Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Temporary but Unrepentant Umbilical to Furthur Thought-Insanity, Part VI

“The history of philosophy has always been an agent of power in philosophy, and even in thought. It has played the repressor’s role: how can you think without having read Plato, Descartes, Kant, and Heidegger, and so-and-so’s book about them? A formidable school of intimidation which manufactures specialists in thought – but which also makes those who stay outside conform all the more to this specialism which they despise. An image of thought called philosophy has been formed historically and it effectively stops people from thinking.” –Deleuze, Dialogues

The book Dialogues isn’t, however, a dialogue in the sense of the word. It appears to be responses elicited in an interview, but in the form in which the book Dialogues is printed, only Deleuze is there. Only Deleuze is speaking. We know there’s someone else at work because the book is attributed to Gille Deleuze AND Claire Parnet (whoever that is…I know her only because of this one attribution…Ah, she’s a friend and student of Gilles Deleuze, lucky girl.) Even the interviewer’s questions do not appear as such. (In the conventionally-presented interview, the questions are printed, along with the answers. CP: “Do you ever crap in your hands?” GD: “Every day. I use it as lotion.” This is not the format of Dialogues.) The interviewer’s voice is erased. We listen to the smart guy give us a bunch of answers, and it is pretty funny, because among the questions asked and answered is one from the disembodied background, “A conversation: What is it? What is it for?”

That’s not what I want to talk about, though. I want to talk about Orla’s post from which I lifted (copied and pasted—nice I didn’t have to type it out myself) the above quote. That’s the post, “Do you realize how simple desire is?”, from April 25, 2009.

The above quote is the second Deleuze quote from Dialogues Orla gives us. (Later, I hope to examine the way Orla connects the two quotes.) Orla then presents a list of philosophers, accompanied by a one or two sentence explanation of their work. This one or two sentence explanation isn’t meant as an explanation…It is meant as a larva. A larva is a thought-life which though we take it as a fixed object we also know the "fixed object" is capable of wonderful metamorphosis (literally.) Thus, though we take the larva as a fixed object, we know it is neither fixed nor an object. We may be tempted to perfect or polish the larvae in the fixed objective form we find it, but we know that's not the right approach to larvae.(A polished larvae? That’d be a squishy mess.) Our interest in the larvae is in the transformations of which it is capable…

Here’s one of Orla's larva:

PLATO: The master of dualisms. The first computer programmer of binary thinking. 0-1. Why is he still relevant? He has never been more so. As the king to revolt against.
It’s only a larva. Giving us this larva, Orla is only giving a suggestion of some place, in conversation or dialogue, we might go. It's the suggestion for a metamorphosis. It’s not a thesis, a polished thesis, or a theme. If we subject it to criticism, we are making a mistake similar to treating a first rough draft of an essay as if it were the final, submitted and sanctioned for publication draft…Such criticism serves only to damage the creative process. Larvae are killed this way. "Assassinated!"


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