History and Becoming

History and Becoming: Deleuze's Philosophy of Creativity

Craig Lundy
Copyright Date: 2012
Pages: 232
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  • Book Info
    History and Becoming
    Book Description:

    Explores the nature and relation of history and becoming in the work of Gilles DeleuzeHow are we to understand the process of transformation, the creation of the new, and its relation to what has come before? In History and Becoming, Craig Lundy puts forward a series of fresh and provocative responses to this enduring problematic. Through an analysis of Gilles Deleuze's major solo works and his collaborations with Félix Guattari, he demonstrates how history and becoming work together in driving novelty, transmutation and experimentation. What emerges from this exploration is a new way of thinking about history and the vital role it plays in bringing forth the future.Key featuresProvides a novel approach to and appreciation of Deleuze's philosophy of creativityDemonstrates the importance of history to Deleuze's conception of becomingCharts the relation of history and becoming throughout Deleuze's corpusShows how history can be creative, virtual and nonlinear

    eISBN: 978-0-7486-4531-2
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. vi-vi)
  4. Abbreviations
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 1-12)

    Gilles Deleuze is widely and rightly regarded as a philosopher of creativity, one of the greatest of the last century, if not several before. Throughout his work – whether it be on the history of philosophy, politics, literature or any other of his multifarious interests – can be found a whole host of concepts that help us to analyse the process of creation, express its salient features and inspire our various practices of it. As evidenced by the rapid appropriation of Deleuzian philosophy by an extraordinarily diverse range of fields, there is no doubt that Deleuze’s ‘call to arms’ for creative production...

  6. 1 The Depths of History
    (pp. 13-38)

    In his collection of essaysOn History, Fernand Braudel offers us a moving image for the nature of events. Commenting in reference to a display of fireflies he says, ‘their pale lights glowed, went out, shone again, all without piercing the night with any true illumination. So it is with events; beyond their glow, darkness prevails’ (Braudel 1980: 10–11). Although it is the glow of an event that catches our eye and fascinates us, Braudel argues that such superficialities belie greater complexities, for events emerge from an impenetrable milieu – a darkness or contingency – and this black night must be...

  7. 2 The Surfaces of History
    (pp. 39-63)

    Of Deleuze’s two seminal solo works,Difference and RepetitionandThe Logic of Sense, it is the former that is commonly considered to be his magnum opus.Difference and Repetitioncertainly reads more like a great tome, a work of gravitas, whileThe Logic of Senseproceeds in a contrastingly skittish fashion. It is precisely this distinction, however, that indicates the manner in which the two works form a conceptual dualism: while the former is a work of depth, the latter is an inquiry into multifarious surfaces. Deleuze puts it as follows:

    For my part, when I was no longer...

  8. 3 Nomadic History
    (pp. 64-103)

    Deleuze and Guattari’s ‘Treatise on Nomadology – The War Machine’ (ATP 351–423) consists of an elaboration on the relation between the nomad and the State forms. This relation is ‘attested to’ or described using various models as found in mythology and ethnology, science and mathematics, war and even games. History is another field through which this distinction is played out. This assertion may at first appear inaccurate, for not only is there no dedicated section in the Nomadology plateau to the issue of history, but more importantly it would seem that history is almost entirely dismissed by Deleuze and Guattari....

  9. 4 From Prehistory to Universal History
    (pp. 104-144)

    As this book has now made clear through the investigation of three separate works, a Deleuzian philosophy of history and becoming will revolve around the ontological distinction and relation between capture and creation: intensive becomings emerge from their depths into explicated beings; dynamic developments result in a surface that orientates actual bodies and states of affairs; and nomadic creations are captured by State apparatuses. In each of these studies, we have seen how the initial segregation of history on the side of capture and becoming on the side of creation can be misleading if not mistaken, for not only can...

  10. 5 What is History in What Is Philosophy?
    (pp. 145-183)

    We have now seen how there is another conception and use of history in Deleuze and Guattari’s work that differs from the image of historicism or State history. This history is intensive and dynamic, nomadic and universal-contingent. It is not confined to the actual, but neither is it exclusively virtual. It is not opposed to becoming but rather promotes a differential composite of historyandbecoming – both together for the production of another. In short, it is creative. For the final study of this book, I will investigate how this philosophy of historical creativity appears in Deleuze and Guattari’s last...

  11. Conclusion
    (pp. 184-186)

    In this book I have examined some of Deleuze’s solo and co-authored writings to see what they might have to offer our understanding of the relation between history and becoming within a philosophy of creativity. Contrary to the belief that a Deleuzian process of creativity revolves around the promotion of becoming at the expense of history, this book has demonstrated through the course of five studies how Deleuze’s work affords us with an important conception of historical creativity. By showing how history can be creative, and creativity part historical, the presumed opposition between history and becoming is overcome in favour...

  12. Notes
    (pp. 187-205)
  13. Bibliography
    (pp. 206-213)
  14. Index
    (pp. 214-224)