Deleuze's Neitzsche Petra

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Deleuze's Nietzsche Author(s): Petra Perry Reviewed work(s): Source: boundary 2, Vol. 20, No. 1 (Spring, 1993), pp. 174-191 Published by: Duke University Press Stable URL: . Accessed: 28/04/2012 17:55Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact

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Deleuze's Nietzsche

Petra PerryIntheir 1976 manifesto,1Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattarielaborate a the qualities of the rhizome, theirhomely figurefor thinking: subterranean and, althoughinvisiblefrom clump of bulbs or tubers, constantlyproliferating aboveground, always changing direction and form as a pell-mell assemblage of parts. Next to this image, Deleuze and Guattaripose, as the figure that has dominated the procedures for thinkingof Western rationalism,the tree and its mirror image, the radicle root system. The dominance of these arborescent structures, with their interlockingarrangementof symmetrical and polarized branches-either-or, thesis and antithesis, and division and analogy all serving equally this formalization-have dictated the limitsand reductions built into an inherited mode of thinking.In this pairing, the rhizome stands apart fromthe arborescent: Itis not an opposition, since it hasRhizome:Introduction 1. Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, 1976), sub(Paris:Minuit, to sequently includedas the introduction A ThousandPlateaus, trans. BrianMassumi of University MinnesotaPress, 1987). The latterworkis hereaftercited in (Minneapolis: my text as Plateaus. Press.CCC 2 0190-3659/93/$1.50. University boundary 20:1,1993.Copyright 1993byDuke ?

Perry/ Deleuze'sNietzsche 175 existed all along as an undergroundactivity,unappreciatedbut serviceable, an unofficialmode of production. One surprise in this exposition of the rhizome is that Deleuze and Guattari attack Nietzsche. Deleuze's earlier elaborations of alternative styles of thinking-ludic, delirious, ecstatic, and nomadic-were explicitly linked to and fortifiedby reference to Nietzsche. The rhizome, however, is (Plateaus, 11, 16): "antigenealogy"and opposed to "returns" Nietzsche's aphorisms shatter the linear unityof knowledge only to invoke the cyclic unityof the eternal return,present as the nonknown in thought. This is as much to say that the fascicular system does not really break with dualism, with the complementaritybetween a subject and an object, a naturalrealityand a spiritualreality:unity is consistently thwartedand obstructed in the object, while a new type of unitytriumphsin the subject. (Plateaus, 6) Ratherthan wrestlingwiththe terms of Deleuze and Guattari'sargument, let it suffice at this pointto registerthat the poststructuralist reception of Nietzsche, very largely an affairof Deleuze's reading and advocacy, has taken a twist. Equally important,Deleuze's earlier formulationof his relation to Nietzsche no longer fits the revised criteria:"Ifind among Lucretius, Hume, Spinoza, and Nietzsche a secret linkwhich resides in the critique of negation, the cultivationof joy, the hatred of interiority, exteriority the of forces and relations, the denunciation of power, etc." The lineage into which Deleuze reads himself, "byloving authors who were opposed to the rationalisttradition," turns out to be just another branch on a tree, and his "secret link"simply a validationof the arborescent model.2 Both admirers and detractors have been unanimous in crediting Deleuze with a privileged role as a primaryinstigatorof a new reading of Nietzsche, one that has pervaded and strongly influenced the climate of French poststructuralism.3 Therefore, the suggestion of a revised version2. The precedingquotationsare fromGilles Deleuze, "IHave Nothingto Admit," trans. Janis Forman,Semiotext(e)2, no. 3 (1977):112;hereafter cited in mytext as Nothing. 3. Several essays trace specifics of Deleuze's use of Nietzsche: Vincent Pecora, "Deleuze's Nietzsche and Post-structuralist SubStance 48 (1986): 34-50; Thought," in Hugh Tomlinson,"Nietzscheon the Edge of Town:Deleuze and Reflexivity," Exceedingly Nietzsche, ed. D. F. Krelland D. Wood (London: Routledge,1988), 150-63; and RonaldBogue, Deleuze and Guattari (London: Routledge,1989). A sharp contrast needs to be stressed between the receptionDeleuze has been afforded fromwithinthe Frenchintellectual and whereresidual versionsof Nietzsche community thatfromwithout,

2 176 boundary / Spring1993 of Nietzsche in Deleuze and Guattari's Rhizome rebounds on a larger French reception. To measure its impact,a sketch of Deleuze's earliercontributionsis useful. Deleuze's career spans more than fourdecades. The firstdecade fits neatly within the routine prescribed for obtaining a professorship: lyceum teaching and a substantial productionof modest anthologies and monographs. From David Hume, sa vie, son oeuvre (1952) through Le Bergsonisme (1966), and includingboth of the books on Nietzsche, Deleuze's publications fall easily into various series of Presses Universitairesde France; they are introductions directed largely to undergraduates preparing for exams. Deleuze's books on Nietzsche, Proust,and Bergson, and the slightly aberrantessays of the period-on Sacher-Masoch or Klossowski-appear remarkableonly withinthe context of laterwork.Whatever"secret links"or personal accounts Deleuze may have felt himselfsettling duringthis period,exert more influence.Foucaultexemplifiesthe formerperspectiveas he argues against "Deleuzehas writtena superb book about Nietzsche, and "a single Nietzscheanism": the presence of Nietzsche in his other worksis clearlyapparent,there is no although or deafening reference . .. nor any attemptto wave the Nietzscheanflag for rhetorical An with and politicalends" (see "Structuralism Post-structuralism: Interview MichelFouTelos55 (1983):203. EarlyFrenchresponses demonstrate trans.JeremyHarding, cault," see consonantreception: Andr6 Nietzsch6ennes," Glucksmann, Critique "Premeditations Revue de M6taphyet 213 (1965): 125-44; Angele Kremer-Marietti, "Diff6rence qualit6," "Capitalisme Lyotard, sique et de Morale3 (1970):339-49; Jean-Frangois 6nergumene," Critique306 (1972): Critique306 (1972): 923-56; Rene Girard, "Systemedu d6lire," s'est pendue,"Le Nouvel Observateur 957-96; and MichelFoucault'snotices: "Ariane 282 (1970): 885-909; and his 229 (1969): 36-37; "Theatrum Critique philosophicum," Viking,1977), xi-xiv.This receptionsolidifieswith preface to Anti-Oedipus(New York: contributions the special issue on Deleuze of L'Arc49 (1972; revised, 1980). Further are in the same tradition VincentDescombes's chapterson Deleuze in ModernFrench CambridgeUniversity Philosophy, trans. L. Scott-Foxand J. M. Harding(Cambridge: Press, 1980), 152-67 and 173-90, andJean Jacques Lecercle'sPhilosophythroughthe LookingGlass (La Salle: Open Court,1985). The consistentand substantialopposition, in is by althoughfocused on Foucault, best formulated JurgenHabermas ThePhilosophiMIT Lawrence(Cambridge: Press, 1987). trans. Frederick cal Discourse of Modernity, that Nietzsche "is [or should be] no longer His argumentis based on the proposition und 1968,"in Kultur Kritik [ein contagious"("ZuNietzsches Erkenntnistheorie Nachwort] is furthered Manfred Habermas's Frank, by position Suhrkamp,1973], 239). [Frankfurt: of Deleuze's and Guattari's "TheWorldas Willand Representation: Critique Capitalism trans.DavidBerger,Telos57 (1983):166-77; as Schizo-analysisand Schizo-discourse," of Noteson the Rhizome-thinking Deleuze and of "TheReality 'Machines': ChristaBOrger, Telos64 (1985):33-44. A neopragmatist trans. SimonSrebrny, perspectiveis Guattari," in "Unsoundness Perspective," rather Rorty, poorlyserved by a cursoryreviewby Richard TimesLiterary Supplement,17 June 1983, 619-20.

Perry/ Deleuze'sNietzsche 177 his actual productionfits easily withingenerous boundaries of the history of philosophy; that is, precisely within the terrainof his own institutional training(Nothing, 111). An overlappingof the historyof philosophywith the historyand phiframeworkof the Centre losophy of science-these withinthe institutional Nationalde la Recherche Scientifique-alter the shape of Deleuze's career duringthe second decade. MichelFoucault,who throughouthis own career shared and acknowledged muchcommon groundwithDeleuze, registers, in his homage to Georges Canguilhem,the themes of investigationwithinthis environment: social and historical preconditions for thinking, institutional practices accompanying fields of knowledge, and ideology built into the theoretical formulationsof science. Foucaultalso provides a lucidsummary of a shared preoccupation to discover what was (in its chronology, consistent elements, historical conditions) the moment when the West for the first time affirmedthe autonomyand sovereigntyof its own rationality-Lutheran reform, "Copernican revolution,"Cartesian philosophy, Galilean mathematizationof nature, Newtonianphysics[.] On the other hand, to analyze the "present"moment and to seek, in terms of what the historyof reason had been, and also in terms of what its currentbalance sheet may be, what relation it is necessary to establish with this foundinggesture: rediscovery,recaptureof a forgottenmeaning, or return an anterior to etc.4 moment, completion, rupture, Haunting this investigation is a second set of issues deriving from an attempt to place the Enlightenmentwithinthis series. Its version of "scientific and technical ratio