Gilles Deleuze: Experimenting with Intensities


The essays included in this volume were first presented in the 2004 Trent University  international  conference,  ‘Gilles  Deleuze:  Experimenting  with Intensities.’  The collection wants to address some of the  outstanding issues in Deleuzian scholarship and to be one more tribute to the  ‘stutterer,’ whose  rasping voice and rhizomatic writings do not, despite  the  passage of time, show signs of loosening their hold on our philosophical imagination. I am sure that I express the sentiments of everyone who has contributed to this volume as I acknowledge here our shared intellectual debt:  ‘Deleuze a ite notre maitre.’ While some of us will remember that these are the words Deleuze used once to express his own debt to Sartre, I feel even more comfortable in appropriating them as I begin to see how much the relationship that my colleagues and I have maintained with Deleuze resembles the one he had maintained with Sartre: our intellectual debt to him does not make us his disciples,  any more than his debt made him a  Sartrean. Never was  it more pertinent than it is  today to reiterate this thought. There are no Deleuzians;  there are only people using Deleuze-blocs and Deleuze diagonal lines of  transformation for the sake of  creating concepts in philosophy, sensations in the arts, and modes of  living in ethics and politics that are not necessarily (and sometimes not at all) Deleuze’s.

Gilles Deleuze taught us that philosophy is the creation of concepts aiming, in a  precarious manner,  to  impose, consistency upon a chaos that he himself  preferred to see as the seething apeiron of  Empedocles-rather than as a void and a naught. He placed plenty of  demands on the creating philosopher: he asked her to face her canvas, and, like an artist,  to begin by wiping away the cliches and the ready-mades of  the doxa  that stand in the way of  her creation; to suspend  the chattiness that  the dominant  ideology of  communication encourages, and  to opt  for the desert of  thinking  and writing-a desert  always populated by packs and tribes. The result of this condition, he promised,  is not a dreaded aphasia, but rather the creative glossolalia of  indirect discourse. As for the veracity of  this glossolalia, Deleuze dares us to find it  in the interesting and remarkable concepts that would punctuate and sustain it-in other words, in their ability to offer solutions to their parent problems or-perhaps the same thing-in their ability to make existing problems resonate together. Est enim verum index sui.  Salut done a  un maitre Spinoziste.

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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