felix guattari

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)

“Forming grammatically correct sentences is for the normal individual the prerequisite for any submission to social laws. No one is supposed to be ignorant of grammaticality; those who are belong in special institutions. The unity of language is fundamentally political.”

―Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia

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 a 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, 1988, trans. Michael Ryan, 1990
Reality is here and now, everywhere, gleaming through every reflection that meets the eye…. Everybody is a neurotic, down to the last man and woman. The healer, or analyst, if you like, is only super-neurotic…. To be cured we must rise from our graves and throw off the cerements of the dead. Nobody can do it for another -it is a private affair which is best done collectively.
—  Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia
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.
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
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)

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.

from “Percept, Affect & Concept”

by Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari, in “What is Philosophy?”.  Columbia University Press, 1994.

…What is preserved—the thing or the work of art—is a bloc of sensations, that is to say, a compound of percepts and affects.

Percepts are no longer perceptions; they are independent of a state of those who experience them. Affects are no longer feelings or affections; they go beyond the strength of those who undergo them. Sensations, percepts, and affects are beings whose validity lies in themselves and exceeds any lived. They could be said to exist in the absence of man because man, as he is caught in stone, on the canvas, or by words, is himself a compound of percepts and affects. The work of art is a being of sensation and nothing else: it exists in itself.

Harmonies are affects. Consonance and dissonance, harmonies of tone or color, are affects of music or painting. Rameau emphasized the identity of harmony and affect. The artist creates blocs of percepts and affects, but the only law of creation is that the compound must stand up on its own. The artist’s greatest difficulty is to make it stand up on its own.  Sometimes this requires what is, from the viewpoint of an implicit model, from the viewpoint of lived perceptions and affections, great geometrical improbability, physical imperfection, and organic abnormality. But these sublime errors accede to the necessity of art if they are internal means of standing up (or sitting or lying). There is a pictorial possibility that has nothing to do with physical possibility and that endows the most acrobatic postures with the sense of balance. On the other hand, many works that claim to be art do not stand up for an instant. Standing up alone does not mean having a top and a bottom or being upright (for even houses are drunk and askew); it is only the act by which the compound of created sensations is preserved in itself—a monument, but one that may be contained in a few marks or a few lines, like a poem by Emily Dickinson.

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 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

The problem is this: one cannot strive toward a political objective without identifying as well all the microfascisms, all the modes of semiotic subjugation of power that reproduce themselves through that struggle, and no myth of a return to spontaneity or to nature will change anything. However naïvely one assumes to be innocent in this regard, whether in relation to our children, our partner, or our students (for professors), I believe this innocence is equivalent to guilt and engenders guilt. The question is neither of innocence or guilt but of finding the microfascism one harbors in oneself particularly when one does not see it. The last thing I would want to bring up here, of course, is that it can receive an individual solution. It can only be dealt with a new type of arrangement of enunciation. One example of these arrangements of enunciation—an impossible, truly awful arrangement from the vantage point of the arrangements of desire—is that of this room itself with some individual raised above everyone else, with a prepared discussion which would make it impossible for anyone really to start a discussion. Yesterday I proposed changing the whole format, the whole type of work we are doing here, and to my great surprise, I realized that everyone wanted the conference to remain as it was. Some people even asked for their money back, although no one here was being paid to speak.
—  Félix Guattari, “Molecular Revolutions”
The wisdom of the plants: even when they have roots, there is always an outside where they form a rhizome with something else–with the wind, an animal, human beings (and there is also an aspect under which animals themselves form rhizomes, as do people, etc.)…Always follow the rhizome by rupture; lengthen, prolong, and relay the line of flight; make it vary, until you have produced the most abstract and tortuous of lines of n dimensions and broken directions. Conjugate deterritorialized flows. Follow the plants…
—  Félix Guattari and Gilles Deleuze, A Thousand Plateaus
As Kafka himself says, the problem isn’t that of liberty but of escape. The question of the father isn’t how to become free in relation to him (an Oedipal question) but how to find a path there where he didn’t find any.
—  Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Kafka; Toward a Minor Literature (10)

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.