Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari: Intersecting Lives

Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari: Intersecting Lives

An exhaustive and fascinating account of a remarkable collaboration between Guattari, a radical, militant psychiatrist, and Deleuze, one of the towering figures of contemporary French philosophy, whose work together produced Anti-Oedipus and A Thousand Plateaus , startlingly original blends of social psychology, philosophy, and capitalist critique that positioned itself in opposition to both socialism and Lacanian psychoanalysis. Dosse, a French professor of history, traces these lines of influence, placing the pair’s work firmly in the context of the May 1968 student uprising, and both authors’ strained relationships with a megalomaniacal Lacan. The intellectual background of each writer is examined: Deleuze’s texts on Bergson, Nietzsche, and Spinoza, and Guattari’s work as director of a psychiatric unit outside of Paris where distinctions between patient and doctor were obliterated. The author strives to re-establish Guattari as an integral collaborator, one whose contribution was overshadowed in later years by Deleuze’s celebrity. However, despite the wealth of research, the author too often resorts to paraphrases of their writings, and the book would have been well served by judicious editing. Nonetheless, as a glimpse into a remarkable period in French intellectual history where politics, philosophy, and literary brilliance coalesced, it is captivating.

About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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