻGivenʼ (relative,
worldly, speciﬁc, human, signiﬁcant) as opposed to the
ʻRealʼ (absolute, other-worldly, singular, inhuman or
Radical Philosophy 81 (Jan/Feb 1997)
impersonal, asigniﬁcant).2 This transcendence is the
enabling gesture of Deleuzeʼs entire project. It is also,
perhaps, the source of its ultimate incoherence.
For Deleuze as much as for Spinoza or Suhrawardî,
Being is deﬁned by its singularity or univocity. ʻThere
has only ever been one ontological proposition: Being
is univocalʼ, and ʻthe One expresses in a single
meaning all of the multiple.ʼ3 The Real is that which
creates what it perceives (or conceives, in both senses).
Here, ʻdesire and its object are one and the same
thingʼ, and ʻthere is only one kind of production, the
production of the real.ʼ4 But we, ourselves ʻproducedʼ,
are somehow led to distinguish between ʻrealʼ and
ʻunrealʼ (either ʻimaginaryʼ or ʻsymbolicʼ). We are
led to ﬁgure the literally true. If Real is self-constituent, self-sufﬁcient and self-expressive – originally and
immediately determinant – such knowledge that we
have of this immanent determining force is derivative,
second-order, the product of an eventual mastery. The
Real, in other words, is immediate but not given. What
is ﬁrst given to us is a worldly condition governed
by mediation, a world ruled by plurivocal relations
between perceptions and perceived, between subjects
and objects, between transcendent and transcended
forces. For Deleuze as much as for Paul and Spinoza,
the great task is to overcome such relations, to overcome a worldly or interested mediation, so as to return
to a wholly immanent immediacy.
Models of redemption
Consider brieﬂy the more familiar models of redemption associated with Paul, Suhrawardî and Spinoza. If
Spinozaʼs example is the most important for Deleuze,5
the logic of salvation is comparable in each case. For
all, it follows from the deﬁnition of an all-powerful
God that, in Paulʼs words, ʻall that may be known of
God by men lies plain before their eyes; indeed God
himself has disclosed it to them. His invisible attributes, that is to say his everlasting power and deity,
have been visible, ever since the world began, to the
eye of reason, in the things he has made.ʼ The ʻRealʼ
is immediately and primordially evident; it inheres in
all creation, by deﬁnition. Necessarily, ʻnothing in all
creation can separate us from the love of Godʼ.6 But
we live in the world as if separate from God. We live
as positioned, interested, speciﬁed (Greek, Roman,
Jew…). As worldly creatures, we try to relate to a
God imagined as transcendent, to ﬁgure God through
the law, and this effort brings only ʻconsciousness of
sinʼ.7 The solution is simple: we must escape the world
(the ʻas ifʼ), the legal organization of relations, so as
to become-immediate to God, literally God. ʻAdapt
yourselves no longer to the pattern of this present
world, but let your minds be remade and your whole
nature thus transformed. Then you will be able to
discern the will of God, and to know what is good,
acceptable and perfectʼ. Die to the world, so as to
be reborn in a spirit unlimited by the mediate speciﬁcities of the world. ʻYou are on the spiritual level,
if only Godʼs Spirit dwells within you.ʼ8 Then ʻthere
is no such thing as Jew or Greek … for you are all
one person in Christ Jesus.ʼ9 Unlimited and therefore
all-inclusive, Paulʼs Spirit announces the dawn of what
Deleuze will call ʻa world without othersʼ10 – a world
of one singularity–multiplicity, a world beyond worldly
mediation or relation altogether.
Like all visions of the Islamic deity, Iranian philosopher Suhrawardîʼs ʻLight of Lightsʼ is radically
sovereign, autarcique, ʻthat which subsists through
itselfʼ.11 The purely original One is wholly unknowable
(deus absconditus), a blinding light. The One is not an
accessible whole but what, inaccessible, gives rise to
the multiple. Deleuze will use the term ʻthe Unthoughtʼ
(or ʻnon-senseʼ) to describe much the same thing. The
multiple is invariably expressive of the One, but to
variable degrees. Hence a strictly vertical arrangement,
determined by proximity to God. The aim of any given
being is to return, to the degree possible, toward the
One Light from which it springs. For Suhrawardî,
since ʻto turn entirely towards God is liberationʼ, so
ʻeverything that gets in the way of the Good is Evil.
Everything which erects an obstacle on the spiritual
path is human impiety.ʼ12 We begin as impious. Our
ʻvisible world is not itself the Temple, it is the Templeʼs cryptʼ, the place of an inherited ʻexileʼ from the
Temple.13 To gain access to the Temple of Light, from
ʻthis dark lump that is our earthʼ,14 the seeing subject
must pull away from the world and grasp a spiritual
and only spiritual existence. Sensual and spiritual
perception are, for Suhrawardî as for the Suﬁ tradition, mutually exclusive.15 When I move toward God,
ʻI separate myself from this world and join myself
with the world above.ʼ16 Above all, with Rûmî as with
Suhrawardî, ʻthe goal of all ascesis is a vision in which
there is no longer a difference between the knowing
and the known.ʼ17 Only God can proclaim the Being of
God (ʻthroughʼ the speaker). Illuminated, the knowing
subject ʻis not a subject opposed to an objectʼ; rather,
ʻthrough the soul which knows, the real knows itself,
becomes conscious of itself. Knowledge is illumination
of the real in reality itself, it is Light reﬂecting on
light.ʼ18 Not ʻI thinkʼ, but ʻI am thought.ʼ19
With Spinoza, ﬁnally, ʻGod acts and directs everything by the necessity of his own nature and perfection
aloneʼ; ʻhis decrees and volitions are eternal truths,
and always involve necessity.ʼ20 Godʼs creatures are
simply modes or actualizations of Godʼs power to
various degrees. In the Given state of nature assumed
by Spinoza as much as Hobbes, these modes remain
ignorant of their ʻReal natureʼ, remain ʻslavesʼ of their
positioned interests, ʻpassionsʼ and ʻappetitesʼ.21 If God
is all-powerful, we – and it is a point Deleuze stresses
in his reading of Spinoza – do not begin as God (as
reasonable). We must become the reason that we are,
and eventually reasonable modes are those which see
themselves as actualizations of Godʼs univocal power,
as wholly and immediately identical to the one Real
interest, the interest of divine reason itself. In a fully
reasonable polity, then, it follows that the ʻliberty of
the Subject [is] consistent with the unlimited power of
the sovereignʼ.22 By becoming immediate to reason,
subjects as much as rulers become literally unlimited,
redeemed from the limits of interest. In this way the
ʻgreatest freedomʼ is identical to the ʻgreatest obedienceʼ, on the Pauline (or Ismâʼili) model: the two are
unlimited in themselves. ʻWe are bound to perform all
the commands of the sovereign without exceptionʼ,23
and the ʻmore absolute a governmentʼ, ʻthe more suitable for the preservation of freedom.ʼ24 ʻThe greater
the right of the sovereign the more does the form of
the state agree with the dictate of reasonʼ – that is, the
more it ʻform[s] one body directed by one mindʼ.25
Despite obvious differences in doctrine and
approach, all of these thinkers assert an essentially
similar redemptive sequence. The elements of much the
same sequence obtain in Deleuzeʼs philosophy: ontological univocity; a critique of its repression or misrepresentation; its restoration (redemption) declared
through an escape from worldly mediation; dissolution
of the subject (or equation of subject and object); a
consequent insistence upon the literal and immediate.
Radical Philosophy 81 (Jan/Feb 1997)
Always, Deleuze tries to break out of a Given situation (positioned, related, speciﬁed, mediated, ﬁgured)
towards a situation in which ʻeverything divides, but
into itselfʼ.26 Deleuzeʼs philosophy of difference has
nothing to do with the articulation of positions or
interests as such, any more than with the ʻcomplicationʼ of mediation. The mediate conﬂict of interests
has no more place in Deleuzeʼs ʻworld without othersʼ
than it does in Spinozaʼs ʻreasonable commonwealthʼ,
in Suhrawardîʼs luminescent ʻimaginal worldʼ, or in
Paulʼs ʻone body of Christʼ. The prevailing reception
of Deleuzeʼs work renders this reading difﬁcult on
In the ﬁrst place, his mainly pluralist followers
refuse or restrict the ontological univocity basic to the
redemptive enterprise. With this Deleuze we discover
the ʻforces of difference that compel thought to move
outside a logic of identityʼ.27 As Pierre Zaoui argues in
one of the best recent studies, Deleuze provides ʻone
of the most fruitful philosophies of differenceʼ because
he so insistently dismantles ʻthe identity of the One,
the identity of the origin of Being in Platonismʼ.28 As
Boundas presents him through the Deleuze Reader,
Deleuze writes the ʻinteraction of differential intensities, incommensurable with respect to each otherʼ, and
disruptive of any teleological coherence.29 Deleuzeʼs
asserted ʻtotal oppositionʼ to Hegel has long been
a standard point of departure for the reading of his
work.30 It is the basis for the distinction of a ʻpureʼ,
ʻnondialecticalʼ difference from a difference which,
ʻin the dialectical relation, is only thinkable in terms
of the implicitly presumed Wholeʼ.31 I will argue, on
the contrary, that Deleuzeʼs redemptive philosophy
always works from, within and toward the assumption
of ontological univocity, the redemptive identity of the
One and the multiple.
Second, our deleuziens generally refuse or limit
the conceptual space Deleuze allots to the agent
of redemption – that is, the thinker, artist or philosopher.32 Hardtʼs Deleuze is especially vigorous
in ʻcombatting the privileges of thoughtʼ, in undermining ʻany account that in any way subordinates
being to thoughtʼ.33 With Lecercleʼs Deleuze, ʻthere
is no Totality, and there is no Subject to grasp itʼ,34
but rather a surging ontological delirium, the subversion of all conceivable subjective order.35 According
to Gros, Deleuze refuses all aspects of an ʻoriginary
experienceʼ,36 in favour of what Janicaut describes as
a radical shattering of perspectives: ʻmore than ever,
[with Deleuze] being articulates itself in multiple
ways, on the condition that the unity of the ontological signiﬁed is hitherto declared false, and becomes
Radical Philosophy 81 (Jan/Feb 1997)
volatile [through] an irreducible pluralism of discursive ﬁgures and modes of behaviour.ʼ37
Third, while the redemptive orientation of Deleuzeʼs
work reduces the play of relations with others to the
immediacy of conversion in the Pauline sense, the published Deleuze readers generally emphasize his utility
as ally in the articulation of a world of pure ʻothernessʼ.
Massumi ﬁnds with Deleuze a ʻhyperdifferentiatedʼ
subject, which exists only ʻin the interactions between
peopleʼ, expressed through ʻincreasingly nuanced local
reactionsʼ.38 Hardtʼs Deleuze provides ʻtools for the
constitution of a radical democracyʼ, ʻopen to the will
of its constituent membersʼ.39 Again, Boundasʼs explicit
aim as editor of the Deleuze Reader is to promote his
thought for the reinvigoration of American discussions
of ʻpostmodernismʼ and ʻdeconstructionʼ: ʻthe ritornello
of their [Deleuze and Guattariʼs] minor deconstruction
coordinates the manifesto of their radical pluralism.ʼ40
There is no room here for the redemptive coordination
of interests in favour of the one disinterest.
The fourth and ﬁnal point: redemption turns on
judgement, on deﬁnitive, unequivocal (univocal) judgement – a last judgement. But readers of Deleuze are
virtually unanimous in their assumption that to radical
social pluralism corresponds a competing chaos of
evaluations, the dissolution of all hierarchy. Deleuze is
read as the prophet of the equivocal, rather than the univocal. He is said to elaborate ʻa theoretical programme
which aims to be beyond system – and consequently
opposed to all doctrinaire conceptsʼ.41 Lecercleʼs
assessment is typical: ʻ[Deleuze and Guattariʼs] main
objective was a critique of all the forms of theoretical
imperialism that had dominated French philosophy in
the 1960s and 1970sʼ,42 and the afﬁrmation of a place
ʻwhere interpretation waversʼ before the profusion of
possibilities, an ongoing moment of ʻhesitationʼ.43 I
will argue, on the contrary, that Deleuzeʼs redemptive
authority is absolute by deﬁnition, an authority literally and explicitly beyond discussion, beyond appeal.
Rather than limit or eliminate judgement, Deleuze
makes it literally unlimited; his judgement is no longer
relative to a judge, a faculty, a place, a constitution or
a set of criteria of judgement, but coincides with itself
alone – as redemptive of all.
The constitution of the Given
Like Spinoza or Nietzsche, Deleuze takes as his critical starting point that the Real nature of things has
been concealed from us by inherited human tendencies, by ressentiment, by vicious relations with and
between others. Deleuze begins with a version of what
Suhrawardî called our ʻoccidental exileʼ – an exile
from the Light, from the pole of genuine Orientation.
The Real ʻ“Whole” is never “given”ʼ.44 For us, the
Real exists only as repressed or, at best, as partially
expressed, and the fundamental question must be,
ʻhow is the Real led to desire its own repression?ʼ45
Philosophy as Deleuze conceives it serves to struggle
with this repression; philosophers and artists have,
ﬁrst and foremost, a ʻclinicalʼ or ʻsymptomalogicalʼ
In Spinozaʼs all-important terms, the idea of God
is the only adequate basis for the ordering of reality,
but ʻthat one cannot begin from the idea of God, that
one cannot from the outset install oneself in God, is
a constant of Spinozismʼ.47 Divine thought alone is
authentically Real, original in both senses – but we
must become thinkers. ʻThinking is not innate, but
must be engendered in thoughtʼ, for ʻwe are born
cut off from our power of action or understanding.ʼ48
Spinozaʼs exemplary becoming-thinker takes place in
three stages. First, we begin in a (Given) ʻchildlikeʼ state of ʻimpotence and slaveryʼ, governed by
ʻignoranceʼ and ʻchance encountersʼ.49 Second, we
create expressive common notions through such
encounters which ʻlead us to the idea of Godʼ.50 And
third, ʻas quickly as possibleʼ, we attain knowledge
of God as from Godʼs perspective, ʻthe knowledge
of Godʼs essence, of particular essences as they are
in God, and as conceived by Godʼ. Here ʻwe think
as God thinks, we experience the very feelings of
The third kind of knowledge achieves a complete
fusion of self and God, or of Given and Real. And
so the formation of ʻa reasonable being may in this
sense be said to reproduce and express the effort of
Nature as a wholeʼ52 – creation is expressive of its
creator. It is not a process that separates outcome from
origin, but one which actualizes the initial, virtual
identity of origin and outcome. The result is original
in both senses (ʻprimordialʼ and ʻunprecedentedʼ). The
process itself, the three steps, abolish themselves in
their realization. The equation leaves no remainder.
ʻWe do of course appear to reach the third kind of
knowledge… [but] the “transition” is only an appearance; in reality we are simply ﬁnding ourselves as we
are immediately and eternally in Godʼ53 – very much
on the Pauline model.
In other words, the Real requires an archaeologist. Its original immediacy must be uncovered and
reconstructed through its Given fragments. Hence
the exemplary importance of Foucault, archéologue
par excellence. ʻEverything in [Foucaultʼs] statements
is real and all reality is manifestly presentʼ, but it
is nevertheless ʻnot given in … a manifest wayʼ.54
The statement ʻis not immediately perceptible but is
always covered over by phrases and propositions.…
We are forced to begin with [Given] words, phrases
and propositionsʼ,55 in order then to extract the virtual
problem or statement which (ʻﬁrstʼ) determines them.
For example, what is said about sexuality in the Victorian age is Given as repressed, and it ʻsaysʼ the
repression of sexuality; what is Really stated, however,
is the proliferation of determining discourses which
deﬁne and manipulate the sexual, without respite.56
Statements ʻare never hiddenʼ but, somehow, a ʻstatement does remain hidden if we do not rise to its
extractive conditions; on the contrary, it is there and
says everything as soon as we reach these conditions.ʼ57
Once extracted, the virtual statement is all-determining; this is for Deleuze ʻFoucaultʼs greatest historical
principleʼ.58 To become-Real is to be extracted from
the Given. This ʻextractionʼ of virtual from actual is
the process which eliminates a situated speciﬁcity or
context, which makes the Real independent of context
or scale, on the fractal model.59 It is achieved through
annihilation, explosion, or paralysis of the Given.
If the Real is (transcendental) immanence to itself,
the Given forces which literally ʻcover upʼ or mediate
the Real are necessarily transcendent.60 If the Real
is one and consequently immanent to itself, trans-
Radical Philosophy 81 (Jan/Feb 1997)
cendence establishes a world of plurality (as opposed
to multiplicity); it relates beings to other beings and
concepts to things.61 Deleuzeʼs critical task is thus
ʻto hunt transcendence down in all its formsʼ,62 to
eliminate what he calls ʻthe four shackles of mediation:
… [immediate d]ifference is “mediated” to the extent
that it is subjected to the fourfold root … of identity,
opposition, analogy and resemblance.ʼ63 Immanence
will exist, then, as beyond identity and beyond opposition, as literal and non-resembling.
For Deleuze as for Spinoza or Paul, the great question is, how does the Real which is alone creative allow
itself to be transcended by its own creations? In some
mysterious way, the Real creates a world in which it
weakens itself, becomes wordly, much as God creates
a creature which denies Him. Real ʻvirtual difference
tends to actualize itself in forms which cancel itʼ,64
and for Deleuze–Bergson, ʻlife as movement alienates
itself in the material form that it creates; by actualizing itself, by differentiation itself, it loses “contact
with the rest of itself”. Every species is thus an arrest
of movementʼ.65 Consequently, the restoration of Real
movement will require the extinction of species. If
ʻemergence, change, and mutation affect composing
forces, not composed formsʼ,66 the task of philosophy
is simply to explode the coherence of composed forms.
In the terms of Anti-Oedipus, for example, the explosion of the mediate, ʻmolarʼ or speciﬁc category of the
person liberates the immediate desiring-production of
singular molecular machines.67 In the terms of Cinema
2, dissolution of the sensory-motor schema (roughly,
the subject) reveals ʻtime in the pure stateʼ.68 Deleuzeʼs
philosophy always aims to move from the composed
to the composing, to restore the original dimensions
of the immanent Whole – to redeem the Real from
its given, worldly condition. Philosophy is both a
becoming-Real of the Given and a critical account of
how the Given comes to constitute itself at the heart
of the Real.
For Deleuze, then, the preamble to any possible
philosophy is an account of the Given. This account
ﬁgures, variously, as: the constitution of the moral man
or slave in Nietzsche and Philosophy; the constitution
of representation and of merely speciﬁc difference in
Difference and Repetition; the constitution of worldliness (mondanité, amour) in Proust and Signs; the limitation of schizophrenia to a ʻclinical conditionʼ and the
castration of desire in Anti-Oedipus, and so on. Three
accounts of the Given stand out as particularly important: (i) with Bergson, the constitution of the human
in its most general form (critique of the organism); (ii)
with capitalism and psychoanalysis, the constitution
Radical Philosophy 81 (Jan/Feb 1997)
of the subject of work and lack (critique of Oedipus);
and (iii) with Foucault, the constitution of the subject
in modern thought (critique of ʻManʼ, of the ʻMajorʼ).
Together, they allow us to situate Deleuzeʼs work as
a refusal of the Given on two levels, one ʻcosmicʼ
(with Bergson), the other historical (with Oedipus and
Foucault). On the ﬁrst level, Deleuze mixes what might
be called ʻprophetic fragmentsʼ of the ʻdeath of Manʼ
from any available source (ʻnomadicʼ pre-history or
futuristic post-history; the Stoics as much as Artaud;
Spinoza as much as Nietzsche). On the second level,
Deleuze aligns himself with a particular moment in
the development of philosophy, working towards this
death, today, alongside Foucault, Klossowski, Lyotard,
Virilio, Godard, Beckett, Artaud, Michaux, Simondon,
Guattari, Badiou, and others, as allies in this effort to
overcome the Given.
Bergson and the alienation of life
Bergsonʼs great virtue, for Deleuze, is his effort to
account for a mediate, perceiving organism within
the wholly immediate, inorganic Reality of Life, ʻthe
powerful, non-organic Life which grips the worldʼ.69
According to Deleuze, Bergson was the ﬁrst of our
contemporaries to realize that it is strictly ʻimpossibleʼ
to relate ʻobjectiveʼ things or movements to ʻsubjectiveʼ
images of movements – this would be to posit two
(equivocal) orders of being, in violation of Real univocity. ʻIt [is] necessary, at any cost, to overcome this
duality of image and movement, of consciousness and
thing.ʼ70 In place of images in the mind and movements
in space, Bergson insists that ʻIMAGE = MOVEMENTʼ.71
Rather like that of Suhrawardî, Bergsonʼs ʻplane of
immanence is entirely made up of Lightʼ.72 Within
this Real coherence, the seeing eye is not directed at
objects, but rather
the eye is in things, in luminous images in themselves. ʻPhotography, if there is photography, is
already snapped, already shot, in the very interior
of things and for all the points of spaceʼ [Bergson].
Things are luminous by themselves without anything
illuminating them: all consciousness is something, it
is indistinguishable from the thing … immanent to
Given consciousness, then, what Deleuze here calls
ʻour consciousness of factʼ, is ʻmerely the opacity
without which light “is always propagated without its
source ever having been revealed” [Bergson]ʼ.74 It is,
in other words, a gap [écart] in the continuous Real
fabric of matter-light, a separation of movement and
image, maintained in the interests of a coordinated
motor-schema of perception and action. For Deleuze,
this is mediation, the organism (or ʻOther structureʼ75)
at the most basic level. Organisms isolate, reﬂect
or ʻperceiveʼ only that aspect of Real light which
interests them (the herbivore, for example, perceives
food in grass, and only food). Whereas Real perception is disinterested and concrete, Given perception
is limited by interest and consequently abstract; ʻwe
perceive only what we are interested in perceiving,
or rather what it is in our interest to perceive.ʼ76
Such a subjectivity is ʻsubtractiveʼ, ʻincomplete and
prejudicedʼ, while an ʻobjectivelyʼ Real perception is
ʻcomplete, immediateʼ.77 To become adequate to the
complete, impartial Real, then, is to overcome the
organic interval, to restore the continuous luminous
ﬂow in all its immediacy. It is to overcome interest
and thereby return to the ʻprimary regime of variation,
in its heat and its light, while it is still untroubled
by any centre of indetermination [i.e. an organism].
How can we rid ourselves of ourselves, and demolish
In short, Bergson suggests how we might ʻattain
once more the world before man, before our own
dawn, the position where movement was … under
the regime of universal variation …, the luminous
plane of immanenceʼ.79 Deleuzeʼs persistent dream is
to be thus
present at the dawn of the world. Such is the link
between imperceptibility, indiscernibility, and impersonality – the three virtues. To reduce oneself to
an abstract line, a trait, in order to ﬁnd oneʼs zone
of indiscernibility with other traits, and in this way
enter the haecceity and impersonality of the creator.
One is then like grass…80
Deleuze equates origin and outcome, the realization
of the Real in an apocalyptic dawn. The properly
eternal or ʻuntimelyʼ aspect of Deleuzeʼs work is a
function of his afﬁrmation, wherever he ﬁnds them,
of means (nomadic, schizophrenic, stoic, surreal,
aphasic, genetic, fractal, aesthetic…) to this wholly
Oedipus and the repression of desire
ʻOedipusʼ is the broadest term given to what Deleuze
with Guattari analyses as the speciﬁcally subjective
form of transcendence, the most ʻconcentratedʼ form
of the organism or ʻbody with organsʼ. Oedipus is that
which unites transcendence and organism in a single
repressive form. If ʻsubjectivity appears as soon as
there is a gap between a received and an executed
movementʼ,81 it is because, according to Deleuze, the
subject is our privileged locus of transcendence or
mediation. Subjective identity as it exists in relation
to other identities is the privileged Given bulwark
established against Real becomings-imperceptible.
Deleuzeʼs ﬁrst book, Empiricism and Subjectivity
(1953), is an attempt to determine with Hume what
permits the constitution of the transcendent subject
within a Real ﬁeld of immanence.82 His ﬁrst collaborative book, Anti-Oedipus, provides his fullest and most
celebrated answer to this question, now posed as: how
is desire led to desire its own repression?83
According to Deleuze and Guattari, the Oedipal
subject achieves this repression by linking the two
major forms of transcendence: a ʻprivateʼ (subjective)
transcendence of immanence as invoked by the philosophy of representation, and a public (subjected)
transcendence as performed by the state. In the
ﬁrst case, the subject is led to ﬁgure the world, to
represent the world, and, through imagination and
analogy, negate the literal or immediate presence
of the world. This negation is maintained by the
ʻtheatricalʼ mediation of psychoanalysis. Speciﬁcally
subjective desire – a subjectʼs desire for an object
– detaches Real composing desire from its immediate
creation of objects, in order to relate to ʻcomposedʼ
objects which it (now) lacks. The paradigm for this
missing object is the elusive object of Oedipal desire
(Artaudʼs ʻmommy daddyʼ). To the ʻprivateʼ transcendence of the subject corresponds, in the second
case, the ʻpublicʼ transcendence of the state as overcoding, external instance ʻbeyondʼ production. The
state ﬁgures in Anti-Oedipus as a kind of primordial super-ego, detached, standing watch above the
now coordinated ﬁeld of social action. The subject is
thus harnessed to work, under the supervision of the
state, in its endless pursuit of the missing object (the
fulﬁlment of desire-as-lack). According to Deleuze
and Guattari, the capitalist organization of labour, the
distribution of familial roles across the whole socialsymbolic ﬁeld, and the pyschoanalytic interpretation
of desire, are all aspects of a single apparatus for the
repression of the Real (or consolidation of the Given,
of ʻlackʼ). Oedipus is the mechanism which cements
these two subjective–subjected poles of transcendence
together. Oedipus is what establishes and relates a
psychological interiority to external social authority;84 the ʻpersonʼ is doubly subjected through the
mediate ʻcastrationʼ of desire and the transcendent
over-coding of the state.85 A Deleuzian recovery of
the Real, then, will begin with the dissolution of
these two forms of subjection, and the evocation of a
space without person or state.
Radical Philosophy 81 (Jan/Feb 1997)
Foucault and the death of Man
Foucaultʼs famous thesis concerning the imminent
ʻdeath of Manʼ helps specify the historicity of Deleuzeʼs
project – its contemporary urgency. As Deleuze
presents it, the ʻMan-formʼ analysed by Foucault is
our particular version of the Given mediate form
analysed in general by Bergson, and only slightly
more speciﬁcally through Oedipus. Deleuze takes from
Les Mots et les choses three stages in the constitution and dissolution of this form: pre-Man (classical),
Man (modern), and after-Man (apocalyptic). Deleuzeʼs
thought can be considered quite precisely as an attempt
to equate the ﬁrst and second stages in the third.
In the ﬁrst stage, the Real is (correctly, in Deleuzeʼs
view) identiﬁed with the Inﬁnite, with God as inﬁnite
power of understanding, inﬁnite power of creation, and
so on.86 ʻSo long as God exists … then man does not
yet exist.ʼ87 But, rather than immediate to the Real,
the human is here identiﬁed with a limitation placed
upon such an inﬁnity (for example, the human power of
understanding as a limited form of a divinely inﬁnite
understanding88). The objects of science include only
those things which can in principle be extended to
inﬁnity, constructed in indeﬁnite series out from one
central ʻcreativeʼ point (money or wealth in ʻeconomicsʼ, speciﬁc differences in ʻbiologyʼ, and so on).
The great effort of knowledge in the classical age is
thus the effort to represent or locate itself within the
inﬁnite,89 and to explain is here to extend to inﬁnity,
to ʻunfoldʼ the Real without losing this location.90
In the second stage, human ﬁnitude becomes more
ʻpositivelyʼ constituent (with Kant) than negative or
limiting. Rather than construct general series referring
back to one inﬁnitely creative point, each element
in a series takes on a self-constituent energy, and
diverges in an ongoing ʻevolutionʼ of living beings
(Lamarck, Cuvier, Cournot, Darwin); the force of
work becomes constituent of wealth, and ʻwork itself
falls back on capital (Ricardo) before the reverse takes
place, in which capital falls back on the work extorted
(Marx)ʼ;91 languages no longer refer back to a universal
general grammar but to ʻcollective willsʼ (Bopp, Schlegel). Speciﬁc, comparative histories replace a general
deductive order, histories in which the coordinating
agent is of course ʻManʼ himself, speciﬁed as living,
working, speaking, being. In short, ʻManʼ dominates
the most powerful order of the Given yet produced,
and the only ʻcritique of knowledgeʼ is an ʻontology of
the annihilation of beingsʼ, that is, the annihilation of
beings speciﬁed as living, working or speaking.92
Hence the third stage, Deleuzeʼs own stage, the stage
of the superman, involves afﬁrming this annihilation,
Radical Philosophy 81 (Jan/Feb 1997)
the attempt to carry the forces of ﬁnitude across
the limit of ʻManʼsʼ coherence. The goal is to make
ﬁnitude itself the basis of an active or creative inﬁnity.
To ʻknowʼ is here to afﬁrm the inﬁnitely disjunctive
forces of life, labour and language in themselves,
as they radiate out along their separate evolutionary
paths, and in this way restore the inﬁnite of the ﬁrst
stage, through the ﬁnite, so to speak. That is, within
a ﬁnite living organism (ʻManʼ), to afﬁrm an inﬁnite
power of Life; within a ﬁnite speaking organism,
to afﬁrm an inﬁnite power of Language; and so on.
ʻNietzsche said that man imprisoned life, but the
superman is what frees life within man himself, to
the beneﬁt of another form.ʼ93
So although the inﬁnite now passes through ʻManʼ,
it is no longer located; it explodes all possibility
of location. In this, it surpasses the inﬁnite of the
ﬁrst stage. It has become identical to the immediacy
of time or being itself. Such contemporary thought
runs like a ʻligne de fuiteʼ through the fractured ʻIʼ
of Kantʼs constituent cogito.94 Such has been, for
example, the task of a speciﬁcally modern literature as Deleuze everywhere endorses it: through and
alongside the ʻdissemination of languagesʼ recognized
by philological linguistics, modern literature ʻtook on
a completely different function that consisted, on the
contrary, in “regrouping” language and emphasizing
a “being of language” beyond whatever it designates
and signiﬁes.ʼ95 In other words, through a ﬁnite literary mechanism, language ʻturns back on itself in
an endless reﬂexivityʼ.96 This is very precisely how
Deleuze envisages his own effort: through the ﬁnite
power of the philosopher, the inﬁnite expression of
Why canʼt Deleuze simply return to the ﬁrst, preMan stage? Because classical philosophy remains
limited and located, governed in the end by a convergence with God. The third stage, by contrast, puts
Man ʻin charge of the animalsʼ, ʻof the very rocksʼ,
ʻin charge of the being of language (that formless,
“mute, unsignifying region where language can ﬁnd
its freedom” even from whatever it has to say)ʼ.97 In
other words, only the third stage effects a kind of
becoming-God of man, a becoming inﬁnite of the
ﬁnite, and it is this becoming which, as we shall see,
enables Deleuzeʼs redemptive paradigm. The failure
of classical thought (excepting Spinoza) lies not in
its afﬁrmation of the inﬁnite and serial, of ʻGodʼ, but
in its timid humility, its refusal to identify itself with
God. In the end, it is the speciﬁcally human ability
to become inhuman, to become inﬁnite, which will
redeem the whole of the ﬁnite universe. Only the
inhuman is Real, but only the human, of course, can
Art and the dissolution of the Given
Like Spinoza, Deleuze studies the Given for one and
only one reason: to announce the manner of its dissolution. Tautologically, in order to regain the immediate
Real we must ʻforgetʼ or ʻescapeʼ the mediate, on
the model of the ʻschizophrenic escapeʼ.98 An ʻobjectiveʼ redemption begins with a subjective paralysis.
Our ʻmistake [is to] postulate the contemporaneity of
subject and object, whereas one is constituted only
through the annihilation of the otherʼ.99 By Deleuzeʼs
logic this is a properly (and merely) binary logic
– either one or the other. ʻThe identity of the self
is lost … to the advantage of an intense multiplicity
and a power of metamorphosis.ʼ100 To overcome oneʼs
limited, interested coherence is, immediately, to participate without reserve in an absolute coherence. ʻThe
indeﬁnite aspects of a life lose all indetermination
to the degree that they ﬁll a plane of immanence.ʼ101
To become-Real is to become perfectly automatic,
automated – in Spinozaʼs phrase so often cited by
Deleuze, the ʻspiritual automatonʼ, the model thinker,
ʻthe identity of brain and world, the automaton.ʼ102 If
ʻthe automaton is cut off from the outside world, there
is a more profound outside which will animate itʼ.103
The ﬁgure of the automaton equates a ʻpersonalʼ or
ʻprivateʼ disempowerment with absolute determination
by pure, pre-existent power.
On the one hand, the great spiritual automaton
indicates the highest exercise of thought, the way in
which thought thinks and itself thinks itself.… On
the other hand, the automaton … no longer depends
on the outside because he is automonous but because he is dispossessed of his own thought.104
Through our dispossession – through the dissolution of
the Given – the Real reclaims its own productive autocoincidence. The rise and fall of the Given appears as
one gigantically redundant exercise.
Such is the basis of Deleuzeʼs insistent discussions of the eternal return, the eschatological identity
of origin and outcome, considered as a redemptive
principle, as principle of ʻontological selectionʼ.105
Eternal return is Deleuzeʼs version of a Last Judgement, the determination of what qualiﬁes for eternal
life. Deleuzeʼs redemptive paradigm is not essentially
different from the Christian or Enlightened versions
– through sin or superstition, through worldly interest, a return to original harmony or Reason, pure
disinterest. An Enlightened eventual order, become
actual in history (Mercierʼs Lʼan 2440), will duplicate
a natural, primordial order. A Real outcome, in each
case, is attained through a loss of interested partiality. History is the remainder that disappears with the
perfect realignment of calculation. For Deleuze as for
dʼAlembert, historian of human knowledges, history
and worldly consciousness have only one purpose: to
achieve their own redundancy.
This task deﬁnes the purpose of the philosopher and
artist as Deleuze deﬁnes them, allies in an ongoing
redemption from the Given. Like the mystic or the
Enlightened philosophe, Deleuzeʼs philosopher is
deﬁned as the being most capable of renouncing all
conceivable interest or speciﬁcity. By deﬁnition, only
the most singular subject can renounce a worldly
interest – that is, exchange a personal or speciﬁc
coherence for an impersonal, cosmic coherence. The
ʻembodiment of cosmic memory in creative emotions
undoubtedly only takes place in privileged soulsʼ, the
vehicles of genius.106 This embodiment takes place in
ʻisolationʼ, and only occasionally, elliptically, ʻleaps
from one soul to another, “every now and then”, crossing closed deserts.ʼ107 The artist or philosopher exists
alone, outside history, following the path of Beckettʼs
characters toward pure self-exhaustion (épuisement),
the solitude of Blanchotʼs espace littéraire.108
However, the solitude of the artist in no way implies
the ʻprivateʼ idiosyncracy of an artistic vision, a patented ʻoriginalityʼ to be treasured by collectors; ʻa
statement never refers back to a subjectʼ.109 A Real or
ʻminorʼ literature is deﬁned not only by a minimum of
mediation or a ʻhigh coefﬁcient of deterritorializationʼ,
but by its political, collective articulation. Everything
in a minor literature ʻis politicalʼ; its ʻcramped space
forces each individual intrigue to connect immediately
to politicsʼ.110 ʻKafkaʼs solitudeʼ, for example, ʻopens
him up to everything going on in history todayʼ,111
for there is literally nothing and no-one to limit his
articulation of the Real. The solitary minor artist
produces ʻintensive quantities directly on the social
body, in the social ﬁeld itself. A single, uniﬁed process.
The highest desire desires to be both alone and to be
connected to all the machines of desire.ʼ112
The writer is thus deﬁned by his or her lack of
deﬁnition, positioned by the lack of position. In this
sense, Deleuze is ﬁrmly positioned at the extreme
limit of what Bourdieu has famously analysed as ʻle
champ littéraireʼ.113 The artist is focus for the abolition
of worldly values, in the name of the ʻother-worldlyʼ;
like the masochist, the genuine Artist ʻsuspendsʼ all
relations-with and between114 and ʻstops the worldʼ115
so as to leave it absolutely, so as to grasp ʻlife in its
pure stateʼ.116 As Spinoza is the ʻfulﬁllment of phil-
Radical Philosophy 81 (Jan/Feb 1997)
osophyʼ, so ʻArtaud is the fulﬁllment of literature,
precisely because he is a schizophrenic.ʼ117 Deleuze
and Guattariʼs schizophrenic exists ʻas close as possible to matter, to a burning, living center of matterʼ,
ʻclosest to the beating heart of reality, to an intense
point identical with the production of the realʼ.118
The ʻschizoʼ is a pure in-between without terms, an
ʻindivisible distanceʼ.119 The artist–schizophrenic has
absolutely nothing to learn from the world. There is
nowhere the artist has not already been. The schizo is
from the outset ʻsituated wherever there is a singularity
… because he is himself this distance that transforms
him into a womanʼ, a child, an ʻEskimoʼ, and so on.120
It is an exemplary deﬁnition of the champ littéraire:
the writer is this distance which transforms the related,
actual world into an immanent composition whose
value is precisely that it has no worldly value.
So, in a sense, every ʻgreat artistʼ always does
the same thing, performs the same radical ascesis of
self. The thinker is always Dionysius, or a synonym
of Dionysius, a reincarnation of the Real-in-person,
the Real depersonalized. Artaudʼs ʻHeliogabalus is
Spinoza, and Spinoza is Heliogabalus revivedʼ,121
and everything converges toward ʻla grande identité
Spinoza–Nietzscheʼ.122 ʻNo art is imitative, no art can
be imitative or ﬁgurativeʼ,123 because art is Real, and
vice versa. Art, in other words, follows the very movement of the Real, with a minimum of mediation, on the
model of metallurgy.124 The Real ʻmatter-ﬂow can only
be followedʼ, and ʻone writes [then] on the same level
as the real of an unformed matter, at the same time
as that matter traverses and extends all of nonformal
languageʼ;125 ʻwriting now functions on the same level
as the real, and the real materially writes.ʼ126 It is
ʻa writing that is strangely polyvocal, ﬂush with the
realʼ,127 and ʻthe only aim [in] writing is life.ʼ128 Real
or ʻlivingʼ writing is not somehow outside language
(that is, equivocal, in another realm of Being) but the
ʻoutside of languageʼ: language become immediate to
things; language and things collapsed together in a
Among Deleuzeʼs many artistic models, there is
space to consider only three, chosen from ﬁelds as
disparate as possible – Proust, Bacon, and cinema as
a whole. (Certainly, Beckett, Kafka, Artaud, Michaux,
Bene, Masoch, and Cézanne are no less important.)
The fundamental sequence (Given to Real) is much
the same in each case, driven by the immediate as
both means and end – redemptive immediacy as telos
and technique of art.
The choice narrated by Proust is typical of the
general redemptive pattern. As Deleuze reads it, the
Radical Philosophy 81 (Jan/Feb 1997)
narrator stops loving Albertine so as to begin composing the Recherche. He swaps a worldly position
(mondaine, amoureuse, sensible) for that artistic coherence that excludes our own, ʻthe original complication,
the struggle and exchange of the primordial elements
which constitute essence itselfʼ.130 Deleuzeʼs Proust
writes the shift from speciﬁc to singular, relative to
absolute, Given to Real. Deleuze distinguishes four
regimes of signs in his work, organized in relative
proximity to the Real. Worldly signs are the lowest or
ʻlast degree of essenceʼ,131 the most related, the most
speciﬁc to a place and a group. Next, the signs of
love offer insight into the true solitude or singularity
of the lover, but do so only negatively, through what
Spinoza would call ʻbad encountersʼ, the speciﬁcity
of a positioned personality, and the perception of
others as speciﬁc to a world which excludes the lover
(love as jealousy). Closer still to absolute singularity,
the signs of involuntary memory offer a perfect but
temporary coincidence between two distinct times.
They reveal a shared ʻidentical qualityʼ beyond all
speciﬁcity, but remain limited as a relation between
rather than external to its terms. Artistic signs, ﬁnally,
are wholly and sufﬁciently immediate to the Real,
pure essence, beyond all forms of the speciﬁc and
the relative. Art composes the ʻpure and empty form
of timeʼ, immediacy or le temps retrouvé as ʻﬁnality
of the worldʼ – ʻthat birth which has become the
metamorphosis of objectsʼ,132 dawn of a world before
(or after) the human. Proust thus composes the Real
by decomposing it in the world; he extracts the Real
from the speciﬁc.133
Francis Bacon so interests Deleuze because his
painting retains enough of the ﬁgural for Deleuze to
argue that ʻno art is ﬁgurativeʼ, that ʻby virtue of its
most profound theme, the visual image points to an
innocent physical nature, to an immediate life which
has no need of languageʼ.134 According to Deleuze,
Bacon like every other Real artist produces a wholly
literal art. His painting ʻreveals presence, directly
[donne à voir la présence, directement]ʼ; with Bacon
as with Cezanne, ʻpainting aims to extract directly
the presences beneath and beyond representation …; it
puts the eye in everythingʼ, and thereby allows a wholly
de-positioned, wholly objective vision, immediate to
the exclusive ʻintensityʼ of the Real, a ʻpure vibrationʼ
unlimited by extension of any kind, unqualiﬁed by
any adjective.135 ʻFreedʼ from positioned or intentional
representation, painting ʻacts directly upon the nervous
systemʼ, and puts ʻthe emancipated senses into direct
relation with time and thoughtʼ, in a single material
plane without intermediaries.136 In short, rather than
some kind of relation between ʻsubject and object …
it is both things at onceʼ; ʻI become in sensation, and
at the same time something happens because of it. In
the last analysis, the same body gives it and receives
it, and this body is both object and subjectʼ.137
Perhaps the most vivid and exhaustively detailed of
Deleuzeʼs artistic examples is the becoming-immediate
of modern ﬁlm described in the two Cinema books.
Deleuze aims to show that cinema duplicates the path
taken by modern philosophy beginning with Kant,138
from Given to Real – from an indirect, mediate presentation of time through relative, positioned movements,
to a direct, immediate presentation of time based
on an absolute movement constitutive of all possible
positions. In the ﬁrst phase, the ʻmovementʼ or ʻactionimageʼ of cinema is based on the coordination of
perceptions and actions through an intentional subject,
what Deleuze calls the ʻsensory motor schemaʼ which
mediates time in the interests of action.139 It is a
cinema of the speciﬁc and related,140 which orders the
parts of a ʻchanging open wholeʼ through ﬁgurative
association with a referential ʻworldʼ of some kind,
an ʻout-of-ﬁeldʼ.141 In the second phase, the Given
dissolves to reveal the Real in its pure immediacy, in
its singular and exclusive element – ʻtime in the pure
stateʼ.142 The ʻsensory-motor schema is shattered from
the inside. That is, perceptions and actions cease to
be linked together, and spaces are neither co-ordinated
nor ﬁlledʼ; the actors become ʻpure seers, who no
longer exist except in the interval or movementʼ, rendered ʻhelplessʼ, paralysed within a ʻpure optical and
sound situationʼ.143 Place becomes ʻuninhabitableʼ, ʻanyspace-whateverʼ, ʻwaste groundʼ;144 situations become
dispersive rather than integrative;145 the association of
images becomes ʻellipticalʼ, ʻirrationalʼ and ʻdirectʼ,
without ʻintermediariesʼ;146 events no longer ʻconcern
the person who provokes or is subject to themʼ, but
consist of ʻwanderings, immobilizings, petriﬁcations
and repetitionsʼ;147 ﬁnally, ʻthere is no more [referential] out-of-ﬁeldʼ but only an ʻautonomous imageʼ
that ʻdestroysʼ, ʻreplacesʼ or ʻcreatesʼ its object and
its world.148 Literal images replace ﬁgures. ʻThere is
no longer association through metaphor or metonymy,
but relinkage on the literal image.ʼ149 There is no more
an ʻin-betweenʼ art and life; ʻit is the whole of the
real, life in its entirety, which has become spectacleʼ,
ʻlife as spectacle, and yet in its spontaneity.ʼ150 In
other words, the new cinema eliminates the speciﬁc
through ʻthe extraction of an any-question-whateverʼ.151
Cinema restores ʻour faithʼ in the world, by moving
beyond (above or beneath) it. It redeems the world,
by exploding it.
According to Deleuze, we regain in the process the
Reality of ʻnon-organic lifeʼ, the identity of Brain and
Universe, of art and ʻpure thoughtʼ as the very ʻtruth
of cinemaʼ.152 This truth puts an end to intermediaries.
At the limit, through ʻcontact independent of distanceʼ,
cinema becomes pure resolution of binaries, ʻco-presence or application of … negative and positive, of place
and obverse, of full and empty, of past and future, of
brain and cosmos, of the inside and the outsideʼ.153 For
Deleuze, this is always and everywhere the artistic
achievement par excellence, a kind of supreme selfsacriﬁce, the transcendence of all interests in the
absolutely singular interest of something else. Such is,
precisely, the redemptive interest of Thought.
Thought and the redemptive choice
For Deleuze, thought creates what it thinks, as perception creates what it perceives (and therefore does not
relate to it). ʻThe philosophical concept does not refer
to the lived … but consists, through its own creation, in
Radical Philosophy 81 (Jan/Feb 1997)
setting up an event that surveys [survole] the whole of
the lived no less than every state of affairsʼ.154 Deleuze
does not establish a relationship between philosophy
and other disciplines, other ways of making sense, but
eliminates this relationship to the advantage of a kind
of ʻgreater philosophyʼ. Thought or philosophy thinks
the sufﬁcient reason of the actual. In this way,
thinking and being are … one and the same …;
movement is not the image of thought without being
also the substance of being… It is a single speed on
both sides: ʻthe atom will traverse space with the
speed of thoughtʼ (Epicurus). The plane of immanence has two facets as Thought and as Nature, as
Nous and as Physis.155
The power of Thought is for Deleuze very much
that of an unlimited creator God, natura naturans,
the union of spontaneity and necessity. Following
Spinoza, ʻpurest of philosophersʼ,156 ʻwe have a power
of knowing, understanding or thinking only to the
extent that we participate in the absolute power of
thinkingʼ.157 We think because we are (ʻobjectivelyʼ)
Thought: ʻthe power of thinking is asserted, by
nature or by participation, of all that is “objective”.…
But objective being would amount to nothing did
it not itself have a formal being in the attribute of
Thought.ʼ158 That is why the true thinker is ʻspiritual
automatonʼ, ʻthought as determined by its own laws.ʼ159
The automaton reaches that ʻsecret point where the
anecdote of life and the aphorism of thought amount to
one and the same thingʼ.160 Thought in itself dissolves
the thinker as subject.161 As with Suhrawardî or Paul,
the redeemed subject is thought, immediately – on
condition that he or she stops thinking as a subject.
ʻThe activity of thought applies to a receptive being, to
a passive subject which represents that activity to itself
rather than enacts it …. Thought thinks only on the
basis of an unconscious … the universal ungrounding
which characterizes thought as a faculty in its transcendental exercise.ʼ162
Thought redeems. To think requires a ʻclean breakʼ,
a leap altogether out of the world, an escape from all
worldly opacity and particularity.163 To think is to
become transparent or insubstantial – to present no
resistance to the impersonal movement of thought. To
think is to escape the Given. With Deleuze, thought
is not a transitive activity. Thought coincides with its
own constitution as thought.
In other words, to think is also to choose to think
– to choose Real over Given, to refuse the world.
Deleuze, like Paul or Pascal, erects a logic of choice
at the very centre of thought. According to Deleuze,
Radical Philosophy 81 (Jan/Feb 1997)
the modern fact is that we no longer believe in
this world. We do not even believe in the events
which happen to us, love, death as if they only
half concerned us… The link between man and
the world is broken. Henceforth this link must
become an object of belief: it is the impossible
which can only be restored within a faith.… [The
sensory motor] reaction of which man has been
dispossessed can be replaced only by belief.164
It is precisely because thought paralyses us as positioned thinking beings, that it is, in a second moment,
redemptive of all positions. Thought allows us to
recognize and afﬁrm our unjustiﬁable state (as Paulʼs
ʻgraceʼ is beyond relation, beyond merit). In the terms
of Deleuzeʼs Cinema 2, thought destroys the ʻsensory
motor schemaʼ – that is, the ʻsubjectʼ who perceives
and reacts to situations – and this ʻbreak makes man a
seer who ﬁnds himself struck by something intolerable
in the world, and confronted by something unthinkable
in thought …; we should make use of this powerlessness to believe in life, and to discover the identity
of thought and life.ʼ165 It is only ʻthis belief that makes
the unthought the speciﬁc power of thought, through
the absurdʼ.166 Ultimately, ʻthe power of thought gives
way, then, to an unthought in thought, to an irrational
proper to thought, a point beyond the outside world,
but capable of restoring our belief in the worldʼ.167 To
choose means to accept what is, to become what we
are, and nothing more.
Again, what determines this densely argued
sequence is immediate coincidence pure and simple.
Deleuzeʼs obscure account of ʻthe choiceʼ equates
chooser and chosen; it joins the supremely ʻsubjectiveʼ moment of decision (the moment of Pascal and
Kierkegaard) and the moment of supreme, absolute
automation (the moment of Spinoza and Leibniz).
The Real choice is a choice ʻincreasingly identiﬁed
with living thoughtʼ.168 To choose the Real is to reach
a ʻspiritual space where what we choose is no longer
indistinguishable from the choice itselfʼ,169 a place
where ʻspace is no longer determined, it has become
the any-space-whatever which is identical to the power
of the spirit, [its] “auto-affection”ʼ.170 To ʻbelieveʼ is
to return to the all-productive origin of immediacy;
ʻit is only, it is simply believing in the body. It is
giving discourse to the body, and, for this purpose,
reaching the body before discourse, before words,
before things are namedʼ.171 Like Humeʼs theory of
association developed in Empiricism and Subjectivity,
the choice is wholly external to its terms.172 Choice
chooses the dissolution of terms. ʻIn short, choice
as spiritual determination has no other object other
than itself: I choose to choose …[choice] in this way
conﬁrming itself by itself, by putting the whole stake
back into play each timeʼ.173 The choice, like the dicethrow of Difference and Repetition and Nietzsche and
Philosophy, equates player and play, rules and game,
stakes and ʻstakerʼ.
According to Deleuze, ʻthe true choice, that which
consists in choosing choice, is supposed to restore
everything to us. It will enable us to rediscover everything, in the spirit of sacriﬁce, at the moment of the
sacriﬁceʼ. To be thus redeemed is to renounce the
world in favour of a ʻpure, immanent or spiritual light,
beyond white, black and grey. As soon as this light
is reached it restores everything to usʼ.174 In the economical terms of Deleuzeʼs Foucault, ʻonly forgetting
(the unfolding) recovers what is folded in memory (and
in the fold itself)ʼ.175
Why does Deleuzeʼs choice restore the world?
Simply because it claims to be wholly, perfectly
identical to it, in its creativity, as natura naturans.
It restores not a world Given for us (naturata), but
the world as it is in itself, in its ʻgenitalityʼ. In the
chosen immediacy, the chooser gains access to ʻthe
power of a constitution of bodiesʼ, and carries ʻout a
primordial genesis of bodiesʼ: ʻconstituting bodies, and
in this way restoring our belief in the world, restoring
our reason…ʼ.176 What Deleuze says of the German
expressionists, artists of the ʻdynamic sublimeʼ, applies
nicely to his own redemptive paradigm:
it is intensity which is raised to such a power
that it dazzles or annihilates our organic being, strikes terror into it, but arouses a thinking
faculty by which we feel superior to that which
annihilates us, to discover in us a supra-organic
spirit which dominates the whole inorganic life
of things; then we lose our fear, knowing that
our spritiual ʻdestinationʼ is truly invincible.177
What is really ʻinvincibleʼ here is the immediate equation of all the terms involved (chooser, choice, chosen).
The identity of the terms ensures their perfect reversibility. Deleuzeʼs Real chooser is, as with Nietzsche
or Paul, himself chosen (élu): ʻonly he who is chosen
chooses well or effectivelyʼ.178 To be chosen is to fuse
with ʻgraceʼ, to become, in the mystical formula of
Cinema 2, one with ʻthe Spirit, he who blows where
That is why, again, Deleuze always equates the
ʻfreedomʼ of Real choice with the purest form of
automation. In Spinozaʼs exemplary ʻethical vision
of the world it is always a matter of capacity and
power, and never of anything else. In a sense every
being, each moment, does all it can.ʼ180 With Deleuzeʼs
Leibniz, likewise, a free act is not determined by a
choice of one motive over another, but entails the
absence of a speciﬁc motive as such, the absence of
a subjective speciﬁcity.181 With Leibniz, ʻeverything
is sealed off from the beginning and remains in a
condition of closureʼ.182 To be ʻfreeʼ, in other words,
can only mean, to be free of worldly interest as such.
Freedom is here an expressive state, rather than situated action. Since ʻeach monad is nothing other than
a passage of Godʼ, ʻthe voluntary act is free because
the free act is what expresses the entire soul at a given
moment of its duration.ʼ183 What a free monad does is
include or express what inheres in it – ʻinherence is
the condition of liberty and not of impedimentʼ.184 For
Deleuze, freedom has only a literal value: free equals
unlimited, free of speciﬁc limits. Free is all-inclusive,
or dis-interested. The properly ʻethicalʼ or political
issue for Deleuze is never what is conventionally discussed as human liberty but rather liberation from the
human – ʻla liberté devenue capacité pour lʼhomme de
vaincre lʼhomme.ʼ185 Since ʻmanʼ is itself the ʻprisonʼ,
ʻlife becomes resistance to power [only] when power
takes life as its objectʼ, to the exclusion of the merely
living as such (ʻmanʼ, the organism).186
In other words, Deleuzeʼs ʻfaith in the worldʼ is
restored, ultimately, because his chosen ʻbreak with
the worldʼ is offset by a still more radical fusion with
its ʻcreatorʼ or sufﬁcient reason.187 He breaks with the
Given so as to return to the Real. He restores faith in
a ʻworldʼ to which he has perfectly immediate access
– access beyond the mediation of a ʻpriestʼ, beyond
ʻinterpretationʼ188 – much as the Enlightened thinkers restore their faith to a Reason they immediately
incarnate (Montesquieuʼs principes, Diderotʼs arbre
encyclopédique). We cannot, of course, question the
validity of Deleuzeʼs choice without transforming it
into the very choice which, like Melvilleʼs Bartelby,
he ʻprefers notʼ to choose. But we can demonstrate
its consistency with other logics (Pauline, Enlightened…) which equate redemption with the sacriﬁce of
a positioned interest, and consider for whom Deleuzeʼs
choice is valid. Who can afford this sacriﬁce? Who
has an interest in disinterest? Like Spinoza, like Paul,
Deleuze writes for the establishment of one univocal
order, ʻone body directed by one mindʼ. His univocal
excludes the equivocal; his One-multiple excludes the
many; his literal excludes the ﬁgural. Deleuzeʼs philosophy proclaims a redemptive dislocation of interests
every bit as radical as that asserted, in their very
different ways, by his contemporaries Lévinas and
Whatever the virtues of Deleuzeʼs philosophy, then,
we should not mistake it for what it most emphati-
Radical Philosophy 81 (Jan/Feb 1997)
cally is not – a philosophy that complicates the realm
of immediate expression, that subverts a univocal
order, that disrupts a strict ontological homogeneity,
that promotes a world of complex relations between
distinct, speciﬁc individuals or others. If most of
Deleuzeʼs commentators look to his work for tools in
the building of a ʻradical democracyʼ, to advance the
deconstruction of ʻMajorʼ narratives and hierarchies,
to support the assertion of ʻMinor identitiesʼ and differences, they seldom consider the terms upon which
this apparent pluralism rests. Invariably, ʻmultiplicityʼ
with Deleuze is the predicate of a radical, self-differing singularity. His multiple is not the plural, but the
internal consequence of univocity.
Despite his own very practical engagement in political struggle, Deleuzeʼs political philosophy thus leaves
little no room for a confrontation with the equivocal
as such. With Hume, Deleuze knows that ʻparticular
interests cannot be made identical to one another, or be
naturally totalized. Nonetheless, nature demands that
they be made identicalʼ.189 So with Spinoza, Deleuze
looks for a way to accomplish this identity that is
ʻnaturalʼ yet not given as such. Only something like
Spinozaʼs ʻsovereign City has power enough to institute
indirect conventional relations through which citizens
are forced to agree and be compatibleʼ:190 Deleuzeʼs
own political philosophy assumes comparable power.
The sovereign interest is built on the renunciation of
interests, and the ʻreasonableʼ citizen is precisely that
ʻpersonʼ beyond the reach of ʻany personal affections
whateverʼ.191 The multiple, always, is impersonal and
ahistorical, and has nothing to do with the aggregation let alone the negotiation or mediation of personal
affections or interests.192 The multiple is a function
of what the One can become – as One. Deleuzeʼs
ʻbecoming-otherʼ, in short, is precisely the tendency
of a ʻworld without others.ʼ193 ʻBecoming-otherʼ is the
very movement of redemption, the movement away
from relations with others. Deleuzian ʻbecomingsʼ are
not of this world.
Hence the lasting ambiguity of Deleuzeʼs work.
Unlike Paul or Suhrawardî, of course, Deleuze is
a self-declared empiricist, a radical materialist. The
Deleuzian version of univocity certainly means that
ʻone must ﬁnd a fully physical usage for principles
whose nature is only physical…ʼ, geared to a single
ʻMechanosphereʼ194 There is no ontological dualism
here, of spirit and ﬂesh, life and death, light and opacity.
With Deleuze, we know that everything is Real, that all
inheres on the same plane. Yet the redemptive movement remains. The enabling conclusion follows necessarily: everything is Real – but some things are more
Radical Philosophy 81 (Jan/Feb 1997)
Real than others. Univocity guarantees the integrity of
a single quantitative scale of reality, a single matrix of
salvation (the more or less redeemed). In a way, this
matrix is more ʻdamningʼ, more ʻinclusiveʼ, than Paulʼs
dualism. Deleuzeʼs redemptive philosophy, coupled
with his ontological univocity, ensures a hierarchy of
beings every bit as dizzying as the vertical layering
of Lights in Suhrawardîʼs cosmology. With Deleuze,
everything is physical, but our world is proclaimed
minimally physical. Everything is Real, but positioned;
speciﬁc actors are conﬁned – once again – to a world
of illusion. This is a world that lacks even the paltry
autonomy accorded the negative term in a binary
opposition: it is merely the weak, diluted aspect of
the philosophy that exceeds it.
1. As Christian Jambet puts it, ʻSuhrawardî is like a Spinoza of Lightʼ, La Logique des Orientaux, Seuil, Paris,
1983, p. 142; cf. pp. 108–12, 163.
2. Throughout this article, I capitalize this meaning of
ʻGivenʼ to form an antithetical pair with ʻRealʼ.
3. Difference and Repetition (hereafter DR), trans. Paul
Patton, Columbia University Press, New York, 1994,
p. 35. ʻLʼun se dit en un seul et même sens de tout le
multipleʼ, A Thousand Plateaus (hereafter TP), trans.
Brian Massumi, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1986, p. 254; ʻa single and same voice for
the whole thousand-voiced multipleʼ, DR, p. 304. Cf.
Bergsonism, trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam, Zone, New York, 1988, p. 29.
4. [with Félix Guattari] Anti-Oedipus (hereafter AO),
trans. Robert Hurley, Mark Seem and Helen R. Lane,
University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1977, pp.
26, 32: ʻthe objective being of desire is the Real in
and of itselfʼ and ʻdesire does not lack anythingʼ (pp.
5. Expressionism in Philosophy: Spinoza (hereafter EP),
trans. Martin Joughin, Zone, New York, 1990, p. 11.
6. The Letters of Paul to the Romans 1.19–20; 8.39. I
refer to the text of The New English Bible, Oxford
and Cambridge University Presses, 1961, volume 2. I
draw here, in part, on Alain Badiou, ʻSaint Paul et la
fondation de lʼuniverselʼ, lectures given at the Collège
International de la philosophie, 1995–96.
7. Romans 3.20; cf. Romans 7.7–10.
8. Romans 12.2; 8.9.
9. The Letter of Paul to the Galations 3.28; cf. The First
Letter of Paul to the Corinthians, 12.13.
10. The Logic of Sense, trans. Mark Lester with Charles
Stivale, Columbia University Press, New York, 1990,
11. Shihâboddîn Yahya Suhrawardî (Shaykh al-Ishrâq), Le
Livre de la Sagesse orientale, translated and edited by
Henri Corbin, introduction by Christian Jambet, Verdier, Lagrasse, 1986, §129–30, pp. 112–13.
12. Suhrawardî, LʼArchange empourpré, Quinze traités et
récits mystiques, translated and edited by Henri Corbin,
Fayard, Paris, 1976, p. 431.
13. Henri Corbin, Temple et contemplation, Flammarion,
Paris, 1981, p. 293; En Islam iranien, Gallimard, Paris,
1971, pp. i, 46; Histoire de la philosophie islamique,
Gallimard, ʻFolioʼ, Paris, 1986, pp. 129, 138.
14. Suhrawardî, Archange, p. 57.
15. Suhrawardî, Le Livre des tablettes, ch. vii, in Archange,
16. Suhrawardî, Archange, pp. 101–2; cf. Corbin, En Islam
iranien, pp. ii, 22.
17. Eva de Vitray-Meyerovitch, ʻLa Poétique de lʼIslamʼ,
in Julia Kristeva, ed., La Traversée des signes, Seuil,
Paris, 1975, p. 216.
18. Jambet, Logique, p. 38; Henri Corbin, Philosophie
iranienne et philosophie comparée (1977), BuchetChastel, Paris, 1985, p. 118.
19. Jambet, Logique, pp. 118, 224–5; cf. p. 231.
20. Baruch Spinoza, Tractatus Theologico-Politicus, in The
Political Works, edited by A. Wernham, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1958, p. 83.
21. ʻHuman nature is such that everyone pursues his private advantage with the greatest eagernessʼ (Spinoza,
Tractatus Politicus, in The Political Works, p. 337).
22. Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, edited by C.B. Macpherson, Penguin, Harmondsworth, 1968, pp. 263–4.
The deduction of sovereignty, for Spinoza as much as
for Bossuet, ʻrequires no belief in historical narratives
of any kindʼ (Tractatus Theologico-Politicus, p. 73) but
is, rather, ʻself-validating and self-evidentʼ (p. 75). It
follows immediately from itself.
23. Tractatus Theologico-Politicus, p. 133.
24. Tractatus Politicus, p. 367.
25. Tractatus Politicus, pp. 373, 383.
26. AO, p. 76; cf. The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque,
University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1993, p.
7; TP, pp. 153, 335.
27. Ronald Bogue, Deleuze and Guattari, Routledge, New
York, 1989, p. 156.
28. P. Zaoui, ʻLa grande identité Nietzsche–Spinoza, quelle
identité?ʼ, Philosophie 47, September 1995, pp. 64–5.
29. C. Boundas, ʻIntroductionʼ, The Deleuze Reader, Columbia University Press, New York, 1992, p. 11.
30. Michael Hardt, Gilles Deleuze: An Apprenticeship in
Philosophy, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1992, pp. 52–3; xii, 8–13, 27–8, 115; François
Zourabichvili, Deleuze: Une philosophie de lʼévénement, Presses Universitaires de France, Paris, 1995,
pp. 56–8; Bogue, Deleuze and Guattari, pp. 2, 15–17,
156; Armand Guilmette, Gilles Deleuze et la modernité,
Trois-Rivières, Les Editions du Zéphyr, Ottawa, 1984,
p. 14. It is consequently typical to assume that, rather
than Spinoza, it is Nietzsche – the same radically antiHegelian Nietzsche of Klossowski and Foucault – who
is the decisive model and ally.
31. Zourabichvili, Deleuze, p. 53.
32. Hardt, Gilles Deleuze, p. 38. Cf. Philippe Mengue,
Deleuze: Le système du multiple, Kimé, Paris, 1995,
pp. 10, 53, 291–3; Jean-Jacques Lecercle, Philosophy
through the Looking-Glass, Open Court, Lasalle, 1985,
pp. 40–41; Bogue, Deleuze and Guattari, pp. 141–2.
33. Hardt, Gilles Deleuze, pp. 79–85, xiii.
34. Lecercle, Philosophy through the Looking-Glass,
35. Ibid., pp. 38, 41.
36. F. Gros, ʻLe Foucault de Deleuze: une ﬁction métaphysiqueʼ, Philosophie 47, September 1995, p. 56.
37. D. Janicaut, ʻFranceʼ, in R. Klibanski and D. Pears, eds,
La Philosophie en Europe, Gallimard, ʻIdéesʼ, Paris,
1993, p. 161.
38. B. Massumi, A Userʼs Guide to Capitalism and Schizo-
phrenia, MIT Press, Cambridge MA, 1992, pp. 26,
Hardt, Gilles Deleuze, pp. 119–20.
Boundas, ʻIntroductionʼ, Deleuze Reader, pp. 21, 13–
Guilmette, Deleuze et la modernité, p. 20. Cf. Boundas, Deleuze Reader, p. 2; X. Papaïs, ʻPuissances de
lʼartiﬁceʼ, Philosophie 47, September 1995, p. 86.
Lecercle, Philosophy through the Looking-Glass, p.
Ibid., pp. 107, 110; Bogue, Deleuze and Guattari, p.
161. It follows that Deleuzeʼs concepts are supposed to
be ʻindeﬁnitely variableʼ (Jean-Clet Martin, Variations.
La Philosophie de Gilles Deleuze, Editions Payot et
Rivages, Paris, 1993, p. 11).
Bergsonism, p. 104.
Cf. AO, pp. 29, 119.
Cinema 1: The Mouvement-Image (hereafter C1), trans.
Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam, University
of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1986, p. 125; Masochism: An Interpretation of Coldness and Cruelty (hereafter MC), G. Braziller, New York, 1971, pp. 15–16;
Negotiations: Interviews 1972–1990, Columbia University Press, New York, 1995, p. 195.
EP, p. 137.
DR, p. 147; EP, p. 307.
EP, pp. 263, 289–90.
EP, pp. 296, 297.
EP, pp. 303, 308.
EP, p. 265.
EP, p. 308.
Foucault (hereafter FC), trans. Seán Hand, University
of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1988, pp. 3, 16, my
emphasis. Again, ʻcinemaʼs concepts are not given in
the cinema. And yet they are cinemaʼs concepts, not
theories about cinemaʼ (Cinema 2: The Time-Image
(hereafter C2), trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara
Habberjam, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1989, p. 280, my emphasis).
FC, pp. 16–17.
FC, p. 53.
FC, pp. 53, 54; cf. p. 59.
FC, p. 54.
ʻThe task of philosophy when it creates concepts, entities, is always to extract an event from things and
beingsʼ ([with Félix Guattari] What is Philosophy?
(hereafter WP), trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Graham
Burchell, Columbia University Press, New York, 1994,
p. 33), just as ʻthe essence of the cinematographic
movement-image lies in extracting from vehicles or
moving bodies the movement which is their common
Cf. Mireille Buydens, Sahara: Lʼesthétique de Gilles
Deleuze, Vrin, Paris, 1990, p. 22.
WP, p. 47; Gilles Deleuze, ʻLʼimmanence: une vieʼ,
Philosophie 47, September 1995, p. 5.
WP, pp. 48–9.
DR, p. 29.
DR, p. 228.
Bergsonism, p. 104.
FC, p. 87.
AO, p. 285.
C2, pp. xi, 169.
C2, p. 81.
C1, p. 56.
C1, p. 58; ʻbodies in themselves are already a lan-
Radical Philosophy 81 (Jan/Feb 1997)
guageʼ, and ʻlanguage is always the language of bodiesʼ
(Proust and Signs, trans. Richard Howard, G. Braziller,
New York, 1972, p. 91).
C1, p. 61.
C1, p. 61.
C1, p. 61.
The Logic of Sense, p. 306.
C2, p. 20, my emphasis. ʻIt is grass in general that
interests the herbivoreʼ and ʻit is in this sense that the
sensory-motor schema is an agent of abstractionʼ as
opposed to Deleuzeʼs Real ʻconcreteʼ (C2, p. 45).
C1, pp. 64, 63.
C1, p. 66.
C1, p. 68, my emphasis.
TP, p. 280 – ʻlike grassʼ, rather than ʻinterested in
grassʼ. Cf. AO, p. 281.
C2, p. 47.
ʻThe mind is not subject; it is subjectedʼ (Empiricism
and Subjectivity, trans. Constantin Boundas, Columbia
University Press, New York, 1991, p. 31).
Cf. AO, pp. 29, 119.
AO, p. 79; cf. TP, p. 124.
AO, pp. 54, 73, 269.
FC, p. 88.
FC, p. 130.
FC, pp. 124–5.
Deleuze relies here on M. Serres, Le Système de Leibniz, Presses Universitaires de France, Paris, 1982, pp.
FC, p. 126.
FC, p. 128.
FC, p. 130.
FC, p. 130.
Kantʼs Critical Philosophy, trans. Hugh Tomlinson and
Barbara Habberjam, University of Minnesota Press,
Minneapolis, 1984, p. vii; DR, pp. 85–6, 194, 199.
Deleuzeʼs examples include ʻMallarméʼs Livre, Péguyʼs
repetitions, Artaudʼs breaths, the agrammaticality of
Cummings, Burroughs and his cut-ups and fold-ins, as
well as Rousselʼs proliferations, Brissetʼs derivations,
Dada collage, and so on. And is this unlimited ﬁnity
or superfold not what Nietzsche had already designated
with the name of eternal return?ʼ (FC, p. 131).
FC, p. 131.
FC, p. 132.
AO, p. 341.
The Logic of Sense, p. 310.
Ibid., p. 297.
Deleuze, ʻLʼImmanence: une vieʼ, p. 6; cf. C2, p.
C2, p. 206. ʻThe spiritual automaton, ʻmechanical manʼ
is … a little time in the pure stateʼ (C2, p. 169).
C2, p. 179, my emphasis.
C2, p. 263.
TP, p. 508. ʻEternal return alone effects the true selection, because it eliminates the average forms and uncovers “the superior form of everything that is” … the
superior form is not the inﬁnite, but rather the eternal
formlessness of the eternal return itselfʼ (DR, p. 55, my
Bergsonism, p. 111. For Deleuze as much as for Bergson, ʻthe great souls … are those of artists and mystics
… The mystical soul actively plays the whole of the
universe, and reproduces the opening of a Whole in
which there is nothing to see or to contemplateʼ (ibid.
Radical Philosophy 81 (Jan/Feb 1997)
107. Ibid., p. 111.
108. Deleuze, LʼEpuisé, Minuit, Paris, 1992. Cf. Blanchot,
LʼEntretien Inﬁni, Gallimard, Paris, 1969, pp. 304–5;
ʻThe Essential Solitudeʼ, in The Space of Literature,
trans. Ann Smock, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, pp. 19–34; Faux Pas, Gallimard, Paris, 1943, pp.
109. [with Félix Guattari] Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature, trans. Dana Polan, University of Minnesota Press,
Minneapolis, 1986, pp. 83–4; cf. TP, p. 84, FC passim.
110. Kafka, p. 17, my emphasis.
111. Ibid., pp. 17–18.
112. Ibid., p. 71.
113. P. Bourdieu, Les Règles de lʼart, Seuil, Paris, 1992.
114. MC, pp. 28, 31; Kafka, p. 84.
115. C1, p. 85; C2, p. 68.
116. MC, p. 63.
117. WP, p. 48; AO, p. 135.
118. AO, pp. 19, 87.
119. AO, p. 76.
120. AO, pp. 76–7.
121. TP, p. 158.
122. Negotiations, pp. 185, 199.
123. TP, p. 304; Francis Bacon: Logique de la sensation,
Vol. 1, Editions de la Différence, Paris, 1981, p. 14.
124. See TP, p. 411.
125. TP, p. 512.
126. TP, p. 141, my emphasis.
127. AO, p. 87.
128. Dialogues, with Claire Parnet, trans. Hugh Tomlinson
and Barbara Habberjam, Columbia University Press,
New York, 1987, pp. 6, 50.
129. Critique et clinique, Minuit, Paris, 1993, p. 16.
130. Proust and Signs, p. 47.
131. Ibid., p. 79.
132. Ibid., pp. 49, 48.
133. ʻFrom every ﬁnite thing, Proust makes a being of sensation that is constantly preserved, but by vanishing on
a plane of compositionʼ (WP, p. 189).
134. Francis Bacon, pp. 39, 13–14.
135. Francis Bacon, pp. 37, 33.
136. Ibid., p. 37; C2, p. 17; Francis Bacon, p. 14.
137. Ibid., p. 27.
138. C2, p. xi.
139. C1, p. 152.
140. C1, p. 134.
141. C2, p. 179.
142. C2, p. xi.
143. C2, p. 41.
144. C1, p. 121; C2, p. xi.
145. C1, p. 207.
146. C1, pp. 207, 168.
147. C1, p. 207; C2, p. 103.
148. C2, p. 181; C2, p. 251.
149. C2, pp. 214, 42.
150. C2, pp. 83–4, 89. ʻThe whole cinema becomes a free,
indirect discourse, operating in realityʼ (C2, p. 155).
151. C1, p. 189.
152. C2, p. 214; C1, p. 215; C2, p. 151.
153. C2, p. 215.
154. WP, pp. 33–4.
155. WP, p. 38.
156. Negotiations, p. 140.
157. EP, p. 142.
158. EP, p. 122.
EP, pp. 158, 115, 131, 160.
The Logic of Sense, p. 128.
DR, p. 85; Kantʼs Critical Philosophy, p. viii.
DR, pp. 85–6, 199, 194; Kantʼs Critical Philosophy,
ʻA clean break is something you cannot come back
from; that is irretrievable because it makes the past
cease to existʼ (Dialogues, p. 38).
C2, pp. 171–2.
C2, p. 170, my emphasis.
C2, p. 170.
C2, p. 181.
C2, p. 177.
C1, p. 117.
C1, p. 117.
C2, pp. 172–3, my emphasis.
Empiricism and Subjectivity, pp. 108–9.
C1, pp. 114–15.
C1, p. 116, my emphasis.
FC, p. 107.
C2, pp. 201; 200–201.
C1, p. 53.
C2, p. 178.
C2, p. 178.
EP, p. 269. Modern cinema is likewise ʻautomatism
become spiritual artʼ; through cinema, ʻthe moving machine becomes one with the psychological automaton
pure and simpleʼ (C2, p. 263).
The Fold, p. 69.
Ibid., p. 68.
Ibid., pp. 73, 70.
Ibid., p. 70.
Gilles Deleuze, Périclès et Verdi: La philosophie de
François Châtelet, Minuit, Paris, 1988, p. 11; cf. FC,
FC, p. 92. Cf. Périclès et Verdi, p. 13.
C2, p. 188.
AO, p. 111, 171. Cf. Nietzsche and Philosophy, trans.
Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam, University
of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1983, p. 131.
Empiricism and Subjectivity, p. 43.
EP, p. 266.
EP, p. 267.
Ultimately, Deleuzeʼs philosophy of the choice chooses
ʻthe erasure of the unity of man and the world, in favour
of a break which now leaves us with only a belief in this
worldʼ (C2, p. 188). His nomads ʻdo not exist in historyʼ
(TP, pp. 23, 393–4), his ʻmultiplicities are made up of
becomings without historyʼ (Dialogues, p. viii), and
with Guattari he insists, of course, that ʻno, we have
never seen a schizophrenicʼ (AO, p. 380) – this is his
ʻfavourite sentence in Anti-Oedipusʼ (Negotiations, p.
The Logic of Sense, pp. 306ff.
Empiricism and Subjectivity, p. 119; TP, p. 514.
CALL FOR PAPERS
UK Association for
Legal and Social Philosophy
24th Annual Conference
3–5 April 1997
Faculty of Law,
University of Edinburgh
Papers should last 30 minutes. Abstracts (one side of A4) should be
sent to Emilios Christodoulidis as
soon as possible and no later than
February 28. A booklet of abstracts
will be circulated to participants in
the conference packs. It is likely that
a selection of conference papers will
be published after the conference.
The Austin Lecture is planned for the
evening of April 3. It will be given by
Professor Philip Selznick, University
of California at Berkeley, and will address themes developed in his recent
The Moral Commonwealth.
£170 fully residential
Non-members please add £20 to cover
one year’s membership of the association, including subscriptions to Res
For further information and to obtain
registration forms, contact
Centre for Law and Society, Faculty of
Law, University of Edinburgh,
Old College, South Bridge,
Edinburgh EH8 9YL
fax: 131 6624902
Radical Philosophy 81 (Jan/Feb 1997)