Deleuze: The Clamor of Being
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The works of Gilles Deleuze -- on cinema, literature, painting, and philosophy -- have made him one of the most widely read thinkers of his generation. This compact critical volume is not only a powerful reappraisal of Deleuze's thought, but also the first major work by Alain Badiou available in English. Badiou compellingly redefines "Deleuzian, " throwing down the gauntlet in the battle over the very meaning of Deleuze's legacy.
For those who view Deleuze as the apostle of desire, flu, and multiplicity, Badiou's book is a deliberate provocation. Through a deep philosophical engagement with his writings, Badiou contends that Deleuze is not the Dionysian thinker of becoming he took himself to be; on the contrary, he is an ascetic philosopher of Being and Oneness. Deleuze's self-declared anti-Platonism fails -- and that, in Badiou's view, may ultimately be to his credit. "Perhaps it is not Platonism that has to be overturned, " Badiou writes, "but the anti-Platonism taken as evident throughout this entire century."
This volume draws on a five-year correspondence undertaken by Badiou and Deleuze near the end of Deleuze's life, when the two put aside long-standing political and philosophical differences to exchange ideas about similar problems in their work. Badiou's incomparably attentive readings of key Deleuzian concepts radically revise reigning interpretations, offering new insights to even the veteran Deleuze reader and serving as an entree to the controversial notion of a "restoration" of Plato advocated by Badiou -- in his own right one of the most original figures in postwar French philosophy.
The result is a critical tour de force that repositions Deleuze, one of the mostimportant thinkers of our time, and introduces Badiou to English-speaking readers.
It was more singular, more arresting, than useful for my meanderings. His canonical references (the Stoics, Hume, Nietzsche, Bergson . . .) were the opposite of my own (Plato, Hegel, Husserl). Even when it came to mathematics -which, I recognized, keenly interested him - Deleuze's preferences were for differential calculus and Riemannian manifolds, from which he drew pow erful metaphors (and yes, I do mean metaphors). I preferred algebra and sets. Spin oza was a point of intersection but "his"
Badiou is not at all the author of a single book, nor an author confined to a single genre: his philosophical output encompasses some thir teen titles, and he has also written a number of critical and political essays, novels, plays, and even the libretto of an opera, making of him a "complete philosopher" on the Sartrean model), his book on Deleuze-in whose work, of course, the con cepts of "multiplicity" and "event" are central-could not fail to arouse an enor mous interest in France, both
that most of Deleuze's work is devoted to defend ing, unfolding, and understanding ever more comprehensively the founding intu ition of Nietzsche concerning the eternal return. I say this in admiration, for I be lieve that every truth is a fidelity.1 Deleuze's fidelity to the eternal return was all the more necessary given the serious misinterpretations that constantly threaten this motif-misinterpretations that are, moreover, particularly dangerous if the intuition is understood in the form
ide ological operation whatsoever, and that all the fuss around their respective positions (which is where the small fry come to the fore) only serves, in fact, to shape, under the heading of " debate," a sort of shoddy consensus. It is one of the signs of Deleuze's greatness that, in spite of his success, he was unable to be incorporated into the major blocs of opinion that orga nize the petty parliamentary life of the profession. Undoubtedly, between 1 969 and 1 975, he was the mentor of that
etc.). Structuralism, whether consciously or not, celebrates new findings of a S toic and Carrollian inspiration. Structure is in fact a machine for the production of incor poreal sense (skindapsos). But when structuralism shows in this manner that sense is produced by nonsense and its perpetual displacement, and that it is born of the re spective position of elements which are not by themselves "signifying", we should not at all compare it with what was called the philosophy of the absurd: