Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari: Intersecting Lives

Columbia University Press
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In May 1968, Gilles Deleuze was an established philosopher teaching at the innovative Vincennes University, just outside of Paris. Félix Guattari was a political militant and the director of an unusual psychiatric clinic at La Borde. Their meeting was quite unlikely, yet the two were introduced in an arranged encounter of epic consequence. From that moment on, Deleuze and Guattari engaged in a surprising, productive partnership, collaborating on several groundbreaking works, including Anti-Oedipus, What Is Philosophy? and A Thousand Plateaus.

François Dosse, a prominent French intellectual known for his work on the Annales School, structuralism, and biographies of the pivotal intellectuals Paul Ricoeur, Pierre Chaunu, and Michel de Certeau, examines the prolific if improbable relationship between two men of distinct and differing sensibilities. Drawing on unpublished archives and hundreds of personal interviews, Dosse elucidates a collaboration that lasted more than two decades, underscoring the role that family and history particularly the turbulent time of May 1968 play in their monumental work. He also takes the measure of Deleuze and Guattari's posthumous fortunes and the impact of their thought on intellectual, academic, and professional circles.

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About the author

François Dosse is a professor at the IUFM Creteil, the Paris Institute for Political Studies, and the Center for Cultural History, University of Versailles/Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines. He has published several important books on intellectual history, including History of Structuralism: The Rising Sign, 1945–1966 and History of Structuralism: The Sign Sets, 1967–Present.

Deborah Glassman is the author of several works on literature, education, and international development and the translator of Dosse's two books on structuralism.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Columbia University Press
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Published on
Jul 20, 2010
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Pages
672
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ISBN
9780231518673
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
Philosophy / Movements / Deconstruction
Psychology / Movements / Psychoanalysis
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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For Elisabeth Roudinesco, a historian of psychoanalysis and one of France's leading intellectuals, Canguilhem, Sartre, Foucault, Althusser, Deleuze, and Derrida represent a "great generation" of French philosophers who accomplished remarkable work and lived incredible lives. These troubled and innovative thinkers endured World War II and the cultural and political revolution of the 1960s, and their cultural horizon was dominated by Marxism and psychoanalysis, though they were by no means strict adherents to the doctrines of Marx and Freud.

Roudinesco knew many of these intellectuals personally, and she weaves an account of their thought through lived experience and reminiscences. Canguilhem, for example, was a distinguished philosopher of science who had a great influence on Foucault's exploration of sanity and madness-themes Althusser lived in a notorious personal drama. And in dramatizing the life of Freud for the screen, Sartre fundamentally altered his own philosophical approach to psychoanalysis.

Roudinesco launches a passionate defense of Canguilhem, Sartre, Foucault, Althusser, Deleuze, and Derrida against the "new philosophers" of the late 1970s and 1980s, who denounced the work-and sometimes the private lives-of this great generation. Roudinesco refutes attempts to tar them, as well as the Marxist and left-wing tradition in general, with the brush of Soviet-style communism. In Freudian theory and the philosophy of radical commitment, she sees a bulwark against the kind of manipulative, pill-prescribing, and normalizing psychology that aims to turn individuals into mindless consumers. Intense, clever, and persuasive, Philosophy in Turbulent Times captivates with the dynamism of French thought in the twentieth century.

This memoir is a story of loss and gain, of alienation and reconciliation, and of how such experiences go into the making of a psychoanalyst. In sharing his own very troubled family history, his decade as a Carmelite monk, his marriage and career as a psychoanalyst, Gargiulo shows how the diverse pieces of one's life can fit together into something that is meaningful and real. This is one person's life - but it relates to us all. ?We are bound together, each of us,? the author writes, ?in our living, our troubles and our joys. As we hear another's story, we are, simultaneously, writing our own autobiography.'?Broken Fathers/Broken Sons is a rare combination of memoir and musing. Playful and wise, it is an ode to what is broken inside all of us, as well as to what seeks healing....it allows us to put back together both questions and quests, as we journey out of a decade of looking for a better father in God in a Carmelite monastery, into psychoanalytic practice. Out of one man's coming to terms with the damage of a painful father/son relationship, comes a poignant and fierce cry against inequality, be it between parent and child, or analyst and patient.'Erika Duncan, NovelistFounder of Herstory Writers Workshop?In this intensely personal and humane memoir Dr. Gargiulo plumbs the depths of relationships between a father and a son. Not since Turgenev's ?Fathers and Sons? have these issues been so keenly examined and so directly held up to scrutiny. The precepts of psychoanalytic thought brought forward by Gargiulo speak to everyman in this book that merits a place on one's bookshelf next to the work of the great Russian novelist.'Norman Itzkowitz, Professor Emeritus, Princeton University
The Animal That Therefore I Am is the long-awaited translation of the complete text of Jacques Derrida’s ten-hour address to the 1997 Cérisy conference entitled “The Autobiographical Animal,” the third of four such colloquia on his work. The book was assembled posthumously on the basis of two published sections, one written and recorded session, and one informal recorded session.

The book is at once an affectionate look back over the multiple roles played by animals in Derrida’s work and a profound philosophical investigation and critique of the relegation of animal life that takes place as a result of the distinction—dating from Descartes—between man as thinking animal and every other living species. That starts with the very fact of the line of separation drawn between the human and the millions of other species that are reduced to a single “the animal.” Derrida finds that distinction, or versions of it, surfacing in thinkers as far apart as Descartes, Kant, Heidegger, Lacan, and Levinas, and he dedicates extended analyses to
the question in the work of each of them.

The book’s autobiographical theme intersects with its philosophical analysis through the figures of looking and nakedness, staged in terms of Derrida’s experience when his cat follows him into the bathroom in the morning. In a classic deconstructive reversal, Derrida asks what this animal sees and thinks when it sees this naked man. Yet the experiences of nakedness and shame also lead all the way back into the mythologies of “man’s dominion over the beasts” and trace a history of how man has systematically displaced onto the animal his own failings or bêtises.

The Animal That Therefore I Am is at times a militant plea and indictment regarding, especially, the modern industrialized treatment of animals. However, Derrida cannot subscribe to a simplistic version of animal rights that fails to follow through, in all its implications, the questions and definitions of “life” to which he returned in much of his later work.
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak's original essay "Can the Subaltern Speak?" transformed the analysis of colonialism through an eloquent and uncompromising argument that affirmed the contemporary relevance of Marxism while using deconstructionist methods to explore the international division of labor and capitalism's "worlding" of the world. Spivak's essay hones in on the historical and ideological factors that obstruct the possibility of being heard for those who inhabit the periphery. It is a probing interrogation of what it means to have political subjectivity, to be able to access the state, and to suffer the burden of difference in a capitalist system that promises equality yet withholds it at every turn.

Since its publication, "Can the Subaltern Speak?" has been cited, invoked, imitated, and critiqued. In these phenomenal essays, eight scholars take stock of the effects and response to Spivak's work. They begin by contextualizing the piece within the development of subaltern and postcolonial studies and the quest for human rights. Then, through the lens of Spivak's essay, they rethink historical problems of subalternity, voicing, and death. A final section situates "Can the Subaltern Speak?" within contemporary issues, particularly new international divisions of labor and the politics of silence among indigenous women of Guatemala and Mexico. In an afterword, Spivak herself considers her essay's past interpretations and future incarnations and the questions and histories that remain secreted in the original and revised versions of "Can the Subaltern Speak?" both of which are reprinted in this book.

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