Deleuze: The Clamor of Being
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The works of Gilles Deleuze -- on cinema, literature, painting, and philosophy -- have made him one of the most widely read thinkers of his generation. This compact critical volume is not only a powerful reappraisal of Deleuze's thought, but also the first major work by Alain Badiou available in English. Badiou compellingly redefines "Deleuzian, " throwing down the gauntlet in the battle over the very meaning of Deleuze's legacy.
For those who view Deleuze as the apostle of desire, flu, and multiplicity, Badiou's book is a deliberate provocation. Through a deep philosophical engagement with his writings, Badiou contends that Deleuze is not the Dionysian thinker of becoming he took himself to be; on the contrary, he is an ascetic philosopher of Being and Oneness. Deleuze's self-declared anti-Platonism fails -- and that, in Badiou's view, may ultimately be to his credit. "Perhaps it is not Platonism that has to be overturned, " Badiou writes, "but the anti-Platonism taken as evident throughout this entire century."
This volume draws on a five-year correspondence undertaken by Badiou and Deleuze near the end of Deleuze's life, when the two put aside long-standing political and philosophical differences to exchange ideas about similar problems in their work. Badiou's incomparably attentive readings of key Deleuzian concepts radically revise reigning interpretations, offering new insights to even the veteran Deleuze reader and serving as an entree to the controversial notion of a "restoration" of Plato advocated by Badiou -- in his own right one of the most original figures in postwar French philosophy.
The result is a critical tour de force that repositions Deleuze, one of the mostimportant thinkers of our time, and introduces Badiou to English-speaking readers.
of the true," entails narrative manipulations of the present and the past: accordingly, we find the coexistence of pasts whose truth or false ness is doubtful, even though they are supposed to have taken place, and the simultane ity of presents that should exclude one another. It would appear that, for Deleuze, truth (the power of the false) and time belong to the same register of thought. And this is, in fact, the case: the "royal road" of Deleuze's idea of the true is his theory of time.
thought, Badiou remarks, moreover, that his book as a whole is pre cisely an attempt to elucidate what is to be understood by this decisive univocity the point here being, of course, that such an elucidation is both necessary and diffi cult because the full implications of this thesis for Deleuze's thought have as yet remained ungrasped. And indeed, it is at this juncture that Badiou situates the second of the images of Deleuze that must be shattered: for all those who believe Deleuze to have
new plunges the latter into that part of it which is its virtual-past. We would even maintain that it was necessary for Deleuze to acquaint himself, in a spirit of patient curiosity, with the creations of his time and to treat these as cases so as to test that they were never absolute beginnings, that they too - and indeed, as foldings and unfoldings of B eing, that they especially-were only auto-affections of the immutable One (immutable qua perpetual mutation). On the other hand, if thought is
of differenciation, or rather rhythms or different times of ac tualisation which correspond to the relations and singularities of the structure and, for their part, measure the passage from virtual to actual. In this regard, four terms are synonymous: actualise, differenciate, integrate and solve. For the nature of the virtual is such that, for it, to be actualised is to be differenciated. Each differencia tion is a local integration or a local solution which then connects with others in the
evaluation, using a specific operator (that of fidelity), of the degree of connection between the terms of the situation and the supernumeralY name of the event" (p. 94). In sum, as Badiou states in the "meditation" consecrated to the fidelity in L 'Etre et l'evenement (Paris: Seuil, 1988), "a fidelity" is "the apparatus that separates, in the ensemble of presented multiples, those that depend on an event. Being faithful consists in assembling and in distinguishing a legitimate becoming from what