Rhizome (With no return)

From structure to rhizome: transdisciplinarity in French thought (2)

RP 167 () / Article, Dossier, From structure to rhizome: transdisciplinarity in French thought

In the invitation to speakers for the conference From Structure to Rhizome, we suggested that talks might set out by re-examining (and hence ‘re-founding’) texts that we qualified – in far too rapid and expeditious a fashion – as ‘founding’. But we did notmake this suggestion without being conscious of the difficulty involved in the very idea of a ‘foundation’ for transdisciplinarity. The difference induced by the (re-founding) repetition and its pluralization attenuates and relativizes this difficulty without, however, resolving it. This is because founding, as the young Deleuze explained at the start of the ‘Hypokhagne’ course he gave at the Lycée Louis le Grand in 1956–57, is literally to lay claim to (and to root oneself in) a foundation. Thus, it is ‘no longer to relate one’s activity to oneself as an agent’, by opening up the possibility of grasping the necessary passage to a philosophy that gives a right to the foundation – by founding its rights in a re-flexion that renders it possible and necessaryat the most fundamental level. We have to understand that, even if it means appealing to an unconditioned principle, to found is always to determine the indeterminate in an immanent fashion.

Since Deleuze’s course is available on Web Deleuze,1 I will leave it to readers to discover both the way in which he conducts his enquiry – driving out some nice little monsters – and a principle of repetition that already has very Nietzschean contours (redrawn by the anti-Hegelian Tarde of L’Opposition universelle) and that will take on its full extent only some ten years later in Difference and Repetition. The importance of this Nietzschean reference for our questioning with regard to transdisciplinarity – which also concerns Foucault (both of them passing via Canguilhem) – cannot be emphasized enough in so far as Nietzsche introduces philosophy into a ‘new element’, in a new and anti-classical image of thought through a critique of philosophy.

What I would like to emphasize at the outset, to profit immediately from the instantaneous acceleration it produces (even if it means keeping it in reserve,taking my foot off the pedal), is the fashion in which, taken as the letter of the ‘immanent determination of the indeterminate’, the foundation transpires from a language that establishes a philosophical primacy in immanence that contradicts the ‘strongest programme’ of transdisciplinarity in its most critical relation to philosophy. The codename for this programme is ‘rhizome’. But this does not forbid – rather it calls for – the development of the philosophical foundation in science and the (badly named) human sciences, to which the programme of transdisciplinary research arising from structuralism is attached. ‘No longer to relate one’s activity to oneself as an agent’, Deleuze thus stated in 1956, so as to submit oneself to a foundation that will present itself as a third – the ‘third foundation’, like the French ‘Third Estate’. Deleuze explains that ‘the foundation is the third because it is neither the pretender, nor what it pretends to, but the instance that makes what is pretended docile enough for the pretender.’2 We should hear in these phrases a double, structural and Nietzschean, echo. And, indeed, something of the order of a post-Nietzschean critiqueof structuralism will finally – under the heading of a ‘Nietzsche today’, hurled at the philosophical Order – be given the name ‘nomad thought’.

To close this obscurely archaeological and futuristic parenthesis here is less to cut the ‘founding’ knot thatI have just produced than to slip into it certain of the criteria by which – following Deleuze in 1967 – one must recognize structuralism. ‘The first criterion’, he explains, ‘is the discovery and recognition of a third order, a third regime: that of the symbolic. The refusal to confuse the symbolic with the imaginary, as much as with the real, constitutes the first dimension of structuralism.’3 Because everything will have commenced with linguistics and its discovery of a ‘structural object’, the distinguishing of the symbolic from pre-existing realities and imaginary contents is straight away related to the ‘scientific ambition of structuralism’ such as it transpires in the first definition of structure proposed: ‘structure is defined … by the nature of certain atomic elements which pretend to account both for the formation of wholes and for the variation of their parts’. Once the elements of structure have ‘nothing other than an [ordinal] sense, which is necessarily and uniquely one of position’, it can be deduced that ‘the reciprocal determination of symbolic elements is prolonged … in the complete determination of the singular points that constitute a space corresponding to these elements’.4

It is remarkable here that Deleuze makes theaffirmation of the properly philosophical identity of structuralism precede the rules of its transdisciplinary functioning. He does so before even introducing ‘serial constitution’; that is to say, the development in series that founds ‘the structural homology between two series of terms’, with their variable organization (depending on the domain considered), allying epistemological minimalism with a calculated transdisciplinarity, and also before bringing to the forefront the ‘empty case’, the ‘object = X’, the ‘originary Third’, the ‘floating signifier’ that cannot be assigned to an identifiable place. Yet it is perfectly determinable, even in its displacements and its characteristic mode of displacement, and it permits each order of structure to be articulated with the others in a transdisciplinary topological space that admits of as many directions as orders. ‘Structuralism’, he thus writes, before these linguistically orientated serial developments, is inseparable from ‘a new transcendental philosophy’.5 Everything happens as if the former depended at every point on the latter.

But in these years, during which Deleuze devoted himself to integrating structuralism into his thinking, does one not, on this precise point, touch on the position of Deleuzean philosophy itself with regard to this ‘outside’ that forces it to think whilst maintaining its founding re-flexion under erasure?6 It is a structuralism that – along with the cream of the Young French University – he judges to be inseparable from ‘a new materialism, a new atheism, a new anti-humanism’, and that could re-actualize its own options (Hume and Bergson beyond Kant, Nietzsche and Tarde against Hegel, Proust and signs…). Its anti-phenomenological basis, in which the problem of language (translated in terms of effects of sense that disqualify the phenomenological subject as sense-bestowing, and with the subject every sort of hermeneutics) is central. ‘Structuralism’, Deleuze writes, ‘has a productivity which is that of our epoch,7 an epoch in which he ‘does philosophy’ (‘faire de la philosophie’), as he will underline later, so as to mark his critical detachment with regard to this position when, with Félix Guattari, he will become engaged in the making of ‘a philosophy’.8

Of course one can emphasize that the syntagm ‘new transcendental philosophy’ cannot but qualify Deleuzean thought as such. The proof of this is also in the text ‘How Do We Recognize Structuralism?’, but it only comes after the philosophical (re)foundation of structuralism that we have just recalled, with its appropriation of structure in terms of ‘multiplicity’, ‘event’ and above all the ‘virtual’ – for which Deleuze proposes a most Bergsonian definition: ‘real without being actual, ideal without being abstract’. This is done the better to introduce different/ciation (the key concept in Difference and Repetition) into a whole that – one must not forget – is virtually ‘perfectly and completely determined’. (It will be agreed that is not very Bergsonian: a static genesis by way of synthesis between structuralism and Bergson.) And, by the same token, it will have to be acknowledged that it is a matter here of a revitalization of structuralism,where one of the passages to what is called post-structuralism is played out. Jean-Claude Milner is effectively right on a fundamental point, one that invalidates the sense of the Deleuzean re-presentation on this question, when the Signifier is identified with the ‘differenciator’ (différenciant): from the Lacanian point of view – which overcodes Deleuze’s recognition of a structuralism that owes much to Lewis Carroll and his logic (of a non-sense) of sense – ‘one of the essential propositions of a doctrine of the signifier [reads] “there is no virtual” or “the only virtual is imaginary”.’9

As is well known, Deleuze himself – caught in a Guattarian machination – will appropriate this position so as to put a definitive end to his post/structuralist endeavour through a very radical anti-structuralism, for which the rhizome sets out the experimental protocol by liberating transdisciplinarity from its structural ordination, on behalf of a non-symbolic multiplicity. Besides, introduced by the specific case of the relations between ethnography and psychoanalysis (and beyond Lévi-Strauss lies Foucault,10 with Lacan hovering over the scene as the Hysterical Master), it is the reminder of these grand principles of ordination, mobilized by the perpetual displacement of the object = X, that serves as the recapitulating conclusion of ‘How Do We Recognize Structuralism? Hence it appears that ‘if structural orders all communicate by their respective empty places or object = X … each order [defines] a dimension of space where it is absolutely primary’, such that the object = X ‘subordinates within its order all the other orders of structure’ subordinated to other orders in theirs (and no longer intervening in any other than theirown actualization).11 There is no choice but to accept that Deleuze, who will go on to show, in the last pagesof his article, the ‘complex problems’ that this poses (as much at the level of the ‘forms of transition’ from one structure to another as with the question of a ‘praxis’ grafted on to these ‘mutation points’, which require nothing less than a ‘structuralist hero’ to animate – or maybe we should say to reanimate – them) – Delueze thus reconstitutes perfectly the disciplinary regulation of structuralist transdisciplinarity in its inseparability from the ‘new transcendental philosophy’ that founds it: as ‘structuralism’. But one then understands better what, as if unaware, the syntagm ‘new transcendental philosophy’ signifies, beyond its Deleuzean signature and beyond the sublation of a Kantianism too exhausted by its human, all-too-human, phenomenologization to pursue the metaphysico-scientific programme of the ‘immanent determination of the indeterminate’. ‘New transcendental philosophy’ signifies that structuralism is substituted for the Kantian Aufklärung in its position as philosophical foundation of these Geisteswissenschaften and these Humanities that will be called Sciences de l’homme in a ‘new’ sense, adequate to the ‘productivity of the epoch’ in its formalist horizon, and by homology with a language that has not only become an object of science but the paradigm for a new, transdisciplinary philosophical foundation for the entire field of knowledge. When all is said and done, this is something that Deleuze summarizes pretty faithfully (‘scientific ambition’ included) in ‘How Do We Recognize Structuralism?’, putting it back into play in an unfolding of its surfaces that is, for sure, inevitably poststructuralist, but that respects the essentials of the constructivist structural apparatus.12 This latter allows him to settle his accounts with an expressionism of the Abgrund coming from the 1950s (this ‘archaic depth’ whose persistent presence in Difference and Repetition he will denounce),13 whilst maintaining the project of a manner of philosophical re-founding that plays the language of philosophy against itself, at the extreme end of the unfounding (effondement) of its classical-modern forms, the effects of which Deleuze radicalizes in their modernist-formalist modernization (starting, restarting, from a genetically modified Kant).

We have seen that this project passed via the philosophical recognition of the play of the signifier in the Saussurean language of differences without positive terms, in which linguistic structuralism discovered its differential foundations, and Deleuze discovered a contemporary echo of his rediscovery of empiricism –as a ‘physics of the mind’ determining itself in a ‘logic of relations’14 that replaces essence with sense – and its transformation into a ‘transcendental empiricism’, launched in an assault against the fortress shared between Hegelians, Husserlians and Heideggerians. But the protocol of the formula is clearly set against Hegel: an ‘ontology of sense’ whose highest power is an ‘ontology of difference’, as Deleuze wrote back in 1954.15

Flush with the Real

It was necessary to reconstruct this founding scene so as to make it understood that ‘rhizome’ is an anti-structuralist war machine. It is a war machine that can only make structure take flight (according to a machinic apparatus that appropriates its real-abstraction so as to animate it from the outside of structure) by producing a critique/clinic of philosophical enunciation, undertaken from the perspective of a politics of transversalization. Such a politics subverts philosophy by liberating transdisciplinarity from its foundation – a philosophical re-foundation whose principle of immanence hence forth depended on the ‘structural interpretation’ in which Deleuze could recognize his own conception of philosophy, a philosophy whose ‘highest art’ would (still) be ‘that of interpretation’.16 To break with (the variations of) this constant, it would be necessary for 1968 (a date marking the end of structuralism on the calendar of its ‘productivity’ – ’68 is a real Event-World) to be transformed for Deleuze into the experimental opening of a Guattari Effect, from which it would become inseparable with its adoption of the machinic solution of destructuration that was suggested to him a year later in Guattari’s ‘Machine and Structure’.17 It was a matter of ‘relating exclusively to the order of the machine’ the differenciating of heterogeneous series that supported structure with the principle of the emission of singularities, so as to get out of the surface/depth dichotomy in Logic of Sense and to make the machine pass to the heart of desire.18 The formula reads: experimental ontology of multiplicity contra onto-logic of sense.

Some years later, Deleuze would risk this de-definition of himself: ‘it is now almost impossible for me to speak in my name because what happened for me, after the Logic of Sense, depends on my encounter with Félix Guattari, my work with him, what we are doing together’.19 That was written in 1976, at the end of the movement that had carried Deleuze and Guattari from Anti-Oedipus (a title that Jean-Claude Milner rightly, but not without some contempt, transposed into Anti-Structure) – with the thunderclap of its first paragraph, which begins by making thinking a war machine against the founding order of philosophical discourse, so as to put philosophy into the machine disorder of the id/it 20 – to the opening lines of Kafka: Towards a Minor Literature, where the notion of rhizome is introduced.21

Further on in the opening of Kafka, Deleuze and Guattari remark:

we believe only in a Kafka politics that is neither imaginary nor symbolic. We believe only in one or more Kafka machines that are neither structure nor phantasm. We believe only in a Kafka experimentation that is without interpretation or significance…22

Taking the place of interpretation, minor experimentation here becomes the exclusive means for a politics of multiplicities in language that overthrows the postulates of homogeneity of linguistics on which structural scientificity was founded,23 so as to detach the abstract from the constant and place it into systematic variation in bifaced assemblages that only function by connections and breaks. It is because

an assemblage, the perfect object for a novel, has two sides: it is a collective assemblage of enunciation; it is a machinic assemblage of desire. Not only is Kafka the first to dismantle these two sides, but the combination that he makes of them is a sort of signature that all readers will necessarily recognise.24

‘What is an Assemblage?’, the last chapter of Kafka,where these two terms appear, seals the micro-political conjunction of the two planes of expression and content, against structuralist formalism: ‘collective assemblages of enunciation’, which are substituted for the subjectof/to language and impose the primacy of pragmatics on linguistics, and ‘machinic assemblage(s) of desire’, because desire does not cease to machine itself, in the mode of multiple branchings of the burrow type. One must take a chance, venturing to conjugate machine and desire in a new practice of what is called thinking, for which the rhizome sets out the experience/experiment, attacking the structural foundations of the human sciences.

We will enter, then, by any point whatsoever; none matters more than another, and no entrance is moreprivileged, even if it seems an impasse, a tight passage,a siphon. We will be trying only to discover what otherpoints our entrance connects to, what crossroads andgalleries one passes through to link two points, whatthe map of the rhizome is and how the map is modifiedif one enters by another point.25

It is, of course, the very principle of the productionand reading of A Thousand Plateaus, introduced by Rhizome (which w as first published in 1976, and subtitled Introduction with no further explanation).

Rhizome could be considered a treatise on anti-method, but in the precise sense that, as Deleuze and Guattari underline (or Guattari–Deleuze, perhaps),26 he rhizome functions

unlike a structure, which is defined by a set of points and positions, with binary relations between the points and bi-univocal relationships between the positions; [in effect] the rhizome is made only of lines: lines of segmentarity and stratification as its dimensions, and the line of flight or deterritorialization as the maximum dimension after which themultiplicity undergoes metamorphosis, changes in nature.

From the functionalist re-elaboration that is thus offered of Deleuze’s initial Bergsonism, bringing with it the passage from Deleuzean biophilosophy to Deleuzo-Guattarian biopolitics (via the ontologico-political redefinition of the two types of multiplicity, extensive or intensive), concludes, on the same anti-structuralist line, that ‘these lines or lineaments should not be confused with lineages of the arborescent type, which are merely localizable linkages between points and positions’.27 This is enough to ensure that ‘even a discipline as advanced as linguistics retains the root-tree as its fundamental image and thus remains wedded to classical reflection (for example, Chomsky)’ and will have to be comprehended in this State-Form of thought, which subordinates the line to the point so as to trace a striated mental space which is that of subjection to language. One can verify here that ‘getting out of language’ (sortir de la langue) – to borrow Guattari’s provocative refrain in The Machinic Unconscious 28 – is indeed the primary condition for the passage ‘From Structure to Rhizome’ on a horizontal line which is that of becomings. In effect, the relations between singular elements (singularities) compose lines of becoming in a multiplicity liberated from any superior dimension (as in classical thought) or supplementarity of signification (as in structural thought).

But Rhizome is a treatise on method all the same, if a method really is needed so as to make the multiple (i.e. to construct it). This is precisely what the rhizome aims at by deploying the principles of a theory of real multiplicities and their constitutive proliferations through transversal connections of heterogeneous domains (first and second principles of connection and heterogeneity). It deploys them without falling back on the unity of the same field, which would introduce an empty, supplementary dimension (third principle of multiplicity) that would inevitably mark a takeover by the signifier. Hence the fourth principle of a-signifying rupture, ‘against the over-signifying breaks separating structures or cutting across a single structure’, because ‘a rhizome may be broken, shattered at a given spot, but it will start up again, on one of its old lines, or on new lines’.29 But this is also not without projecting the constructivism thus experimented with into an ‘anti-genealogy’, that is nolonger satisfied with the rewriting of universal historyin ‘Savages, Barbarians, Civilized Men’: 30 the universal history of contingency becomes the fact of machinic processes of deterritorialization and reterritorialization whose cartography defines in force the transhistorical regimes of coexistence between formations of all sorts that make and unmake history. The final Principle of the Rhizome, which is precisely one of cartography, returns to the ‘multiple entrances’ of the map, in so far as the latter, running counter to structural or generative models, is entirely turned towards ‘an experimentation meshing with the real (en prise sur le réel)’.31 Wecould say, a little too hastily perhaps, that it is ‘enough’ to add ‘transdisciplinary’ here – a transdisciplinary experimentation grasping the real – to give back to the professionals of transdisciplinarity a semblance of seriousness in their otherwise disarming appeal to the ‘complexity of the real’.

This is where, from Anti-Oedipus/Anti-Structure, one discovers again the condition of expression construction of the rhizome in a writing that is ‘flush with the Real (à même le réel), that is strangely polyvocal and never biunivocal or linearized, a transcursive, and never a discursive writing’.32 It is a writing in which the assembler-reader of A Thousand Plateaus is implicated and ‘complicated’, put in connection in this way with the ‘outside’, with no other mediation than a broken line of hybridized and boosted concepts (starting with the concept of the ‘rhizome’ itself) that make intensities from different plateaus resonate together. This is an outside which is that of the book itself, given back its status as a multiplicity, that undoes the function of the author as much as its regime of signification (signified/signifier) to the profit of a functioning (with what and in connection with what does it function?): ‘a book only exists by the outside and on the outside’, by virtue of the becoming of the forces that animate it and that animate the requirement of a ‘Thought fromthe Outside’. It is an Outside with not very Blanchotian contours (‘The Space of the Outside’), one which functions as an anti-structuralist war machine, in so far as the epistemological minimalism of structuralism aimed at making the universal emerge from a structured material where the only local properties there are, are induced by the system. This amounts to holding that every property is an effect of structure alone and every reality is analysable from the internal point of view of its systemic relations. It is at the same time both the key to the transdisciplinary structuralist programme and its major aporia with regard to questions of the forms of transition from one structure to another and of structural ‘mutations’. As Deleuze underlined in the last part of ‘How Do We Recognize Structuralism?’: to the precise extent that nothing happens to the structure from the outside, it only re-cognizes ideal events ‘that are part of the structure itself, and that symbolically affect its empty square or subject’.33

But such an Outside is not without also marking a fundamental limit of and in philosophy, given that – as Deleuze declares on the occasion of his return to a nomadic Nietzsche after Anti-Oedipus – ‘plugging thinking into the outside is what, literally, philosophers have never done, even when they spoke of politics’. Besides the attack against a Lacano–Maoism then largely practised in the Department of Philosophy at Vincennes (it is 1972), one might perceive in this declaration the distant echo of the comments in Logic of Sense on the ‘ridiculousness of the thinker’ caught up in the snare of the structuralist logic of a psychoanalysis of sense, always too ‘abstract’ to attain a ‘politics’, a ‘complete guerrilla warfare’ (the italics are Deleuze’s), rupturing with the perspective of a ‘practice in relation to the products that he interprets’.34 (These were the ‘complex problems’ linked to the practice by which one also recognized structuralism, with the third order, the Third Estate of the symbolic that commands structural interpretation.)

In short, this Outside is thus truly, in the first place and above all, that of philosophy, submitted by the rhizome to the transdisciplinary disordering of its position as foundation. The rhizomatic disorder-word on which Rhizome concludes – ‘Dismiss/De-institute the foundation’ (Destituer le fondement) – aims to put philosophy outside itself, in an enterprise of decoding that acquires a textual functioning (undoing the philosophical form of the book, the root-book,which one gave up being clever with, by changing style)35 and a logic of sense, which does not forget the unconscious that linguistics and psychoanalysis had donated to the enterprise of structural re-foundation,and whose co-extensiveness with the entire social field Anti-Oedipus had affirmed. (It is not for nothing that the unconscious functions like a factory.) But the difference that the rhizome introduces with regard to Anti-Oedipus will be measured straightaway: the unconscious is no longer in the Kantian situation of producing syntheses (which machine and subvert the Freudo–Lacanian topology: ‘the rhizome is the production of the unconscious itself’) and, in a certain essential fashion, has no other point than this: producing the unconscious. It is through the production of this production that the reality of multiplicities liberated from the dialectic of the one and the multiple, from every (supplementary) principle of unity, is affirmed, with the constructions of a becoming-outside that realize the untimely ontological identity/alterity outside = becoming (the outside becoming) by incorporating/mobilizing/mapping the becoming of forces that double history. And it is in that production that the rhizome ‘constitutes linear multiplicities with n dimensions having neither subject nor object, which can be laid out on a plane of consistency and from which the One is always subtracted (n – 1)’. A principle of subtraction (of the One) must be added, which subtends the declared principles of multiplication of the rhizome, as the philosophical unfounding (effondement) of a transdisciplinarity that becomes synonymous with the creation of concepts in a ‘logic of the And’. And if, to make the multiple, ‘dismissing/de-instituting the foundation’, ‘doing pragmatics’, ‘overturning ontology’ is needed – this means, in good Marxian logic, putting ontology back on its feet, the thousand pattering feet of a millipede.

One cannot recommend strongly enough rereading The Poverty of Philosophy before reciting, haltingly ‘even and above all in the theoretical domain, no matter what, precarious and pragmatic scaffolding is worthmore than the tracing out of concepts, with their breaks and their progress that change nothing’.36 A distinction between the enlargement of philosophy to its outside (which forces thinking) and making philosophy get out of itself makes all the difference here. When one makes philosophy get out of itself, transdisciplinarity is affirmed as the schizo-analysis of philosophy. For Deleuze–Deleuze this passed via the highly political Guattari Effect where ‘a fusion of the most artificial modernism and the naturing nature of desire’ is played out. Or, again, extracted from one of the notes for Anti-Oedipus that Guattari sent to Deleuze: ‘the real is artifice – and not the impossible, as Lacan says’.37

Here is one last kick up the backside of the structuralist donkey: the Guattarian proof goes by way of ‘the artifice of being and [the] irreducible bricolage of being’. 38


1. www.webdeleuze.com/php/texte.php?cle=218&groupeConf%E9rences&langue.
2. Ibid.
3. Gilles Deleuze, ‘How Do We Recognize Structuralism?’, in Desert Islands and Other Texts (1953–1974), trans. Michael Taormina, Semiotex(e), New York, 2004, p. 171 (written in 1967, but published in 1972).
4. Ibid., pp. 171–7.
5. Ibid., pp. 182–4, 174. Cf. Saussure: ‘Pour qu’il y ait fait linguistique, il faut l’union de deux séries’. Ferdinand de Saussure, Écrits de linguistique générale, ed. Simon Bouquet and Rudolph Engler, Gallimard, Paris, 2002, p. 103.
6. Under erasure… – in so far as, after Difference and Repetition, Deleuze does not ignore the fact that only ‘a new politics’ can definitively ‘overturn the image of thought’. Gilles Deleuze, Difference and Repetition, trans. Paul Patton, Columbia University Press, New York, 1994, p. 174. Corresponding to the ‘last criterion’ through which one can ‘recognize’ structuralism, this political passage ‘from the subject to practice’ is said to be ‘the most obscure – the criterion for the future’. ‘How Do We Recognize Structuralism?’, p. 192.
7. Ibid.
8. See the interview ‘On Philosophy’ (1988), in Gilles Deleuze, Negotiations, trans. Martin Joughin. Columbia University Press, New York, 1995, p. 136.
9. Jean-Claude Milner, Le Périple structural. Figures et paradigmes, Seuil, Paris, 2002, p. 159. The Lacanian reference is in effect fundamental for Deleuze at every point in ‘How Do We Recognize Structuralism?’ (it determines the criterion for the ‘empty case’) as it is in both Difference and Repetition and Logic of Sense. In his seminar for 1968–69, Lacan will go so far as to consider that the Seminar on ‘The Purloined Letter’, forms ‘the first step’, ‘defines the threshold’ of the doublet constituted by Difference and Repetition and Logic of Sense. Jacques Lacan, Séminaire XVI. D’un Autre à l’autre, Le Seuil, Paris, 2006, p. 219. Did Deleuze not affirm that ‘making the empty case circulate … is the task of today’?
10. If Lévi-Strauss is ‘the most positivist among Structuralists’, as Deleuze writes, it is precisely because the ‘empty square’ is for him a passive formal condition allowing permutations in a given order.
11. ‘How Do We Recognize Structuralism?’, p. 189.
12. It is also in this fashion that the ‘This is 1967’ that opens the article should be read: 1967, that is to say, in the poststructuralist wake of the conference at the Johns Hopkins Humanities Center, The Languages of Criticism and the Sciences of Man. Originally published with this title, the Conference was re-edited in 1972 with its now better known, but very different title: The Structuralist Controversy: The Languages of Criticism and the Sciences of Man, ed. Richard Macksey and Eugenio Donato, Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore MD, 1972. In their new Preface, the editors state: ‘evidence was already available in the Johns Hopkins symposium of the ensuing moment of theoretical deconstruction’ (p. ix).
13. See the ‘Author’s Note for the Italian Edition of Logic of Sense’ (1976) reprinted in Gilles Deleuze, Two Regimes of Madness. Texts and Interviews 1975–1995 trans. Ames Hodges and Mike Taormina, Semiotext(e), New York, 2007, pp. 63–6.
14. Gilles Deleuze, ‘Hume’ (1972), in Desert Islands, p. 163.
15. Gilles Deleuze, ‘Jean Hyppolite’s Logique et existence’ (1954), in Desert Islands, pp. 15–18.
16. Gilles Deleuze, Nietzsche and Philosophy, trans. Hugh Tomlinson, Continuum, London, 2008, p. 4. In so far as ‘to think is always to interpret – to explicate, to develop, to decipher, to translate a sign’ (Gilles Deleuze, Proust and Signs, trans. Richard Howard, Continuum, London, 2008, p. 62).
17. Félix Guattari, ‘Machine et structure’ (1969), in Psychanalyse et transversalité, Maspéro, Paris 1972 (published in the same year as Anti-Oedipus so as to render public the condition of reality of the latter). On the Guattari Effect, see Éric Alliez and Andrew Goffey, eds, The Guattari Effect, Continuum, London, forthcoming 2011.
18. Félix Guattari, ‘Machine et structure’, p. 240.
19. ‘Author’s Note for the Italian Edition of Logic of Sense’.
20. ‘It functions everywhere.… It breathes, it heats, it eats. It shits and fucks. Everywhere it is machines – real ones not figurative ones … Hence we are all handymen [des bricoleurs], each with his little machines’. Poor Levi-Strauss! See Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1983.
21. ‘How can we enter into Kafka’s work? This work is a rhizome, a burrow. The castle has multiple entrances whose rules of usage and whose locations aren’t very
well known … Only the principle of multiple entrances prevents the introduction of the enemy, the Signifier and those attempts to interpret a work that is actually
only open to experimentation.’ Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Kafka: Towards a Minor Literature, trans. Dana Polan, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1986, p. 3.
22. Ibid., p. 7.
23. Defining structural invariants – i.e. extracting from variables a set of constants, determining constant relations between variables, and so on.
24. Deleuze and Guattari, Kafka, p. 81.
25. Ibid., p. 3.
26. See Alliez, ‘The Guattari–Deleuze Effect’, in The Guattari Effect.
27. Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus, trans. Brian Massumi, Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press, 1988 p. 23.
28. Félix Guattari, L’Inconscient machinique. Essais de Schizo-analyse, Encres-Recherches, Paris, 1979, pp. 21–42.
29. A Thousand Plateaus, p. 10.
30. Anti-Oedipus, ch. 3.
31. A Thousand Plateaus, p. 13; translation modified.
32. Anti-Oedipus, p. 39.
33. ‘How Do We Recognize Structuralism?’, p. 191.
34. The Logic of Sense, trans. Mark Lester with Charles Stivale, Columbia University Press, New York, 1990, Twenty-Second Series, ‘Porcelain and Volcano’, p. 179.
35. According to the famous warning in the Preface to Difference and Repetition, ‘The time is coming when it will hardly be possible to write a book of philosophy as it has been done for so long: “Ah! The old style…”’ Difference and Repetition, p. xxi.
36. A Thousand Plateaus.
37. Félix Guattari, The Anti-Oedipus Papers, trans. K. Gotman, Semiotext(e), Cambridge MA, 2006, p. 149.
38. Ibid., p. 224.