From: emmanuel pehau <klossi_fr@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2006 01:35:55 +0200 (CEST)
Hi, Robert !
All your points are well taken.
I know R.-P.D.'s interview with Foucault (or should I say interviews - all three were reprinted in a single volume in France last year : quite an interesting foray in Foucault's thought at the time regarding philosophy, litterature and politics - hope they're all part of Foucault Live) and, believe it or not, was actually going to post the very same passage when I discovered your message !
Now, regarding Foucault's and Deleuze respective inclinations toward litterature : I don't think the Gille-Felix statement that you quote can actually be opposed to Foucault's statement in the part of the interview you quote; for one thing, "Lawrence, Miller, Kerouac, Burroughs, Artaud, and Beckett", they're not to be taken here for the whole of litterature (though, on quite a few other occasions they and a rare diaspora seem to be the whole of what Deleuze calls "litterature" - but that's another matter, I'll come back to it later) - they're obviously not part of what Anti-Oedipus calls "oedipian litterature", for instance; in pretty much the same way that, in the interview you quote, from Foucault doesn't want his interest in writers such as Blanchot and Klossowski to be confused with an interest for litterature in general - they're said to inhabit a sort of no man's land, well outside the sacred woods of litterature, not far from the enchanted realm of philosophy yet not
belonging to it either, in a way not dissimilar to the one in which Nietzsche pretty much the same way Nietzsche is said to haunt the outside of philosophy in the same interview.
Generally speaking, I've observed that Deleuze and Foucault's respective itinerary regarding these matters pretty much parallel each other.
It seems to me that, from the mid-fifties to the late sixties, Deleuze's foray's into "literrary criticism" (most probabily not the proper term : Deleuze's studies of Jarry's, Masoch's, Proust's or Caroll's or Artaud's respective bodies of work - or the noir novel, for that matter - owes pretty much nothing to "legitimate" literrary criticism - he practically never ever quotes any of the "legitimate" bearers of that title, for instance - even the most heterodox ones) have introduced him to what he would call, from 1970 (Marcel Proust et les signes becoming Proust et les signes with he addition of "La machine Littéraire") on, "anti-logos" (said "antilogos" having in turn made way for what he would call from 1969 on "pensée sans image"); which means that that particular brand of "litterature", or, shall we say, that particular bunch of litterary mavericks plays pretty much the same role in Deleuze's scheme as the aforementioned band of outsiders in Foucault's one as exposed in the
aforementioned interview. (Add to that an equally valid Wolfson/Brisset parallel, which by the way both Foucault and Deleuze remarked.)
The two bands having at least one member in common : Artaud. (The lines that F&D have respectively adopted toward philosophy parallel each other in pretty much the same way and also have one philosopher in common : Nietzsche.)
Which, for both of them, seems to epitomize the turning point : the point from which heresy (which may well lead one to the bonfire, but also to heresiarchy) distinguishes itself from sorcery (which leaves you pretty much no choice but between eternal torment or Ragnarok); the point from which the writer's "segregation" divorces itself from the insane's "segregation" (going for the second often being a way of eschewing the second); the point from which you can't question madness's possibility is excluded by our civilisation without questionning its exclusion from "legitimate", "civilized" ways of being "excluded" such as the writer's status.
Anyway, it seems that's Deleuze and Foucault's respective interaries from 1970 on once again sort of parallel each other : for instance, Foucault's wish to spare Pierre Riviere "the horrors of the litterary institution" (as he puts it in an interview contemporary of Allio's film) echoes Deleuze own whishes not to give one page of Artaud for the whole of Caroll or not to become a professional speaker that routinely conferes upon Artaud's case (in Logique du sens) or Deleuze and Guattari's care to take Artaud seriously both as a poet and as an aphasic; Foucault and Deleuze both drift away from writing in its sacred acception in their own writing activity by various means; and whenever they feel like theorizing on their own practice, botyh conceive their writing activity as a manner of cartography and their works as a toolbox - though not necessarily in the sam way, of course (which does not not mean that one has to chose one variant at the exclusion of the other).
To make a long story short, I think that if the lines that they have respectively adopted toward litterature stil can not be mistaken for each other however they've more than a look in common, it's because of some sort of tactictal divergence that itself has its source in a slight yet not negligible difference of ethos : Foucault is far more cautious than Deleuze regarding these matters (as well many others, but that's another matter); Foucault tries to write out of litterature's shadow (liberty to him synonymous with open air and light of day : "le grand soleil de la liberté polonaise", as he puts it his preface to Folie et déraison - a sort of "coming out" - one may say it has a lot to do with his own particular "becoming gay") - the farther, the better - so : no mention of litterature any more - he vows to turn his back on it and never to look back - whereas Deleuze plans to attack it from the shadow (another way of "coming out") - he aims at shooting it in the back or "lui
faire des enfants dans le dos" (another manner of "becoming gay") as he did to philosophers - so he opposes to the legitimate or sacred acception of literrature an "anoedipan" or "minor" one.
Just my two cents.
Hope my own private delirium has been useful to someone (especially considering that English's definitely not the language I'm born in.)
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