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Negotiations 1972-1990 Paperback – December 6, 1997
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From Library Journal
Deleuze (What Is Philosophy?, LJ 4/15/94) is not only one of the most influential of recent French philosophers but one of the most wide-ranging as well. The present volume, which consists mostly of interviews but also includes a few essays, describes his recent concerns. Deleuze gained attention with Anti-Oedipus (LJ 6/1/77), a radical criticism of psychoanalysis, written together with Felix Guattari. After an account of this work, Deleuze discusses his long collaboration with Guattari. Deleuze then shifts gears, and his analysis of the cinema, based on the philosophy of Henri Bergson, occupies center-stage. Deleuze's discussion of Michel Foucault (1926-84), a close friend, comes next; and the book concludes with a discussion of power in society, a main theme of Foucault's work. However diverse his interests, Deleuze has always remained a philosopher in the strict sense. The section of Deleuze's latest work that covers the history of philosophy, focusing on Leibniz, brings out this aspect of his thought. Recommended for academic libraries.?David Gordon, Bowling Green State Univ., Ohio
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
What unfolds...is the passion of [Deleuze's] ideas and commitments as well as the dazzling originality of his work. (Dorothea E. Olkowski International Studies in Philosophy)
Negotiations is perhaps the best short introduction to the thought of one of France's three most influential poststructuralist philosophers, Gilles Deleuze. (Choice)
No one knows what distant posterity will remember of a body of work that contemporaries probably understand only a little. Thought, with Deleuze, is the experience of life rather than reason. (La Monde)
Deleuze is not only on of the most influential of recent French philosophers but one of the most wide-ranging as well. The present volume, which consists mostly of interviews but also includes a few essays, describes his recent concerns. Deleuze gained attention with Anti-Oedipus (LJ 6/1/77), a radical criticism of psychoanalysis, written together with Flix Guattari. After an account of this work, Deleuze discusses his long collaboration with Guattari. Deleuze then shifts gears, and his analysis of the cinema, based on the philosophy of Henri Bergson, occupies center-stage. Deleuze's discussion of Michel Foucault (1926-84), a close friend, comes next; and the book concludes with a discussion of power in society, a main theme of Foucault's work. However diverse his interests, Deleuze has always remained a philosopher in the strict sense. The section of Deleuze's latest work that covers the history of philosophy, focusing on Leibniz, brings out this aspect of his thought. Recommended for academic libraries. (Library Journal)
Top customer reviews
In the form of various interviews we get a different angle to Deleuze’s philosophy, such as Anti Oedipus and A Thousand Plateaus. We also get a sense of how Deleuze understands the nature and purpose of philosophical activity.
I really liked the interviews about his reading of Foucault. These interviews are insightful to understand concepts from Foucault’s philosophy, such as subjectivation, truth and archaeology of knowledge, as well as the intersection with Deleuze’s philosophy and connections to Nietzsche.
For the most part, Deleuze has been relegated to top-shelf status: his work is meant to be more appreciated than read, and is the province of philosophy or theology or French Studies rather than literary theory. It is doubtful that Deleuze will ever reach the influence of Foucault or Bataille, given the infinitely portable structuralist concepts of the former and the lurid sexiness of the latter. With the publication of Brian Massumi's guide to the work of Deleuze and Guattari (A User's Guide to Capitalism and Schizophrenia, MIT Press, 1992), it seemed that Deleuze was due for coming-out party, but it appears that his time hasn't arrive. The principal problem is that his work speaks to precisely none of the categories used in cultural or literary criticism. Deleuze has nothing to say about race, relies on impenetrable anthropological texts for his critique of Marx (see the third section of Anti-Oedipus), and obscures structured questions of gender with the pansexual dismantling of Freudian symbology -- his discourse is of the polymorphous perverse, and his philosophical purposes to the contrary, it is not meant to be accessible. That said, Negotiations may be just the thing to introduce Deleuze to a slightly wider audience. Composed mostly of interviews, with some incidental journal articles, the collection serves as primarily an explanation (if not justification) for the bulk of his highly abstract work. If compared to the other English-language collection readily available of Foucault's work, the excellent Language, Counter-memory, Practice (Cornell UP, 1977), Negotiations is rather more an introduction to the major themes and works of Deleuze, a distillation and clarification, rather than a valuable addition. As such, that volume served as a kind of expansion of Foucault's theoretical concern and vocabulary, in the service of Saussurean concerns. This is not the case with this collection, which is cannily constructed to cover all phases of Deleuze's career. Neatly subdivided into subsections on his film work, Capitalism and Schizophrenia, Foucault, and politics and philosophy (the latter with excerpts on Leibniz and Spinoza, two favorite topics), the articles as a whole compose an accurate picture of Deleuze in general, with some simplification, although nothing Deleuze ever said was simple by any estimation. Yet Deleuze's work is best "understood" by immersion, rather than comprehension. If one doesn't "get" or appreciate such concepts as "deterritorialization," "smooth/striated space," "war machine," "code," "flow," "desiring-machine," or "body without organs," Negotiations is not likely to clear up any confusion because, at bottom, the ideas advocated by Deleuze's work only take root within the areas mapped out by his discursive universe. Deleuze's work can best be explained as a kind of phenomenology, which simply describes rather than provides a kind of ethical directive or pragmatic imperative. No coincidence then, that his favorite subjects -- Leibniz, Spinoza, Bergson -- specialize in the same mode of philosophy: an elaborately stylized view of the world that reflects a private obsession with the model itself rather than clearheaded analysis. Deleuze probably would have liked nothing more than to be viewed as the master of a discourse that was the subject of admiration rather than appropriation. Ultimately, Deleuze retreats within the self-contained modernist aspect of the work of art: complaints of incomprehensibilty are met with claims of artistic license. The problem Deleuze's work faces in America is precisely of this nature: without the convenient structuralist Foucauldian hooks, Deleuze and Guattari's potentially monolithic opus remains on untold bookshelves, maintaining a felt presence, not necessarily intelligible. Like Bergson, it is possible that Deleuze may be forgotten and then one day rediscovered, to knowing hosannas, by an equally naive writer concerned with contemporary philosophical problems, or diagnosing the character of the century's last quarter. Until then, Negotiations serves as a yet another introduction to Deleuze's work (whether the individual reader needs it or not), and the insights Deleuze provides into his work, and the conditions under which they came into the world, cannot be had elsewhere.
We learn pretty valuable things about Deleuze from Deleuze. His attitude towards the sciences and mathematics was plainly not anti-science. Deleuze saw the creative arts and the sciences as distinct domains. And they usually are, in geography at minimum. He figured philosophy's job was to mediate between these two forms of life. (Much like how the blacksmith is the mediator between civilization and primitive societies in A Thousand Plateaus.) So he enjoyed taking theorems of math and showing how they mapped onto movies and showing how paintings illustrated physics. He probably would have succeeded if he hadn't written in his infamously opaque stream-of-consciousness style. As it is the scientists got all hostile because they couldn't understand him like an article in Scientific American. (And you know who you are.) Since the scientists were hostile, the artists produced "science studies," wherein they study rheotric designed to cover up that they don't know science.
Even thought the arts and sciences are perhaps in greater disagreement today than ever, the twentieth century does remain, as Foucault said, "Deleuzian."