“The problem is no longer getting people to express themselves, but providing little gaps of solitude and silence in which they might eventually find something to say. Repressive forces don’t stop people from expressing themselves, but rather, force them to express themselves. What a relief to have nothing to say, the right to say nothing, because only then is there a chance of framing the rare, or ever rarer, the thing that might be worth saying.”
— Gilles Deleuze, “Mediators”
Every writer is a sellout. The only literature is that which places an explosive device in its package, fabricating a counterfeit currency, causing the super- ego and its form of expression to explode, as well as the market value of its form of content.
— Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus
p. 146 (via post-makhno
The truth is that sexuality is everywhere: in the way that a bureaucrat fondles his records, a judge administers justice, a businessman causes money to circulate; in the way the bourgeoisie fucks the proletariat; and so on. And there is no need to resort to metaphors, any more than for the libido to go by way of metamorphoses. Hitler got the fascists sexually aroused. Flags, nations, armies, banks get a lot of people aroused.
Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus
(translation slightly altered by Alan D. Schrift for quotation in Nietzsche’s French Legacy: A Genealogy of Poststructuralism)
Cioè: parola bianca che lo designa, o la parola esoterica che designa questa parola bianca, ha comunque la proprietà di esprimere la cosa. È una parola che designa esattamente ciò che esprime, e che esprime ciò che designa. Esprime il proprio designato, così come designa il proprio senso. In…
Alice nelle sue ossessioni alimentari è traversata da incubi che concernono l’assorbire, l’essere assorbito. Alice constata che le poesie che ascolta vertono su pesci commestibili. E se si parla di cibo, come è possibile evitare di parlarne di fronte a quello che deve servire da alimento? Così…
Academics’ lives are seldom interesting. They travel of course, but they travel by hot air, by taking part in things like conferences and discussions, by talking, endlessly talking. Intellectuals are wonderfully cultivated, they have views on everything. I’m not an intellectual, because I can’t supply views like that, I’ve got no stock of views to draw on. What I know, I know only from something I’m actually working on, and if I come back to something a few years later, I have to learn everything all over again. It’s really good not having any view or idea about this or that point. We don’t suffer these days from any lack of communication, but rather from all the forces making us say things when we’ve nothing much to say.
Il fondo dell’arte, in effetti, è una specie di gioia, ed è proprio questo il proposito dell’arte. Non ci può essere opera tragica perchè vi è necessariamente una gioia di creare: l’arte è per forza una liberazione che fa esplodere tutto, a cominciare dal tragico. Non c’è una creazione triste senza una vis comica. L’eroe tragico è allegro.
Gilles Deleuze - Il freddo e il crudele
Eternity is neither an indefinite duration nor something that begins after duration, but it coexists with duration, just as two parts of ourselves that differ in nature coexist, the part that involves the existence of the body and the part that expresses its essence.
Deleuze’s ontology is not a resting place; it is not a zone of comfort; it is not an answer that allows us to abandon our seeking. It is the opposite. An ontology of difference is a challenge. To recognize that there is more than we have been taught, that what is presented to us is only the beginning of what there is, puts before us the greater task of our living. We have not finished with living; we are never finished with living. However we live, there is always more. We do not know of what a body is capable, nor how it can live. The alternatives of contentment (I have arrived) and hopelessness (There is nowhere to go) are two sides of the same misguided thought: that what is presented to us is what there is.
There is more, always more.
A theory is exactly like a box of tools. It has nothing to do with the signifier. It must be useful. It must function. And not for itself. If no one uses it, beginning with the theoretician himself (who then ceases to be a theoretician), then the theory is worthless or the moment is inappropriate. We don’t revise a theory, but construct new ones; we have no choice but to make others. It is strange that it was Proust, an author thought to be a pure intellectual, who said it so clearly: treat my book as a pair of glasses directed to the outside; if they don’t suit you, find another pair; I leave it to you to find your own instrument, which is necessarily an investment for combat. A theory does not totalise; it is an instrument for multiplication and it also multiplies itself. It is in the nature of power to totalise and it is your position. and one I fully agree with, that theory is by nature opposed to power. As soon as a theory is enmeshed in a particular point, we realise that it will never possess the slightest practical importance unless it can erupt in a totally different area. This is why the notion of reform is so stupid and hypocritical. Either reforms are designed by people who claim to be representative, who make a profession of speaking for others, and they lead to a division of power, to a distribution of this new power which is consequently increased by a double repression; or they arise from the complaints and demands of those concerned. This latter instance is no longer a reform but revolutionary action that questions (expressing the full force of its partiality) the totality of power and the hierarchy that maintains it.
The sadistic fantasy ultimately rests on the theme of the father destroying his own family, by inciting the daughter to torture and murder the mother.
— Gilles Deleuze, Coldness and Cruelty
Underneath all reason lies delirium, and drift. Everything about capitalism is rational, except capital or capitalism.
Foucault never looked on writing as an aim or an end in itself. This is precisely what makes him a great writer and imbues everything he writes with an increasing sense of joy and gaiety. The Divine Comedy of punishment means we can retain the basic right to collapse in fits of laughter in the face of a dazzling array of perverse inventions, cynical discourses and meticulous horrors. A whole chain of phenomena, from anti-masturbation machines for children to the mechanics of prison for adults, sets off an unexpected laughter which shame, suffering or death cannot silence. The torturers rarely laugh, at least not in the same way. Vallès has already contrasted the revolutionaires’ unique sense of gaiety in horror with the horrible gaiety of the torturer. Provided the hatred is strong enough something can be salvaged, a great joy which is not the ambivalent joy of hatred, but the joy of wanting to destroy whatever mutilates life.
When a body “encounters” another body, or an idea another idea, it happens that the two relations sometimes combine to form a more powerful whole, and sometimes one decomposes the other, destroying the cohesion of its parts. And this is what is prodigious in the body and the mind alike, these sets of living parts that enter into composition with an decompose one another according to complex laws. The order of causes is therefore an order of composition and decomposition of relations, which infinitely affects all of nature. But as conscious beings, we never apprehend anything but the effects of these compositions and decompositions: we experience joy when a body encounters ours and enters into composition with it, and sadness when, on the contrary, a body or an idea threaten our own coherence. We are in a condition such that we only take in “what happens” to our body, “what happens” to our mind, that is, the effect of a body on our body, the effect of an idea on our idea. But this is only our body in its own relation, and our mind in its own relation, and the other bodies and other minds or ideas in their respective relations, and the rules according to which all these relations compound with and decompose one another; we know nothing of all this in the given order of our knowledge and our consciousness. In short, the conditions under which we know things and are conscious of ourselves condemn us to have only inadequate ideas, ideas that are confused and mutilated, effects separated from their real causes.