Gilles Deleuze

Gilles Deleuze: Key Concepts

Edited by Charles J. Stivale
Copyright Date: 2005
Pages: 225
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  • Book Info
    Gilles Deleuze
    Book Description:

    One of the most radical philosophers of the twentieth century, Gilles Deleuze has become hugely influential in philosophy, cultural studies, literature, art, and architecture. Gilles Deleuze: Key Concepts brings together leading specialists from a variety of different disciplines in an easy-to-access primer on Deleuze's work. Deleuze's concepts - such as assemblage, the fold, difference and repetition, cinema and desire - are key to understanding his philosophical approach: they work to unsettle particular bodies of knowledge, to open them up and link them to other concepts within and outside that body of knowledge. The short and accessible chapters in this book each focus on a single concept, offering a definition and showing what the concept does. The contributors also consider how the concepts are engaged, intersect, and link, and how they may deviate from other areas of postmodern thought.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-8488-4
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Contributors
    (pp. vii-ix)
  4. Acknowledgements
    (pp. x-x)
    Charles J. Stivale
  5. Abbreviations
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. INTRODUCTION: Gilles Deleuze, a life in friendship
    (pp. 1-16)
    Charles J. Stivale

    InL’Abécédaire de Gilles Deleuze [Deleuze’s ABC Primer],the eighthour video interview with Claire Parnet filmed in 1988-89 and transmitted only in 1995, French philosopher Gilles Deleuze describes his idiosyncratic understanding of the links between friendship, creation and life. Responding to a question from Parnet (in the section “F as in Fidelity”), Deleuze hypothesizes that in order to form the basis for friendship with someone, each of us is apt to seize on a certain indication of an individual’s charm, for example, in a gesture, a touch, an expression of modesty or a thought (even before that thought has become...

    • ONE Force
      (pp. 19-30)
      Kenneth Surin

      Deleuze’s employment of the concept offorce(the same in English and French) can be grasped in terms of two distinctive but somewhat overlapping phases. In the first, associated with the “historical” emphasis on the works on Spinoza and Nietzsche (among others) that marked the earlier part of Deleuze’s career, force is understood primarily in terms of its relation to notions of speed and movement. In the case of Spinoza, Deleuze is particularly impressed by Spinoza’s philosophical ambition to view all of life as the expression of a fundamental striving orconatus, so that the body becomes an ensemble consisting...

    • TWO Expression
      (pp. 31-41)
      Gregg Lambert

      The concept of expression, or of “expressionism in philosophy”, first appears and is fully developed in Deleuze’s longer treatise on Spinoza published in 1968, the same year as the publication of his systematic study,Difference and Repetition. Thus, both major works can be understood together as two different approaches to the idea of difference in history of philosophy. The problem of expression in Spinoza’s philosophy concerns, first of all, the interplay between the internal thought and external bodies, and how ideas come to express this relation between inside and outside as being internal to the power of thought. The problem...

    • THREE Difference, repetition
      (pp. 42-52)
      Melissa McMahon

      Deleuze’s notions of difference and repetition are developed within a project that has both a negative and a positive component. The negative or “critical” aspect is the argument that philosophy, in its very conception, has laboured under a “transcendental illusion”, which systematically subordinates the concepts of difference and repetition to that of identity, mostly within what Deleuze calls the “regime of representation”. The illusion is “transcendental” (the term comes from Kant) in so far as it is not simply an historical accident that can be corrected with the right information, but forms a necessary and inevitable part of the operation...

    • FOUR Desire
      (pp. 53-62)
      Eugene W. Holland

      The aim of this essay is not to explain what desire means, but to show how the concept gets constructed and how it works. Creating concepts is the principal task of philosophy, and part of what this entails is extracting elements or dynamics from the works of other philosophers and combining them in new and productive ways. Perhaps surprisingly, but in fact like much in his work, Deleuze’s concept of desire has its source in Kantian philosophy. But its construction draws on elements from Bataille, Marx, Nietzsche, Spinoza and, of course, Freud and Lacan. Moreover, Deleuze historicizes the concept of...

    • FIVE Sense, series
      (pp. 65-76)
      Judith L Poxon and Charles J. Stivale

      At the end of the 1960s, Gilles Deleuze found himself in at once troubled and exhilarating circumstances. The trouble came from an illness to which he had fallen victim, tuberculosis, the effects of which he would suffer for the rest of his life. However, at the same time, in 1968-69, he had completed the work required within the French university system at the time to defend his dissertation, consisting of a “secondary thesis”, his 1968 book on Spinoza translated asExpressionism in Philosophy: Spinoza, and his “principal thesis”, also published in 1968,Difference and Repetition.¹ At the same time, however,...

    • SIX Assemblage
      (pp. 77-87)
      J. Macgregor Wise

      Assemblage, as it is used in Deleuze and Guattari’s work, is a concept dealing with the play of contingency and structure, organization and change, however, we should also keep in mind that these pairs of terms are false alternatives (D: 99). The term in French isagencement, usually translated as “putting together”, “arrangement”, “laying out”, “layout” or “fitting’ (Cousinet al. 1990: 9-10). It is important thatagencementis not a static term; it is not thearrangementororganizationbut theprocessof arranging, organizing, fitting together. The term as it is used in Deleuze and Guattari’s work is...

    • SEVEN Micropolitics
      (pp. 88-97)
      Karen Houle

      Tuesday morning. My “Introduction to Women’s Studies” class. A perpetually politicized space. Roughly 100 blank or hostile faces. Mostly white, mostly women, mostly middle-class. This week’s topic: “Genderbased Violence”. After reading the article “Keeping Women in Our Place: Violence at Canadian Universities” (Harris 1999), students must complete an anonymous assignment: “Honestly and thoroughly describe the ways in which gender-based harassment has affected your life”. Each of them will put their typed report in an envelope, and take another's out. And read it. And “respond” to it, even if just to sign their name.

      Thursday morning. Completed assignments go into an...

    • EIGHT Becoming-woman
      (pp. 98-109)
      Patty Sotirin

      The concept of becoming-woman is both intriguing and controversial. While becoming-woman exemplifies the radical contribution and creativity of Deleuze’s (and Guattari’s) thought, it has provoked harsh criticism, particularly from feminist scholars. I preface my discussion of becoming-woman with a brief introduction to the concept of becoming. Then I address becoming-woman in two contexts, both described inA Thousand Plateaus: becoming-woman in the context of feminism and becoming-woman in the context of the girl.

      With the concept of becoming, Deleuze counters our fascination with being and power. Being is about those questions that have engaged philosophers, scientists and theologians alike for...

    • NINE The Minor
      (pp. 110-120)
      Ronald Bogue

      In a lengthy diary entry dated 25 December 1911, Kafka outlines the characteristics of small literary communities, such as those of East European Yiddish writers or the Czech authors of his native Prague (Kafka 1977: 191-5).¹ In such minor literatures, Kafka observes, there are no towering figures, like Shakespeare in English or Goethe in German, who dominate the landscape and thereby discourage innovation or invite sycophantic emulation. Literary discussions are intense in a minor literature, political and personal issues interpenetrate, and the formation of a literary tradition is of direct concern to the people. InKafka: Toward a Minor Literature,...

    • TEN Style, stutter
      (pp. 121-130)
      Christa Albrecht-Crane

      Gilles Deleuze’s concepts of “style and stutter” are best contextualized through the premise that meaning is not simply given by or found in the world around us, but rather is produced by the symbolizing systems of cultural and political structure. Thus meaning arises out of cultural texts and signifying structures and does not reside in the things themselves. Deleuze works in this theoretical space to conceptualize how meaning is continuously producedandchanged. Deleuze’s project finds ways to lessen or alter oppressive mechanisms of control, by focusing on the dimension of resistance. In so doing, Deleuze creates an extraordinary range...

    • ELEVEN Logic of sensation
      (pp. 131-140)
      Jennifer Daryl Slack

      How well we have learned that the task before us is the search for meaning. As young children we are taught to accept that words have meanings, to recognize the moral of a tale, to search for the meaning of a poem or the significance of a story. As we become more sophisticated, we may even learn to probe the hidden meanings of visual imagery or the complex significance of non-representational art forms. At some point, however, we may stand perplexed in the inadequacy of our tools, perhaps before a work of abstract visual art or a plotless novel, where...

    • TWELVE Cinema: movement-image-recognition-time
      (pp. 141-156)
      Felicity J. Colman

      The criteria for working with Deleuze’s cinema books -Cinema 1: The Movement–Image, andCinema 2: The Time–Image– might be summarized quite simply: how and where do we see, hear and sense the perception of being? What is learnt, what is lost, what is wasted, what is invented in the recognition of the narratives, concepts and structures of life, giving rise to images of meaning in the cinema? How does the activity of relationally generated thought-perception occur within the cinema, and how might it be analysed?

      If a viewer selects a favourite colour, character, dialogue, moment, movement, sound...

    • THIRTEEN From affection to soul
      (pp. 159-169)
      Gregory J. Seigworth

      What follows is a story of affect as a set or series of encounters: affectionate encounters with enemies and allies, often proximate, sometimes more distant, and quite regularly both at the same time. Although this essay moves, in large part, by proper names (Guattari, Deleuze, Lacan, Lyotard, Foucault), it is simultaneously a story of affect’s different modes of existence. Each encounter shifts slightly in its emphasis, while progressively navigating through the chief forms - and un-forms - of affect. It should be remembered that these affectional modes (as points, lines, vaporous atmospheres and planes) are, by their nature, perpetually tangled...

    • FOURTEEN Folds and folding
      (pp. 170-181)
      Tom Conley

      Folds and folding count among the most vital and resonant terms in Deleuze’s copious and varied writings. The modest monosyllable, “pli”, that refers both to a twist of fabric and to the origins of life, bears a lightness and density that mark many of the philosopher’s reflections on questions ofbeingand on the nature ofevents. Like the “events” of May 1968 in Paris, in 1988 the publication ofLe Pli: Leibniz et le baroque [The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque]became an event in itself and has since been a point of reference for the oeuvre in general....

    • FIFTEEN Critical, clinical
      (pp. 182-193)
      Daniel W. Smith

      The last book Deleuze published before his death in 1995 was a collection of essays entitledCritique et Clinique(1993), which included articles devoted to “clinical” analyses of various philosophers (Plato, Spinoza, Kant, Nietzsche and Heidegger) and literary figures (Artaud, Beckett, Carroll, Alfred Jarry, Kerouac, D. H. Lawrence, T. E. Lawrence, Masoch, Melville and Whitman) (see ECC). The idea that artists and philosophers are physiologists or symptomatologists, “physicians of culture”, was a notion first put forward by Nietzsche, for whom all phenomena are signs or symptoms that reflect a certain state of forces.¹ Deleuze took this Nietzschean notion in new...

  10. Chronology of Gilles Deleuze
    (pp. 194-195)
  11. References
    (pp. 196-205)
  12. Index
    (pp. 206-212)