Deleuze (book review) Reidar Andreas Due

Updated: Nov 16, 2021

080814: this. this. just this... excellent intro to deleuze, indirectly capturing the experience of what little read of his work- that is, this is, fluctuating wildly on 'lines of force' from opaque to fascinating, then back again, sometimes sentence by sentence. if you thought phenomenology was inaccessible, that hegel, husserl, heidegger, were on occasion wilfully imprecise or obfuscatory, you have not read deleuze. so this is why it is only a four- some great ideas, some difficult ideas, always this is on rather than by deleuze. (ah, heck, make it a five) i have myself read a few books by him, last one with guattari (what is philosophy?), best one on a philosopher i already virtually liked (bergsonism), this book certainly makes me want to revisit those texts and read anew...


so, i like this intro, but do not really know if this is where to start reading deleuze or on deleuze. very brave, very contrary, to the general focus on those '3 h's' mentioned above, in the postwar french academia, this shows a different possibility for 'continental' thinking, deleuze wrote his first book on that other, famed h, of the analytic heritage- though he goes somewhere else with radical empiricism- on hume. deleuze insists that it is hume and his philosophy of 'immanence' which generates more 'concepts' of philosophy, that kant had been in error trying to conceive how the world of experience could be given to the subject, rather than how the subject could be created by experience...


deleuze is a writer of biographical thoughts: starting here with hume, going onto spinoza, to my favorite of his core of thought- bergson...


deleuze is here first described as the core of subjectivity, not in any 'phenomenological' way, but as essentially in its own being, not rather than as a cartesian, singular, self-identical subject that persists through varied senses or thoughts- but as his concept of 'modern subject', rather something that is 'produced' rather 'effect' than 'cause', of our proud human 'i', and this is what the author due names in his longest chapter 'a history of the modern subject', and asserts our being and ethics and thus politics are created by the interference of 'molar' (which is exclusive of the other eg. man or woman, believer or nonbeliever etc.) and the 'molecular' (of which 'multiplicity' is defining quality, of which there are indefinite terms not exclusive of others)... how all forms of social organization is reconciliation of that fact, or complete subsumption of one by the other eg. fascism, which tends to the molar overwhelming the molecular, as in the entire 'lines' of society are directed to war, to violence, to denying any value to the other, to multiplicity...


due is a brief book, doubtless i have yet to fully integrate deleuze's thought, but in its organization it seems that he- no more than foucault- is not deserving of all the caricatures i have heard. just because his thought is too often misapplied, too often mischaracterized, this should not be the final, pre-emptive, rejection of his thought. i am enthused by his work- now having a much better sense of what he means by 'planes of immanence' or 'lines of force' in that previous book with guattari, his thought is radically fascinating. if previously convinced i cannot go beyond 'phenomenology', cannot imagine a better argumentation than 'dialectic', there is here deleuze, there is this picture of our world and being that is not 'phenomenological' but no less engaging, that seems to generously incorporate everyone from spinoza to nietzsche, there is now so much to read, so much to think...

there is deleuze on the arts, not as 'critique' but as how art is philosophy, this is the valorization of art i could always have, especially where in contrast to heidegger, there is not a mystical but practical aspect in the work of art, where 'truth' is not primary intent but accompanying effect... and how deleuze understands and argues against and with that whole heritage of signs- signifiers, signified- with instead the metaphysical concepts of 'excess', of the 'simulacra' which is beyond this, beyond being anything other than itself...


if you, like i did, decide to read deleuze 'cold'- better by far to read this book first. this, this book...

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