Deleuze on Literature (Deleuze and the Arts)

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And intuition is the force which enables us to be conscious of these differences. As Bergson states in Duration and Simultaneity ,. Their works have been preoccupied with the problems of time and movement like Bergson. Deleuze, on the other hand, generates from Bergson his ideas on rhizome, becoming, multiplicities, assemblages, lines of flight and his theory on difference and repetition.

It would not be wrong to say that Eliot and Deleuze represent two different sides of the same coin, the coin being Bergson himself. There is not a world that contains time; there is a flow of time, which produces worlds or durations. Time is a virtual whole of divergent durations. At the still point of the turning world.


Neither flesh nor fleshless; Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is, But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity, Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards, Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point, There would be no dance, and there is only the dance. I can only say, there we have been: but I cannot say where. And I cannot say, how long, for that is to place it in time. For Bergson, time is a living and still moving eternity. It is an organic phenomenon and everything repeated in time is repeated in a new sense.

Past contains the seeds of the present which, in turn, contain the seeds of the future. Hence, Eliot follows Bergson in his criticism of the dissociation of sensibility which he perceives as the sickness of all revolutionary movements which tend to break connection with the past to form a radically altered sensibility in the present. This tendency, for him, is a threat to historical consciousness and is the malady of all revolutionary movements including French Revolution in history, and Romanticism in literature.

To form a healthy consciousness in the present, and to ameliorate the present conditions of life we should not break our relation with the past, nor should we deny or ignore the past. On the contrary, we should have a strong sense of tradition to outrun the past.

Therefore, disparate sense of experience should be amalgamated, re-associated to form organic wholes and harmony in life. The associationist reduces the self to an aggregate of conscious states: sensations, feelings, and ideas. But if he sees in these various states no more than is expressed in their name, if he retains only their impersonal aspect, he may set them side by side for ever without getting anything but a phantom self, the Shadow of the ego projecting itself in to space.

If, on the contrary, he takes these psychic states with the particular coloring which they assume in the case of a definite person, and which comes to each of them by reflection from all the others, then there is no need to associate a number of conscious states in order to rebuild the person, for the whole personality is in a single one of them, provided that we know how to choose it. Time and Free Will He sees these as a threat to the wholeness of consciousness, which is the source of creativity in our actions and thoughts. Received ideas of parasitic selves should be replaced by conceived ideas.

If the poet is seeking the verbal equivalent for states of mind and feeling and if the states of mind and feeling are not dissociable and form a whole which is unique, they cannot be expressed in a language which dissociates them and destroys their uniqueness. Le Brun Therefore, a mature poet must not write about his personal feelings and experiences, his personal perceptions and affections, but rather, he must use an impersonal voice which employs objective correlatives to create immediate and direct effects.

As Henri Bergson puts it,. The poet is he with whom feelings develop into images, and the images themselves into words which translate them while obeying the laws of rhythm. In seeing these images pass before our eyes we, in our turn, experience the feeling which was, so to speak, their emotional equivalent.

In this way Eliot melds the past and present, old and new, traditional and modern. Deleuze perceives life as impersonal and best artistic works, for him, are the ones which reflect this impersonality. There cannot be an individual or independent knowing self to perceive and understand, or have knowledge about life in this rhizomatic system where everything is connected endlessly. For Deleuze, all great literature is minor literature which does not repeat the surface forms of literature; it does not reproduce already established rhythms and forms.

What is repeated in minor literature is literary becoming. As Colebrook notes, for Deleuze:.

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To truly repeat a Shakespeare sonnet would demand reactivating all the forces of creation that produced the original, and this may mean abandoning sonnet forms altogether. Maximum repetition is maximum difference. Repeating the past does not mean parroting its effects, but repeating the force and difference of time, producing art today that is as disruptive of the present as the art of the past. According to Deleuze, as Daniel W.

Smith points out:. The writer, like each of us, begins with the multiplicities that have invented him or her as a formed subject, in an actualized world, with an organic body, in a given political order, having learned a certain language. But at its highest point, writing, as an activity, follows the abstract movement of a line of flight that extracts or produces differential elements from these multiplicities of lived experience and makes them function as variables on an immanent plane of composition.

The historical sense involves a perception, not only of the pastness of the past, but of its presence; the historical sense compels a man to write not merely with his own generation in his bones, but with a feeling that the whole of the literature of Europe from Homer and within it the whole of the literature of his own country has a simultaneous existence and composes a simultaneous order. This historical sense, which is a sense of the timeless as well as of the temporal, and of the timeless and of the temporal together, is what makes a writer traditional.

Life is not just the progression of ordered sequences from some already given set of possibilities. Universe for Deleuze is a blend of chaos and cosmos, which is in an endless form of becoming. Becoming is a neutral concept which excludes dialectics and forms a rhizomatic plane of immanence where everything is interrelated, time is cyclical, and being is non-hierarchical. On a textual level, rhizome can be taken as the equivalent of intertextuality, and becoming as textuality where there is no beginning and ending point but only becoming, an entity renewing itself by endless repetitions, and from endless repetitions giving birth to endless differences.

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A rhizome is a multiplicity: a unity that is multiple in itself, a combination of chaos and cosmos. In this respect, his poetry is designed as unified multiplicities, as combinations of myth, history, and other literature which creates emotional equivalents of his thought in the form of chaosmos. For him, tradition is what is impersonal in personality. The moment of the rose and the moment of the yew-tree Are of equal duration. A People without history Is not redeemed from time, for history is a pattern Of timeless moments.

Time is perceived as a fusion of the past, present and future. In order for poetry to affect the reader as directly as a physical sensation, it has to express emotion impersonally. Eliot offers the use of objective correlatives as a method for the artist to distance himself from the thing he creates. Platinum is the agent of change but nevertheless remains inert, neutral and unchanged. The emotion of art should be in the poem rather than the poet. This was the very point he attacked romantic poetry for being the opposite of what he offers as ideal.

Affects and percepts are irreducible to the affections and perceptions of a subject. What opinion proposes is a particular relationship between an external perception as a state of a subject and an internal affection as passage from one state to another. Art, like philosophy, is not about opinions:. What is preserved in art is a bloc of sensations, that is to say, a compound of percepts and affects. Percepts are no longer perceptions; they are independent of a state of those who experience them.

Affects are no longer feelings or affections; they go beyond the strength of those who undergo them. Sensations, percepts and affects are beings whose validity lies in themselves and exceeds any lived. They could be said to exist in the absence of man because man, as he is caught in the stone, on the canvas, or by words, is himself a compound of percepts and affects. The work of art is a being of sensation and nothing else: it exists in itself.

What is Philosophy? Affects and percepts, in art, free these forces from the particular observers or bodies who experience them Colebrook This is how Deleuze proposes that art should be impersonal. For Eliot, in poetry, there must be a shift from the plural emotions of life to the singular emotion in the writing. This implies the transformation of multiple, disordered emotions into the ordered and significant emotion of the poem.

The same is true for Deleuze who shows that:. The artist, the surrounding world and the work of art are all part of an apersonal unfolding of signs, and the finished work of art is a Joycean chaosmos, a chaos-become-cosmos. Deleuze on Literature 4. This collective value can only be attained when literature deterritorializes language in order to create lines of flight, new percepts and affects, visions and auditions. Literature, then, finds itself positively charged with the role and function of collective, even revolutionary enunciation Kafka Deleuze states:.

Bogue on Deleuze and Art

Kafka Deleuze and Eliot, belonging to different times, had different sensibilities and used completely different terminologies but in that rose garden, at the still point of the turning world, their ideas on literature, existence and time dance in full harmony.

Bergson, Henri. Translated by F. George Allen, Translated by. Leon Jacobson. Bobbs-Merrill, Colebrook, Claire. Gilles Deleuze: Routledge Critical Thinkers. Routledge, Deleuze, Gilles. Zone Books, Essays: Critical and Clinical.

“At the still point of the turning world:” T.S. Eliot and Gilles Deleuze

Translated by Daniel W. University of Minnesota Press, Deleuze, Gilles and Felix Guattari.

Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature.

Deleuze on Literature (Deleuze and the Arts) Deleuze on Literature (Deleuze and the Arts)
Deleuze on Literature (Deleuze and the Arts) Deleuze on Literature (Deleuze and the Arts)
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Deleuze on Literature (Deleuze and the Arts) Deleuze on Literature (Deleuze and the Arts)
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