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Join date : 2015-03-31

PostSubject: Delauze Studies:   Mon May 11, 2015 11:06 pm

A couple of things I’ve gained from my recent reading of Deleuze and Guattarri’s What is Philosophy:

First of all, the general point that (as I understand them and the manifesto that the book represents (it is mainly about a style of philosophizing as compared to any assertion about what the truth is or is not. It treats philosophy like an art which means that any meaning extracted from it must come from the discourse that goes on around it.

Secondly, it centers around three important concepts: the plane of immanence, concepts, and conceptual personas:

The plane of immanence which I only recently came to understand (being slow on the uptake (is best understood as being the diametrical opposite of the plane of transcendence, that is even though the plane of immanence easily absorbs the plane of transcendence in that any embrace of the transcendent is an imminent phenomena. If someone decides to believe in some transcendent God, that is a very real and imminent aspect of our existence: the univocity of being.

We create concepts in the face of the plane of immanence that we are always facing at the same time we are creating it. (It’s a feedback loop between the plane of immanence, concepts, and conceptual personae (

(Conceptual personae are what we present as the intellectually and creatively curious through the concepts we create in the face of the plane of immanence. D&G say:

“No list of the features of conceptual personae can be exhaustive since they are constantly arising and vary with planes of immanence.”

They then go on to point out the Madman as a conceptual personae, as well as the friend, the claimant, the rival, the boy, the lover, the fiancée, to which I would add the rock star. Once again, D&G:

“The conceptual persona is needed to create concepts on the plane, just as the plane itself needs to be laid out. But these two operations do not merge in the person, which itself appears as a distinct operator.”

Given what I have to work with, what else can I do but fumble in my attempt to explain it to you: what I am experiencing? I can only explain it to you through the conceptual persona of the rock star.
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PostSubject: Re: Delauze Studies:   Sun Jun 14, 2015 3:04 pm

First of all: some really good points, guys! It’s like common souls brought together by another common soul: Deleuze. And I think he would have liked that. The downside is, you having worked in my comfort zone, the wheels just turned all that faster producing thousands of thoughts which I can only hope to capture in the window I have. Otherwise, it’s the extra walk to the liquor store to give me time to finish up –the one I really shouldn’t make. But then this kind of accelerated discourse (production (might have pleased Deleuze as well. As Alexandre rightly said:

“Conversely, Deleuze always asked us to take lines of flight and to create a consistent field of variations, to think in erratic, yet, consistent ways!!”


“I read your answer with much sadness, because this situation is clearly not friendly. I am sure that Deleuze’s texts are quite mixed with French language, culture and a LOT of subtleness regarding the history of philosophy and inexplicit problems, but it, by no means, invalidate great translations and intellectual accounts.” –Alexandre

While there was some tension (basically 2 egos clashing (I can assure you that I have no desire to beat Rui down or for this to turn into a pissing contest. He was by no means the most obnoxious opposition I have ever faced and actually put in an honest attempt to be cordial. And he’s clearly passionate on the subject matter and, therefore, could be useful to me. My only point is to make clear to him that he is only useful to me to the extent that he is useful.

“Indeed, I do not know Rui Mascarenhas and I’m not here to defend his point of view, but to suggest you to take in consideration a very rough intuition expressed in his opinions.” –Ibid

Certainly!!!!! While I still maintain that Deleuze left interpretation of him a little more open than Rui argues, you still have to admit that reading him in French and having a familiarity with French culture would serve as a clear advantage in interpreting Deleuze –that is w/ and w/out Guattari. To argue, as I did, that Deleuze asks us to find our own creative ways to him is not to say that there won’t be individuals who have better resources to approach him. And this goes to one of his criticisms of my point: that my creative approach to Deleuze (interpretation as a form of Play (seems absurd given that the book I was talking about, Logic of Sense, was one of 2 of dissertations to the French academy. In other words, Rui had brought up a concern that I had, at times, thought about: if it was a like a dream or work of abstract art in which most of the meaning came out of the discourse that went on around it, how would it have passed the strict scrutiny of the French academy. And there are three things I would ask you to consider:

First of all, before Deleuze had presented his two dissertations, Difference and Repetition and Logic of Sense, he had written several scholarly studies of various philosophers which included Bergson, Hume, and Kant. And this would have earned Deleuze a little leeway with the French academy: made them a little more tolerant towards the playful rock star style he was developing from the very beginning.

Secondly, as I said, having a familiarity with the French language and French culture would have given the academy better tools to appreciate what it was Deleuze was trying to do. And this puts some shine on the last point:

At the time, there was an emerging sense of the import of philosophical Play in French culture that can be traced to structuralism’s recognition of the arbitrary and precarious relationship of language with reality. This, in turn, was rooted in the French revolutionary tradition. In this sense, Deleuze and the post-structuralist and postmodern environment he was working in was an important evolutionary step in French culture –one it was best suited for or always working towards. The idea was, as I understand it, is that since there is always something about reality that transcends the language we use to describe it, there is no reason we shouldn’t play with language in the hope of stumbling into something relevant to reality. This goes to Alexandre’s point:

“This is especially ironic since Deleuze is driven in a large extent towards the English and American pragmatism, literature!!!”

Having been a fan of both Deleuze and Rorty, I have seen the overlap in that both seem to give privilege to creative discourse over any hope of finding some final truth. And this allows for the import of Play. Alexandre says:

“This is crazy. He is so un-french!!!”

I would add that he is a bit of a prankster as well. Take, for instance, his explanation of how to read him in an interview: multiply differences. Now what does that tell us? As far as I tell: something, but not very much. It was a performance like everything he wrote. And I would also note the beauty of his writing style, the amorphous and biological imagery (as compared to the music of the spheres (and the witty asides: dinner and conversation at the Rorty’s.

Still, there is the matter of what gets lost in translation:

“I don't think it's at all impossible to 'understand' Deleuze in English, or that the 'original' French is authoritative, especially if you really apply his own philosophy here to the meta- discussion...but Deleuze in English is perhaps a different Deleuze - yet no less valid. Check out Benjamin, The Task of the Translator, for instance.” –Boris

Or as Frost put it: poetry is what gets lost in translation. And I would argue that it is mainly poetry we are talking about when it comes to Deleuze. He asks us to feel (in our own creative way (what he is saying and work our way beyond it to the system he is offering: rigid or not. And I’m not sure he wants us to understand him as much as he wants us to bounce off of him in acts of social production: discourse. Alexandre says:

“I am Brazilian and I am sure that our readings here are a step behind those made in Paris.”

But I’m not sure that would be a problem to Deleuze. I would argue that his main genius laid in recognizing that everyone would come into what he was doing with their own set of psychological and cultural filters and create an infinite matrix of overlaps that would continue his legacy.
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