Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari: Intersecting Lives

Overview

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 ...

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Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari: Intersecting Lives

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Overview

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 Drawing on unpublished archives and hundreds of personal interviews, Dosse elucidates a collaboration that lasted more than two decades, underscoring the role that family and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.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
An exhaustive and fascinating account of a remarkable collaboration between Guattari, a radical, militant psychiatrist, and Deleuze, one of the towering figures of contemporary French philosophy, whose work together produced Anti-Oedipus and A Thousand Plateaus, startlingly original blends of social psychology, philosophy, and capitalist critique that positioned itself in opposition to both socialism and Lacanian psychoanalysis. Dosse, a French professor of history, traces these lines of influence, placing the pair's work firmly in the context of the May 1968 student uprising, and both authors' strained relationships with a megalomaniacal Lacan. The intellectual background of each writer is examined: Deleuze's texts on Bergson, Nietzsche, and Spinoza, and Guattari's work as director of a psychiatric unit outside of Paris where distinctions between patient and doctor were obliterated. The author strives to re-establish Guattari as an integral collaborator, one whose contribution was overshadowed in later years by Deleuze's celebrity. However, despite the wealth of research, the author too often resorts to paraphrases of their writings, and the book would have been well served by judicious editing. Nonetheless, as a glimpse into a remarkable period in French intellectual history where politics, philosophy, and literary brilliance coalesced, it is captivating. (June)
Bookforum
Dosse makes Deleuze and Guattari mysterious again.

— Scott McLemee

Artforum
Dosse has produced a magnificently well-researched double biography.

— Terry Eagleton

Choice

This is a massively researched and rewarding book that will attract the attention of all students of Deleuze and Guattari.

Bookforum - Scott McLemee

Dosse makes Deleuze and Guattari mysterious again.

Artforum - Terry Eagleton

Dosse has produced a magnificently well-researched double biography.

Foucault Studies - Thomas Nail

A comprehensive and polyvocal biography on the lives and work of Deleuze and Guattari.

Choice

This is a massively researched and rewarding book that will attract the attention of all students of Deleuze and Guattari.

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Product Details

Meet 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.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction: Betwixt or Between 1

Part I Folds: Parallel Biographies

1 Felix Guattari: The Psychopolitical Itinerary, 1930-1964 21

2 La Borde: Between Myth and Reality 40

3 Daily Life at La Borde 55

4 Testing Critical Research Empirically 76

5 Gilles Deleuze: The Hero's Brother 88

6 The Art of the Portrait 108

7 Nietzsche, Bergson, Spinoza: A Trio for a Vitalist Philosophy 129

8 An Ontology of Difference 150

9 The Founding Rupture: May 1968 170

Part II Unfolding: Intersecting Lives

10 "Psychoanalysm" Under Attack 183

11 Anti-Oedipus 206

12 Machine Against Structure 223

13 "Minor" Literature as Seen Guattari 241

14 A Thousand Plateaus: A Geophilosophy of Politics 249

15 The CERFI at Work 267

16 The "Molecular Revolution": Italy, Germany, France 284

17 Deleuze and Foucault: A Philosophical Friendship 306

18 An Alternative to Psychiatry? 331

19 Deleuze at Vincennes 344

20 The Year of Combat: 1977 362

Part III Surplices: 1980-2007

21 Guattari Between Culture and Ecology 383

22 Deleuze Goes to the Movies 397

23 Guattari and Aesthetics: Consolation During the Winter Years 423

24 Deleuze Dialogues with Creation 434

25 An Artist Philosophy 456

26 Winning Over the West 465

27 Around the World 479

28 Two Deaths 492

29 Their Work at Work 502

30 Conclusion 519

Notes 525

Index 617

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