Modernity at Sea: Melville, Marx, Conrad in Crisis

By Cesare Casarino | Go to book overview

Notes

Philopoesis

1. In producing and presenting the concepts of literature and philopoesis, I will be following a double logic—that is, at once a paleonymic and a neologistic logic—that echoes and combines the methodologicalstylistical procedures of two philosophers for whom the question of literature has always been a critical question, namely, Jacques Derrida and Gilles Deleuze. For a succinct encapsulation of what Derrida calls “the logic of paleonymics,” see his “Signature Event Context” in Limited Inc, trans. Samuel Weber (Evanston, Dl.: Northwestern University Press, 1988), 20–21 —and I will return to these pages. For Deleuze's thoughts on concepts and their names, see, among the other places, “On A Thousand Plateaus” in Negotiations, trans. Martin Joughin (New York: Columbia University Press, 1995), 31–32.

1. Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, What Is Philosophy?, trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Graham Burchell (New York: Columbia University Press, 1994). What follows makes no pretense of being an impartial, accurate, or comprehensive discussion of this work, and constitutes, rather, an unfaithful selection and monstrous metamorphosis of a series of concepts in it. Such a methodology of irreverent selectivity and loving betrayal, of course, is omnipresent in Deleuze's own works—especially in his philosophical monographs—from which I hope to have learned even minimally. On this matter, see Michael Hardt's discussion of Deleuze's method in his Gilles Deleuze: An Apprenticeship in Philosophy (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993), especially xix.

3. What h Philosophy?, 2, 24, 117, and 164, respectively.

4. What b Philosophy? is structured throughout by the conceptual as well as tonal tensions between detached serenity and furious passion—tensions that are most poignantly articulated, perhaps, in the moving first paragraph, in which the affective state of this whole work is revealed as one of “quiet restlessness.” I will return to this paragraph. Such paradoxical symbioses, I believe, are rooted in a particular understanding of the relation between Friedrich Nietzsche and Immanuel Kant—in which the former is seen at once as engaging and radicalizing the latter's project of critique—an understanding that is everywhere implicit in What b Philosophy? and that was most explicitly articulated by Deleuze in his Nietzsche and Philosophy, trans. Hugh Tomlinson (New York: Columbia University Press, 1983), see especially 87–94.

5. Deleuze and Guattari, What b Philosophy?, 12. For the clues warranting such an interpretation of this work, see especially 10–12, 97–113, and 144–50, in which they engage in scathing denunciations of the usurpa tory claims of capital on philosophy as well as on art and science. See also Fredric Jameson's assertion “that Deleuze is alone among the great thinkers of so-called poststructuralism in having accorded Marx an absolutely fundamental role in his philosophy—in having found in

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