[Deleuze-Guattari] waffling, again...

Charles J. Stivale ad4928 at wayne.edu
Sun Sep 9 12:29:45 PDT 2007

Dear James, you send out a plea of sorts, so I will take this break from reading Stendhal's De l'Amour (first text, excerpts that is, in a grad seminar on Constructions of the masculine, in 19th C prose) to return to GD's Letter to a Harsh Critic. First your suggestion:

>Thank you for that.  I too had a great laugh envisioning a group of
>size 10 hats suddenly emerging from the shadows and presenting us with
>their delicate words of wisdom.  But surely someone such as yourself
>can recognize when a certain amount of expertise might promote a
>little more attention from the list members.
Yes, in the abstract, I can recognize how a bit of specific orientation based on some reading experience (notice the waffle there?) can be useful. But I still feel the siren's call of the size 10 hat with use of the word 'expertise'. My appeal to GD comes from the point midway through his Letter to Michel Cressole (cf. Negotiations) in which he mentions how Nietzsche (his work on/with him) gives one "a perverse tastes . . . for saying simple things in your own way, in affects, intensities, experiences, experiments" (6). Here is where what he says resonates a bit with this appeal to size 10-ers (hats!):
"It's a strange business, speaking for yourself as an ego or a person or a subject. Individuals find a real name for themselves, rather, only through the harshest exercise in depersonalization, by opening themselves up to the multiplicities everywhere within them, to the intensities running through them. A name as the direct awareness of such intensive multiplicity is the opposite of the depersonalization effected by the history of philosophy; it's a depersonalization through love rather than subjection. *** What one says comes from the depths of one's own ignorance, the depths of one's own underdevelopment. *** One becomes a set of liberated singularities, words, names, fingernails, things, animals, little events: quite the reverse of a celebrity" (6-7). And, I would add quite the reverse of an expert. 

To respond to Ruth's earlier query (and greeting) re what I am working on, here is the short cut for that answer, a press URL (that functions here as self-serving publicity!), http://www.press.jhu.edu/books/title_pages/9483.html, but which also connects back to the work I was doing thanks to this list back in the mid/late-1990s that resulted fortunately in another publication. The fact that I had to go through yet another process of reflection and elaboration a decade later suggests the extent to which I have been struggling to climb from the depths to which Deleuze refers. Sisyphus anyone?
CJ Stivale

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