I don’t really agree with Steven as to assert with him [here] that Deleuze and Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus is somehow a book of ‘riddles’ or a kind of ‘dreamwork’ of sorts, because this is like reproducing the idea that the book’s stylistic aim is mysterious, that it has ‘secrets’ to discover, that there is a lot to ‘reveal’ about its content, that it is just revolting and provocative, just as if what Deleuze and Guattari wrote would not really be speaking by itself and with enough clarity and loudness. Of course, it is not but in reason of what I do understand about the book that I certainly don’t take it in this superfluous way, so there is no excuse for me to fill this lack by creating any asylum for my word to make it playfully resonate with it. While it is difficult to read what they say with the same degree of literalness that they apply to the text, which precisely is what the reader is invited to do through it, another thing is to give the text some obscure properties that it does not have, just as to read only whatever our own intimate word wants to get from it. Anyhow, I would admit that the book contains a good lot of conceptual syncretisms that are not quite meant to please any poetic science fiction of a world-after-death, but all the contrary: for those who can track them right from Deleuze’s previous philosophical work, these syncretisms really mean the reader to think desire as a full intensive experience of life in a reborn-materialized-world. However, as Deleuze and Guattari say in their book: a bad reading is better than not reading anything at all, and to my mind, the word of who might be behind Deterritorial Investigations seems to have a clearer idea of the book despite of being also agreeable with Steven’s:
“Its celebration of the schizophrenic experience is certainly controversial, but people overlook the fact that at the bottom of schizophrenia is a rejection of any system that promotes a master signifier… Schiz, as in schizophrenia, schizo-analysis, means to “break,” “separate,” or divide; the schizo-analytic practice is to locate find these breaks, wherein the potential for bifurcation resides, and use them to jump in a new production of subjectivity, a new place full of beings and becomings.”
So I find this entry at Deterritorial investigations worth to repost because it brings the question of how Guattari finally broke with Lacan and got rid of his very own attached lacanian subjections.
“Guattari’s contributions to Anti-Oedipus, his conjoining with Deleuze on the level of desiring-machines, then would be, as he puts it, a procedural disengagement leading to the final schiz, the break from Lacan – the exiting of this mini Oedipal triangle and becoming-schizophrenic.”
Originally posted on Deterritorial Investigations Unit:
Noir Realism has put up a thought-provoking post on Deleuze and Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus, describing the work as a “Black Book of Riddles,” a “dreamwork” that doesn’t so much offer a strict revolutionary praxis, but opts instead for an extended poetic science-fiction of a world existing only moments away where death’s pale figure hovers, a chilled wind in the air. And it is a book of riddles indeed! So many interpretations and opinions move around it: Lyotard used it as a platform for his leap from doctrinaire Marxism, Zizek sees it as a corrosion of Deleuze’s abilities as a philosopher, and Manuel DeLanda calls it the duo’s “worst book.” Nick Land finds a how-to guide in hacking into capitalism’s artificial intelligence, Bifo rereads it as a book of warnings. Baudrillard assaults it as a justification for capitalism’s destructive tendencies, but Foucault applauds it as a guide to living a non-fascist life.
Maybe this is exactly the impact that the book aims to have: after all, the very ambiguous nature of its text will either bring seduction or revulsion, or both simultaneously. Its celebration of the schizophrenic experience is certainly controversial, but people overlook the fact that at the bottom of schizophrenia is a rejection of any system that promotes a master signifier. Love the book or hate it, to attempt to advance one over the other to fall into the striated space that the book wishes to explode.