Friday, April 13, 2007

Certain texts can only address you at certain times

Larval Subjects Larvae are creatures in a process of becoming or development that have not yet actualized themselves in a specific form. This space is a space for the incubation of philosophical larvae that are yet without determinate positions or commitments but which are in a process of unfolding. Studies in Immanence
As those of you acquainted with the scholarship on Deleuze and Guattari know, there is next to nothing on Anti-Oedipus. Anti-Oedipus, like The Logic of Sense is one of those strange books in Deleuze and Guattari’s corpus that is almost never spoken about. Lately I’ve been reading Eugene Holland’s Deleuze and Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus: An Introduction to Schizoanalysis, and cannot recommend this book highly enough. The first thing to note is the clarity of Holland’s prose. Unlike so much of the work out there, Holland does not attempt to emulate the style of Deleuze and Guattari, nor is this work an “experiment” designed to produce monsterous offspring, rather it is a very straight-forward analysis of Anti-Oedipus.
Holland begins his study with an analysis of the three syntheses of the unconscious (the connective, disjunctive, and conjunctive synthesis), and then proceeds to a discussion of the paralogisms of psychoanalysis that Deleuze and Guattari trace in the first chapter of Anti-Oedipus. The second chapter of the book analyzes the different structures of society investigated by Deleuze and Guattari (savage, despotic, and capitalist), and the various ways in which they regulate desire and the forms of social theory that emerge from them. The final chapter is devoted to universal history and schizoanalysis.
For me, one of the more exciting features of the book is its discussion of the relationship between individual desire (psychoanalysis) and the social, and how the two interprenetrate. This book is worthwhile, I believe, for those seeking to tackle Anti-Oedipus for the very first time, but also those who have spent a good deal of time with the work already. Anti-Oedipus is, no doubt, the most political of Deleuze and Guattari’s work. In this regard it is indispensible for debates currently emerging surrounding figures like Negri and Hardt, Badiou, and Zizek. ~ by larvalsubjects on April 13, 2007. 2 Responses to “Studies in Immanence”
on _The Logic of Sense_, which is my favourite deleuze text, i have been rereading negri’s two essays in _Time for Revolution_. In particular the second essay, “Kairos, Alma Venus, Multitudo”, is written as an explicit derivation of, as Negri writes, Marx and Deleuze. Negri turns some of the ideas developed in _The Savage Anomaly_ (it seems to me) to a post-marxist reading of _The Logic of Sense_. I have owned the book since it was published but I am now only beginning to understand what Negri is on about after trawling through most of Deleuze’s works and now on to the Marxist stuff.
It certainly is not as clear as Holland’s excellent book (who I met once at a conference in Australia and very politely listened to some crazy rambling question from me, which I appreciate tremendously!). Rather, Negri is trying to think the materialist field in terms of the event, and names the incorporeal dimension as the ‘common name’. I think there is some good stuff in Negri’s essay, but it is amongst some horrifically dense prose that assumes far too much of readers. The book cannot be understood on its own. I am not sure how many people will have tried to read it after reading Empire or something (like I did). But now I have some ideas I am trying to write up into a blog post inspired by Negri’s reading of Deleuze regarding a problematic of value. glen said this on April 13th, 2007 at 2:14 pm
Thanks for the tip, Glen. I met Holland at a conference years ago in Toronto. Unfotunately I was rip roaring drunk at the time… Dan Smith can be a very, very, very bad influence! I had read the book at that time and appreciated it, but not nearly as much as I appreciate it now. It’s interesting how certain texts can only address you at certain times. larvalsubjects said this on April 13th, 2007 at 2:53 pm

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