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A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia Paperback – December 21, 1987
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Top Customer Reviews
Why, then, would I struggle with this 800-odd page monstrosity of densely-referential Gallic thought? Why am I here recommending that you do it?
Well...because it's worth the long, thorny trudge. You've got to get around some idiosyncratic vocabulary, but that's OK. Because, in fact, *A Thousand Plateaus* presents a credible candidacy for Philosophy for our Time (if you can still believe in that). The concept of the rhizome alone - burrowing, nonhierarchical, endlessly foliating thought - let alone fertile ideas like nomadology or the Body without Organs: once grasped, these are extraordinarily useful figures that can wind up restoring some sense of agency (and subversiveness, and fun) to your intellectual life. They're perfectly suited, especially, to life and work in the age of the deeply rhizomorphic Internet.
Remember, you're smart enough to understand this stuff. (I had to keep reminding myself.) Reading with partners or in groups helps, a lot. There really is a *vast* amount of provocative and useful thought in here. Go for it.
If it sounds like the structure of certain recent films (say, by David Lynch, Robert Altman, Paul Thomas Anderson) or works of fiction (like by Samuel Delaney, Haruki Murakami, or Thomas Pynchon) or minimal techno, or most museum biennials these days, then good, it should. Thousand Plateaus help to establish a framework for all of those things.
The book tries to establish a system of political, psychological and semiotic descriptions, always as a mode of resistance to all kinds of fascism, and D & G take the conflation of those levels as a given. Not just in the world of theory but also in how you think, and that's why it's written in such a particularly dense way. It tries very hard to be nonoppressive, and generous too, but for lots of people it can be a frustrating adjustment, accustomed as we are to writing that tries to be as flat and simple as possible. This book reads the way it thinks, and these two definitely prefer finesse to simplicity. Once you get into it, you may find that it's the best thing you've read for as long as you can remember. Or, at least that it makes you think in ways you don't while reading other books.
Being brainy continentals, these guys make reference to a store of intellectual history you won't be able to relate to.Read more ›
"you can't read this while listening to music, trust me"
Actually you can but I recommend the music of anti-essentialists, Phoenicia's "Brownout" is an excellent soundtrack to the plateau on the refrain. The text of the book is the opsign of time-images, music, or, rather, sound, of deterritorialisation is the sonsign. Fittingly, the releases from Germany's Mille Plateaux label are really good for reading these works.
I can't recommend this book enough but I will give some advice in your approach:
1. Even though this might seem the most intimidating entry to D&G's thought I suggest it anyway. Compared to "Difference and Repetition" or "The Logic of Sense" this is a walk in the park when it comes to penetrating the prose.
2. Don't expect a book of philosophy where an argument is clearly defined and developed. This is nothing like that. It's a work of "nomad thought", just try and follow what's happening *before* you judge it.
3. Come back to it. Regularly. Your appreciation and engagement will deepen as your knowledge of Deleuze's oeuvre deepens. You won't 'get it' at first but you have to enter his work somewhere. Eventually you'll realise this is a challenge to develop new ontologies, you were never meant to get it. You were and are meant to think it in new directions. After all, that's the basic lesson of the return.
4. Read widely. I really recommend Rodowick's 1997 book "Gilles Deleuze's Time Machine". On the surface Rodowick is working with the cinema books but the cinema books themselves are philosophical works developing Bergson.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well, maybe it's me, but what others are calling "difficult but brilliant," I just found to be completely unreadable nonsense. I don't know. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Matthew Osborn
What a splendidly funny masterpiece. What most people or readers miss, is that the fictitious Prof. Challenger ( A Sir conan doyle character) supposedly created all these new... Read morePublished 21 months ago by amazon
This is the kind of book you need to read with a notebook and highlighter and take the time to look into every single word and concept you're not familiar with. Read morePublished on July 22, 2014 by James Curcio