Re: Reading Seminar: Deleuze

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Posted by Robert Fleck on April 14, 1996 at 20:05:35:

In Reply to: Reading Seminar: Deleuze posted by Rainer Ganahl on April 14, 1996 at 20:01:45:

Dear Rainer,

concerning Gilles Deleuze and his book on Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, three

1 - the book was writen in 1967/68, that is before Deleuze met Felix Guattari;
it is an expression of Deleuze's to de-idealize psychoanalysis, to make the
same operation with psychoanalysis as Karl Marx had made with Hegel; therefore,
you can find nearly all the ideas of the " Anti-Oedipus " in this text, but in
a more conventional way of thinking and writing than in the "Anti-Oedipus " -
this other book, finished and published in 1972, shows in regard to the
Sacher-Masoch-book of Deleuze the revolution in philosophical writing which
occured through the cooperation of Gilles Deleuze (a trained philosopher and
specialist of modern logic) and Felix Guattari (a psychiatrist) (both were very
near to the extreme leftist movements in France)

2 - in the text about Sacher-Masoch, Deleuze realized his own emanzipation from
the intellectual milieu of his early philosophy: Deleuze had very frequent
relations, since around 1947, with the alternative wing of Surrealism in France
(Klossowski, Blanchot), and with the new psychoanalysis created by Lacan. In
both groups, Sade was the main author and reference. By saying that
Sacher-Masoch is at least as interesting and original, Deleuze declared his
independence from this two groups, which dominated the intellectual life in
France from the 40ies on. Lacan had published his famous " Ecrits ", an
enourmous bestseller, in 1966 - the Sacher-Masoch-book by Deleuze is also an
answer to Lacan.

3 - the book was written by Deleuze as a foreword to Sacher-Masoch's best
novel, " Venus im Pelz " (it is still published as a foreword in France and
Germany). It was - if I do not make a mistake - the first text he wrote after
his big second thesis in two volumes, on " Spinoza and the problem of
expression " and " The Logic of Sense ". By this second thesis, Deleuze had
reached the recongnition of academic philosophy in France. The foreword on
Sacher-Masoch is therefore very relaxed, like an entertainment after his (last)
academic work. This text is also like a scetch of all the future work of
Deleuze. It can be related to the little text by Michel Foucault on Rene
Magritte (" This is not a pipe ", 1967) - Foucault wrote this text after the
difficult writing of " The Order of Things ", and it is one of his most
important texts.

4 - Deleuze profoundly liked art and litterature (in the 60ies litterature,
coming from his surrealist background; in the 70ies and 80ies film and
painting). The text on Sacher-Masoch is a good mirror of this faith in the work
of the artist. It is also an example of the fact that Deleuze liked most
authors which made high art out of low art-methods. His own philosophy was like

Robert Fleck

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