File deleuze-guattari/deleuze-guattari.0501, message 83

To: <>
Subject: RE: [D-G] Deleuze and the symbolic
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2005 07:39:39 -0500

Well, The big issue in AntiO is overcoming the faith in lack, the zone of differentiation, as it were. Maybe all we need is to read "Purloined" then. I'm fascinated by your report of Deleuze's economy beyond surface/ depth, beyond reference, in LoS.

"We owe to Jacques Lacan the discovery of this fertile domain of a code of the unconscious, incorporating the entire chain - or several chains - of meaning: a discovery thus totally transforming analysis. (The basic text in this connection is hih La letttre volee.) But how very strange this domain seems , simply because of its multiplicity- a multiplicity so complex we can scarcely speak of one chain or even of one code of desire. The chains are called "signifying chains" because they are made up of signs, but these signs are not in themselves signifying. The code resembles not so much a language as a jargon, an open-ended, polyvocal formation."

They go on to say that it is the function of the BwO to interpret each of these chains, as they 'fall back' on it. If they allow for non-signifying, un- or non-metaphors, then they still seem to allow for interpretation. But it's interpretation different in kind from the one we're using to communicate with now.


-----Original Message-----
Behalf Of James Depew
Sent: Friday, January 21, 2005 6:57 AM
Subject: Re: [D-G] Deleuze and the symbolic

Perhaps I "jumped the gun" a little in my last post.  Obviously I see
some connection between Lacan and D&G in their use of the void.  I
think that, however, for D&G the void is not a lack, and that this
makes for an significant difference (in more ways than one).  Perhaps
we might look at how, for Lacan, the subject is construed as a lack,
and how it tries, in vain (in vanity), to fill this empty space with

This also could connect with another thread on this list, comparing
Badiou and Deleuze.  They both refer to the void.

On Thu, 20 Jan 2005 17:22:55 -0500, Chapman <> wrote:
> Maybe before we try to unpack LoS we can try to figure out a little more Lacan? See what's at stake a little better? I would like to know more than 'pancake' party tricks and necklaces of Signifier/signified. Any suggestions beyond "Purloined Letter"?
> Chris.
> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> []On
> Behalf Of James Depew
> Sent: Thursday, January 20, 2005 5:10 PM
> To:
> Subject: Re: [D-G] Deleuze and the symbolic
> To be honest, I have always been a little unsure about the end of LoS.
>  My doubts were confirmed when Deleuze himself said "I've undergone a
> change.  The surface-depth opposition no longer concerns me.  What
> interests me now is the relationship between a full body, a body
> without organs, and flows that migrate."  This is perhaps the point at
> which Lacan becomes the "enemy", I don't know.  Nonetheless, LoS is
> worth studying in order to follow the development of Deleuze's
> thought.  I still think there is the attempt to bring thought and
> action together.  Yes, "Speaking presupposes the verb and passes
> through the verb", but "This is the verb which, in its univocity,
> conjugates devouring and thinking: it projects eating on the
> metaphysical plane and sketches out thinking on it."  Then again,
> those last few chapters of LoS, from the Twenty-Eighth Series of
> Sexuality on, are all very, very, dense.  If any one wants to risk a
> summary, that would be incredibly helpful.  For me, at least...
> On Thu, 20 Jan 2005 10:57:02 -0800, sid littlefield
> <> wrote:
> > I am not sure if thinking and acting are re-united in D&G, since speaking and action are united but thinking does not take place under a sign, hence is not linguistic. Maybe look at the end of LoS where the sexual body is broken in order to think.  Maybe this is just a mundane point that one cannot think while one is fucking, but I think not...
> >
> > sid
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "James Depew" <>
> > To:
> > Subject: [D-G] Deleuze and the symbolic
> > Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2005 17:34:24 +0100
> >
> > >
> > > I don't have an answer either, but here goes...
> > >
> > > The caesura of psychoanalysis, as I understand it, is the break that
> > > open the space between action and thought enabling one to perceive
> > > oneself "in the act".  However, the thought is not, in this case, in
> > > the act at all.  I think part of what D&G are attempting to provide,
> > > is something like an alternative whereby thought and act are reunited.
> > >   In therapy, this space occurs in a relationship between analyst and
> > > patient which the patient is eventually supposed to develop with
> > > himself.  The space has to come to exist in the patient.  Many
> > > theorists seem to think that Winnicott's transitional object is such a
> > > space.  However, Guattari disagrees.  He reformulates Winnicott's
> > > space into the "institutional object" which exists as the
> > > intersubjective locus of development.  So the site typically reserved
> > > for the ego is replaced by a generalized, or perhaps neuter, site of
> > > differential relations.  The subject is still void, thought here it is
> > > no longer dispersed amongst structural sites that eventually holds
> > > symbols for the construction of the subject =E2=80=93 the filling in of the
> > > gap =E2=80=93 instead the gap is already distributive.  As far as I can tell,
> > > this gap becomes the smooth space of the social and the circulation of
> > > forces across this space the virtual potential for formalization.  The
> > > social as subject.  However, when the social actualizes, striates, the
> > > circulation is inevitably(?) coded, channeled, controlled.
> > >
> > > I recently read somewhere about Blanchot's reading of Serge Leclair.
> > > Blanchot points to the third person position that disperses the power
> > > of the "I" as a matter of refusal.  I believe he uses the term neuter.
> > >   Here, the ego is always trying to destroy the third person that
> > > refuses to accept determination of "is".  The third person refuses to
> > > be negated by particularization.  A pure "he" or "it" without the "is"
> > > predicate.  In that refusal, that displaceability of the third person
> > > exists a multiplicity of experiences without particulars, a
> > > virtuality.  Guattari often refers to this "third".  This is how D&G
> > > turn the subject into a void, though not in the Lacanian sense.
> > > Yesterday I sat in on a lecture by Jean-Luc Nancy, and he suggests
> > > that poetry operates the same way =E2=80=93 according to a break.  He points
> > > to the structure of the verse (versus: from vertere, to turn) as
> > > always returning to a baseline degree 0 site where it can begin again.
> > >   Poetic truth, he suggests, is torn from the void only to return to
> > > the void in order to speak again. (Unlike philosophy which just goes
> > > on and on...)
> > >
> > > Anyway, it seems to me that the symbolic has a differentiating
> > > function for D&G.  The third person continues to disperse itself in
> > > symbols, but not in the attempt to create a stable position, an ego,
> > > rather it is a kind of refusal of all particularization.  The symbolic
> > > is always intercalary, filling the void, and a mask for the sake of
> > > masking.  Thought and act reunited?
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