[D-G] Deleuze and the symbolic
spatium at gmail.com
Thu Jan 20 08:34:24 PST 2005
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 – the filling in of the
gap – 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 – 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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