DELEUZE WITHOUT LACAN: on being wary of the “middle” Deleuze

I think that Deleuze’s earliest essays are perhaps in best continuity with the writings after the encounter with Guattari. There was a freedom there in Deleuze’s early essays that later became over-coded by his grand synthesis in DIFFERENCE AND REPETITION and in LOGIC OF SENSE. It is this Deleuzian Synthesis that Laruelle is targeting when he groups Deleuze with Heidegger and Derrida in the “philosophies of difference” and with his critique of the principle of philosophical sufficiency.

The encounter with Guattari helped Deleuze to jettison the Freudo-Lacanian overlay and move back closer to himself, and to his original pluralism. This is the Deleuze who was able to cite Jung unproblematically. This is why I emphasise the Deleuze of the psyche and subjectivation, of the image and imagination, of story and fabulation.

Zizek takes the opposite tack to Laruelle. He valorises the middle Deleuze, and interprets the works of that period so as to highlight their “non-standard” features, those aspects which already operate outside the traditional sufficiency of philosophy. The non-All is the non-sufficient.

Bachelard was already thinking and writing outside the Freudo-Lacanian hegemony, and was much closer to Jungian psychoanalysis. Post-Jungians like James Hillman appreciate Bachelard a lot. It is important to realise that “psychoanalysis” is more than what Freud and Lacan make of it.

Bachelard represents a “turn” that was not taken, a failed opportunity, and much time was lost.

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2 Responses to DELEUZE WITHOUT LACAN: on being wary of the “middle” Deleuze

  1. I didn’t know Bachelard until today. Thank you. Lovely. It would have taken many Francoise Dolto’s to carry his thinking onward. Insurance companies do not pay for this sort of clinical work. Psychoanalytic treatment entered the Order of Production and manufactured analysts by the hundreds. Few are poets. I had one out of 3 so I guess “that ain’t bad.”


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