Thursday, October 27, 2011


I had a great conversation today.  Synchronously I am reading What is Philosophy?, in which  Deleuze describes a 'thought-event', by which the Greek prephilosophical consistency and its philosophical concepts are conjoined.  The figure he uses is that of "the friend", as in the Socratic 'friend of wisdom'. The question for him becomes what is the relation of friend to friend, in philosophy. It is one of rivalry and claim.  The friends become claimants of a mutual wisdom, through which their bond inheres; they are rival in their claim to this mutual intensity.  I bring this up because of my actual conversation.

The major proposition became that there was a certain betrayal in Deleuze's making this prephilosophical field itself textual, thereby recapitulating it into a series of reproducing texts--an accrual of information upon itself. Not in a Derridean sense in which one accepts the fact of text as truth, divested of content outside of its interpretation; but rather the whole process of text, the economy of academia and its competition make any attempt at a text an impossibility without reinscribing transcendence.  Text begets text, text establishes a network of texts--this texts can feign intensity toward objects but they also resist it. I called this Bergsonian and he said, 'Bergson did it too'.

And this is all so real to reading and living out philosophy. This pathos of self-contradiction and self-questioning; of taking something to its maximum and being left to say, 'what force has appropriated me, prior to this freedom.' And the problematic becomes, when a philosophy lays out a prephilosophical field as its presumption, when will philosophy be unnecessary? Is it the end of Deleuze that you forget him and this whole game once and for all?

The friend had suggested that we must master the language of a thinker and then immediately forget it, or at least that was his imperative.
And so as a friendship, what do we mutually lay claim to?  An absent object.
What is our rivalry?  A rivalry of our own historicity.
No! The energy came from none of this.
It was a tit-for-tat; a parry and a one-two-two-four-seventeen.

I said near the end. We are really on divergent paths, 'I am moving in a direction that is more concrete'; he replied, 'no, it is more complicated'.  That is true.

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