From: "Widder,NE" <N.E.Widder@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 4 Jun 2000 16:26:20 +0100
> Hello Nathan -
> You wrote:
> > These are, to be honest, points that Foucault doesn't work out very
> >explicitly. Deleuze's book on Foucault may be worth a look. It has the
> >advantage that it doesn't contain the sort of reductive readings that
> >Deleuze and Guattari had earlier given of Foucaultian power relations.
> As someone who has never been able to reconcile Deleuze's reading
> of Foucault in _Foucault_ with his "notes" published as "Desire and
> I'd be most grateful if you (or anyone for that matter) could help me
> the different tenors of these two Deleuze pieces on Foucault. To be
> I've always (perhaps mistakenly) read various parts of Deleuze's
> (especially his read of HoS/the fold stuff) as simply a product of
> highly productive but idiosyncratic approach to reading other thinkers.
> To put it another way, *maybe* Deleuze's book on Foucault isn't Deleuze
> finally getting Foucault "right" (ie, getting away from a reductive
> of Foucault)
> but rather Deleuze enveloping and deploying yet another thinker within
> his own "image of thought." Any comments you have would be appreciated.
I suppose you could look at things this way, but then the questions
arises as to why Deleuze isn't enveloping and deploying Foucault in his
earlier work -- i.e., in those notes in A Thousand Plateaus or the Desire
and Pleasure piece. There, Deleuze is arguing that Foucaultian power
relations, by virtue of being merely oppositional, presuppose a deeper form
or deterritorizaling desire which is not oppositional but rather affirmative
in a Nietzschean sense. He basically insists that resistence in Foucault is
the simple opposite of power, even though Foucault is pretty clear that this
is not what resistence is for him. And Deleuze's rather lame excuse for all
this is that he (Deleuze) is interested in how people come to desire power,
and so he places desire prior to power.
Foucault is not much better in this regard, simply rejecting the
Deleuzean use of desire because he is committed to an understanding of
desire as imbued with the will to truth. Which is why Foucault prefers
pleasure, while Deleuze rejects this by saying that pleasure presupposes a
valuation given to desire, which for Deleuze is a-teleological.
But presumably you know all this already. To me it is a quirky
intellectual spat where each thinker insists on misunderstanding the other.
> Dan Smith