Deleuze and Guattari: Aesthetics and Politics by Robert Porter

By Robert Porter

This quantity examines the connection among aesthetics and politics on the vanguard of the philosophies espoused via Gilles Deleuze (1925–95) and Pierre-Félix Guattari (1930–92), specifically of their well-known collaborative works Anti-Oedipus (1972) and A Thousand Plateaus (1980). Robert Porter analyzes the connection among artwork and socio-political existence, contemplating the methods the cultured and political draw from one another. specific awareness is paid to how Deleuze and Guattari, of their trust that political idea can tackle aesthetic shape and vice-versa, pressured us to confront the truth that artwork constantly has the aptitude to develop into political, no longer in the slightest degree as a result of its skill to call and provides form to the order of our global, instead of its illustration.

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And we have seen, more specifically, how Kafka does this in The Trial by the way his writing operates like a ‘report of the experiments on the functioning of a machine’ that gives shape and form to the law or Justice. So it is not simply that Kafka comments on the law, or denounces the law as unchecked or ‘totalitarian’ power. To be sure, The Trial can be read as commentary in this way; as, say, an exemplary cautionary tale against state power or bureaucratic and instrumental reason. But, from a Deleuze-Guattarian perspective, this is not the whole story for this simple reason that by experi- LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE 39 menting on the real, a writer and thinker like Kafka is no longer simply commenting on the status and scope of things, re-presenting things to us, but is making things shift, move or take flight.

And how would such a critique (that is, one not grounded in representation) work anyway? In other words, how does the critical gesture of extracting ‘assemblages of enunciation and machinic assemblages’ from ‘social representations’ express the ‘dismantling of the assemblages’ as such, and how does this practice of critique make ‘social representations’ take flight by way of a ‘deterritorialization of the world that is itself political’? We should immediately note that by connecting or translating social representations into assemblages Kafka is, for Deleuze and Guattari, always-already dismantling them.

First, he appeals to the authority of the scriptures that preface the law. Then, after having castigated K for not ‘having enough respect for the written word’, he sets to work on a series of interpretations that implicitly must also be distinguished from the unalterable scripture. The contradiction can, of course, be explained by what we have already called a ‘negative theology’ of law. In this regard, the priest could be said to be mapping out the conditions of possibility for an immanent critique of his own discourse by making the law the thing beyond human judgement.

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