felix guattari

Real communism consists in creating
the conditions for human renewal: activities
in which people can develop themselves as
they produce, organizations in which the individual
is valuable rather than functional.
Accomplishing this requires a movement -
to change the character of work itself. And
redefining work as creative activity can only
happen as individuals emerge from stifled,
emotionally blocked rhythms of constraint.
It will take more than the will to change, in
the current situation; to resist neutralization
itself demands desire.
—  Felix Guattari and Toni Negri - Communists Like Us
Fascism, like desire, is scattered everywhere, in separate bits and pieces, within the whole social realm; it crystallizes in one place or another, depending on the relationships of force. It can be said of fascism that it is all-powerful and, at the same time, ridiculously weak. And whether it is the former or the latter depends on the capacity of collective arrangements, subject-groups, to connect the social libido, on every level, with the whole range of revolutionary machines of desire.
—  Felix Guattari, “Everybody Wants to be a Fascist”,  Semiotexte, Volume II, Number 3, 1977.
Kafka doesn’t think only about the conditions of alienated, mechanized labor—he knows all about that in great, intimate detail—but his genius is that he considers men and women to be part of the machine not only in their work but even more so in their adjacent activities, in their leisure, in their loves, in their protestations, in their indignations, and so on.
—  Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Kafka; Toward a Minor Literature (81)

10,000 BC - paragraph 33b 

Not only is the hand a deterritorialized front paw; the hand thus freed is itself deterritorialized in relation to the grasping and locomotive hand of the monkey. The synergistic deterritorializations of other organs (for example, the foot) must be taken into account. So must correlative deterritorializations of the milieu: the steppe as an associated milieu more deterritorialized than the forest, exerting a selective pressure of deterritorialization upon the body and technology (it was on the steppe, not in the forest, that the hand was able to appear as a free form, and fire as a technologically formable matter).

from paragraph 33 of 10,000 BC. Translated by Brian Massumi.

Felix Guattari: I would like to posit two questions. One is specific, while the other is very general. As for the former, when you reach this dimension of horizontality - when you are creeping on the ground - is this somehow connected with a “becoming-animal?” Is there anything like a shift away from an anthropocentric perspective? This is my first question.

Tanaka: That’s a very difficult question. With regard to the horizontality you mentioned in your first question, when I decided to dance by myself, I started to do this by lying down. I questioned myself whether I could dance by lying down horizontally. I was also skeptical about the public’s point of view, because people believe that by simply standing and moving freely the body generates a dance, and this seems to me very problematic. And I was wondering about whether they would call this dancing or not. When I actually creep or lie down within an environment, what do they call me? It takes a lot of time to pursue questions about how I might resolve all these pressures from my surroundings and then bring my body to the next action. Lying down on the street has changed my sense of audition and the appearance of humans.

     I have been horizontal from the very beginning, and later decided to creep on the ground; this was a very deliberate decision. In other words, I felt as though I was raising myself from the horizontal. Additionally, since my childhood, I have had this habit of seeing the world from a terrestrial viewpoint. That is, I have this desire to set my eyes nearest to the ground. This was first a feeling and then a source of wisdom.

“Metaphors are one of the things that makes me despair of literature." 

-Franz Kafka, Diaries

“Kafka deliberately kills all metaphor, all symbolism, all signification, no less than all designation. Metamorphosis is the contrary of metaphor. There is no longer any proper sense or figurative sense, but only a distribution of states that is part of the range of the word. The thing and other things are no longer anything but intensities overrun by deterritorialized sound or words that are following their line of escape. It is no longer a question of a resemblance between the comportment of an animal and that of a man; it is even less a question of a simple wordplay. There is no longer man or animal, since each deterritorializes the other, in a conjunction of flux, in a continuum of reversible intensities. Instead, it is now a question of a becoming that includes the maximum of difference as a difference of intensity, the crossing of a barrier, a rising or a falling, a bending or an erecting, an accent on the word.”

-Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature

“A creature that hides and “withdraws into its shell,” is preparing a “way out.” This is true of the entire scale of metaphors, from the resurrection of a man in his grave, to the sudden outburst of one who has long been silent.”

-Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space

Language is everywhere, but it does not have any domain of its own. There is no language in itself. What specifies human language is precisely that it never refers back to itself, that it always remains open to all the other modes of semiotization. When it is closed again in a national language, a dialect, a patois, a special language or delirium, it is always due to a certain type of political or micropolitical operation. There is nothing less logical, less mathematical than a language. Its “structure” results from the petrification of a sort of grab-all through which the elements come from borrowings, amalgamations, agglutinations, misunderstandings-a kind of sly humor governing its generalizations. This goes for linguistic as well as for anthropological laws, for example those concerning the prohibition of incest: seen from the distance of the grammarian or ethnologist, these laws appear to have a certain coherence, but as soon as one approaches closely, everything is muddled, and one realizes that it is a question of nothing but systems of arrangements that can be taken in every direction, of rules that can be bent in all kinds of ways.

Felix Guattari, The Machinic Unconsciousness: Essays in Schizoanalysis 

How many styles or genres or literary movements, even very small ones, have only one single dream: to assume a major function in language, to offer themselves as a sort of state language, an official language (for example, psychoanalysis today, which would like to be a master of the signifier, of metaphor, of wordplay). Create the opposite dream: know how to create a becoming-minor.
—  Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Kafka; Toward a Minor Literature (27)

10,000 BC pgph 34

On the other hand, language becomes the new form of expression … The substance involved is fundamentally vocal substance, which brings into play various organic elements: not only the larynx, but the mouth and lips, and the overall motricity of the face. Once again, a whole intensive map must be accounted for: the mouth as a deterritorialization of the snout (the whole “conflict between the mouth and the brain,” as Perrier called it); the lips as a deterritorialization of the mouth (only humans have lips, in other words, an outward curling of the interior mucous membranes; only human females have breasts, in other words, deterritorialized mammary glands: the extended nursing period advantageous for language learning is accompanied by a complementary reterritorialization of the lips on the breasts, and the breasts on the lips). What a curious deterritorialization, filling one’s mouth with words instead of food and noises. The steppe, once more, seems to have exerted strong pressures of selection: the “supple larynx” is a development corresponding to the free hand and could have arisen only in a deforested milieu where it is no longer necessary to have gigantic laryngeal sacks in order for one’s cries to be heard above the constant din of the forest. To articulate, to speak, is to speak softly …  The form of expression, as language, also crosses a threshold.

from paragraph 34, 10,000 BC. Translated by Brian Massumi

10,000 BC paragraph 35, b.

Translation should not be understood simply as the ability of one language to “represent” in some way the givens of another language, but beyond that as the ability of language, with its own givens on its own stratum, to represent all the other strata and thus achieve a scientific conception of the world. The scientific world {Welt, as opposed to the Umwelt of the animal) is the translation of all of the flows, particles, codes, and territorialities of the other strata into a sufficiently deterritorialized system of signs, in other words, into an overcoding specific to language.

translation by Brian Massumi

Is it possible that, by taking the path that it has, psychoanalysis is reviving an age-old tendency to humble us, to demean us, and to make us feel guilty? Foucault has noted that the relationship between madness and the family can be traced back in large part to the development that affected the whole of bourgeois society in the nineteenth century: the family was entrusted with functions that became the measuring rod of the responsibility of its members and their possible guilt. Insofar as psychoanalysis cloaks insanity in the mantle of a ‘parental complex,’ and regards the patterns of self-punishment resulting from Oedipus as a confession of guilt, its theories are not at all radical or innovative. On the contrary: it is completing the task begun by nineteenth-century psychology, namely, to develop a moralized, familiar discourse of mental pathology, linking madness to the 'half-real, half-imaginary dialectic of the Family,’ deciphering within it 'the unending attempt to murder the father,’ 'the dull thud of instincts hammering at the solidity of the family as an institution and at its most archaic symbols.’ Hence, instead of participating in an undertaking that will bring about genuine liberation, psychoanalysis is taking part in the work of bourgeois repression at its most far-reaching level, that is to say, keeping European humanity harnessed to the yoke of daddy-mommy and making no effort to do away with this problem once and for all.
—  Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia
How many people today live in a language that is not their own? Or no longer, or not yet, even know their own and know poorly the major language that they are forced to serve? This is the problem of immigrants, and especially of their children, the problem of minorities, the problem of a minor literature, but also a problem for all of us: how to tear a minor literature away from its own language, allowing it to challenge the language and making it follow a sober revolutionary path? How to become a nomad and an immigrant and a gypsy in relation to one’s own language?
—  Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Kafka; Toward a Minor Literature (19)

10,000 BC paragraph 35a

Vocal signs have temporal linearity, and it is this superlinearity that constitutes their specific deterritorialization and differentiates them from genetic linearity. Genetic linearity is above all spatial, even though its segments are constructed and reproduced in succession; thus at this level it does not require effective overcoding of any kind, only phenomena of end-to-end connection, local regulations, and partial interactions (overcoding takes place only at the level of integrations implying different orders of magnitude).That is why Jacob is reluctant to compare the genetic code to a language; in fact, the genetic code has neither emitter, receiver, comprehension, nor translation, only redundancies and surplus values.  The temporal linearity of language expression relates not only to a succession but to a formal synthesis of succession in which time constitutes a process of linear overcoding and engenders a phenomenon unknown on the other strata: translation, translatability, as opposed to the previous inductions and transductions.

from paragraph 35, 10,000 BC. Translated by Brian Massumi.

[In capitalism] the family becomes the subaggregate to which the whole of the social field is applied. Since each person has his own private father and mother, it is a distributive subaggregate that simulates for each person the collective whole of social persons and that closes off his domain and scrambles his images. Everything is reduced to the father-mother-child triangle, which reverberates the answer ‘daddy-mommy’ every time it is stimulated by the images of capital. In short, Oedipus arrives: it is born in the capitalist system of the application of first-order social images to the private familial images of the social order. It is the aggregate of destination that corresponds to an aggregate of departure that is socially determined. It is our intimate colonial formation that corresponds to the form of social sovereignty. We are all little colonies and it is Oedipus that colonizes us.
—  Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia
This is what literature can do: in its transgression of discourse (genre, time, language) it occupies the “sovereign territory” of sanctioned authority. This is occupation, not as a seizure or land grab, but as “reterritorialization,” such that meaning becomes movement into and through space and time; meaning consciously violates the law of origins. Through deterritorialization and reterritorialization, discourse and texts are “caught up in one another,” Deleuze and Guattari write. In this way, the book as assemblage not only detteritorializes discourses of power, specifically sanctioned authority, but also creates “abundant” discourses. The book can be a jungle—vibrant, dense, fecund.
—  J’Lyn Chapman, “A Thing of Shreds and Patches”