New questions, readings, formulations, and commentaries from contemporary readers of recent Continental Philosophy can be very interesting, and quite useful to refresh our understanding of familiar texts, not the least because they can help us not to read them too concretely or literally.
I for one still remain very influenced by ANTI-OEDIPUS but I think its key terms need to be deconstructed, which is something that Deleuze and Guattari themselves did over the next twenty years after the publication of their first collaboration.
For example, one could argue that the focus on « desire » cedes too much to the Lacano-Freudian doxa. So « desire » needs to be de-emphasized (but not abandoned) in favour of noesis (spirit/psyche/soul).
Similarly, the concept of « machine » functions more as a reminder for the necessity of the pragmatic interpretation of every concept. This concept of « machine » fuses both object-level and meta-level considerations in a way that can block us into a corner.
The concepts that become increasingly emphasised (spirit, intensities, assemblages and multiplicities) are much more flexible than the notions of desire and machine and less liable to give rise to a one-sided metaphysical mis-reading.
In the later works « assemblage » becomes the key term, and it is presented as double-sided: collective assemblage of enunciation and machinic assemblage of desire. The role of enunciation becomes more prominent than in ANTI-OEDIPUS, and this relative primacy of enunciation corrects the one-sided impression of a primacy of the machinic.
If we follow the thread of « desire » as a name for noesis and its enunciative potential, we can recognise that the future avatar of « desiring-machine » is « spiritual automaton ».
One might add that they end their flight with Ruyer’s ‘primary true forms’ and and ‘brains’ in ‘absolute self-survey’ – ‘absolute interiorities.’
I wrote a little about this is an old essay: ‘Subjectless Subjectivities.’:
One of the only essays I ever published lol
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True, but I reject the term « absolute self-survey », there is no survey! If we accept Zizek’s reworking of Hegel, then this « absolute self-survey » is what corresponds in Deleuze and Guattari’s WHAT IS PHILOSOPHY? to Hegel’s Absolute Knowledge. Of course, the Zizekian reading of Hegel is in fact a Deleuzian reading, so we are going in circles here.
Yes but ‘survol absolue’ (in WIP) is an ‘absolute immanence’ – not from a supplementary dimension – Ruyer contrasts a camera with the field of consciousness. A camera needs another dimension to operate.
IMO there is a similarity with ‘On having no head: zen and the rediscovery of the obvious’ by douglas Harding. ‘The man with no head’ – a song by ‘The Incredible String Band.’ 🙂
There are some cute diagrams in Ruyer’s ‘Neo-Finalisme’ – now translated I think.
I don’t know what Hegel’s ‘absolute knowledge’ is – sounds suspicious!
For me Harding’s no head theory is an involuntary reductio ad absurdum of hyperbolic empiricism. Hegel’s Absolute Knowledge has sounded suspicious for over a century, but one must read Zizek to get a less suspicious reading.
Ah! I guess that counts me out – Zizek is not high on my current list.
Btw I’m not equating Harding with Ruyer…I assume you have read Harding’s little bk..?
More to the point D/G conclude WIP with an appropriation (arse fuck?) of Ruyer.
Btw, do u think buggery or arsefuck is the better translation 🙂
I re-translated the passage in question as it is a little more subtle than it seems, and talks of « a sort of buggery »: https://terenceblake.wordpress.com/2012/02/25/keziz-zizek-gets-it-backwards-1-deleuzes-buggery-quote-retranslated/
I think Zizek has become essential reading today for anyone for whom Deleuze is a living influence.
Yes, arse-fuck is simply too literal…altho I’ve seen it used.
Perhaps y could recommend a particular Zizek title…I’ve read a bit over the years and watched some funny Youtube vids…especially in relation to Hegel and absolute knowledge – as for Lacan…
The videos are incredibly diluted, I would never pay to go and hear Zizek speak. LESS THAN NOTHING is over a thousand pages, but I am reading SEX AND THE FAILED ABSOLUTE and finding it very interesting (even if it also enrages me).
Hello Paul, you are one of the people I thank here: https://terenceblake.wordpress.com/2021/02/02/from-de-concepting-the-dialogue-to-de-dialoguing-the-de-concepted-concept/
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Looks like I just lost a comment.
I was writing that Isabelle Stengers once commented that Ruyer’s ‘Survol Absolue’ was the ‘best phenomenological description of Whitehead’s ‘presentational immediacy’. This comment would probably not be grasped by most philosophy departments lol! This was in Canberra 2003! At a conf. organised by Massumi. I gave a talk…
I have the ‘Sex…’ bk and will restart – I didn’t get far.
I did read ‘The Fragile Absolute.’
As u surely know Stengers wrote a bk on Whitehead. I am not a reader/scholar of him but I found the observation interesting. It was a pleasure to meet her having translated her early essays.