June 26, 2003

A Few Plateaus

I'm a whole 8 pages into A Thousand Plateaus, which is actually quite a bit of reading... So far its a whole lot more enjoyable then Deleuze and Guattari's first installment on capitalism and schizophrenia, Anti-Oedipus. Despite what the authors say about the book having no subject, the subject matter of A Thousand Plateaus is far more enjoyable. It took them a whole book to escape the spirits of Freud and Marx and the second book feels a lot more relaxed and free. Guess I'll find out how long that lasts.

8 pages is all it took for them to introduce two concepts that resonate loudly in today's environment. The abstract machine is a concept I'm pretty familiar with from reading De Landa its all good. The rhizome - the rat's nest, on the other hand I still treat with skepticism. I have doubts about its utility. But there are 500 more pages...

Posted by William Blaze at June 26, 2003 08:40 PM | TrackBack

--the rhizome idea is the shit. basically it's the idea that life, in reality, has no hierarchy. it's just us humans that give things hierarchies and power. life is actually flow. in other words, the taoists and buddhists were right-- but that doesn't mean we need to become monks. thus the paradox of western philosophy at the turn of D&G: how to understand life / time as flow (and space, as an "empty container," as a false idea -- which is what quantum physics and modified general relativity teach us) while at the same time realising that we need to struggle for a better world. the next step after Mille Plateaux, for me, is twofold: Brian Massumi's Parables for the Virtual (he's the translator, and today's primary Deleuzian, here in Montréal) & Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt's Empire (probably the best text that incorporates D&G into a completely modified global Marxist framework... ). have fun. MP is a heavy read & it bogs you down at points. if it does: read it non-linearily. skip to what's good. jump around. i've been reading it now for four years ...

Posted by: tobias c. van Veen on June 27, 2003 10:23 AM

nice that's a pretty good breakdown on the rhizome, I have a post coming with more thoughts. Read Empire already, but on my PDA, sort of odd, probably due in for a second round at some point, wish the cover wasn't so damn ugly... And yeah the non-linear reading is good advice, discovered that with Anti-Oedipus.

Posted by: William Blaze on June 27, 2003 05:15 PM

It's the nomadology, lines of flight and flows inherent in the rhizome that appeal to me ;) And I'm curious to know what your exact criteria for "utility" are ...

Posted by: Anne on June 30, 2003 04:06 PM
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