By Jean-Jacques Lecercle (auth.)
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Extra resources for Deleuze and Language
For literature, the site of such liberation of language occupies a crucial place in Deleuze's thought, both in his theory and in his practice. Perhaps this is to be taken as another tribute to Foucault, who in his early work (most notably Les Mots et les chases, and a host of seminal essays, now collected in the first volume of Dits et ecrits 41 ) ascribes the highest value to literature. Thus, in the second chapter of Les Mots et les chases, he defines literature as the expression of our desire to transcend the limits of the conjuncture, and the limits of the reigning episteme.
Signified), let us turn their hierarchic superposition into a line, let us invent a minor, or stuttering use of language, one that will be both politically and poetically subversive. The very term 'minor language' embodies the paradox of Deleuze's attitude to language: we are immersed in it; we are always dreaming of emerging out of it, on to the dry sand of a prelinguistic reality that has no reality. This is no blueprint for resignation, however. Stuttering and the minorisation of a major language are active strategies of resistance to what Deleuze sometimes calls 'the imperialism of language'.
What he does is extract a problem from the text, a problem that does violence to the text, of which the author himself may not have been aware, but which enables us to understand how the text works (for 'it', being everywhere at work, is also at work in philosophical texts): he calls this 'reading a text intensively'. So the point of a book of philosophy is not the exposition of solutions but the extraction of a problem. More precisely: to create a concept, or concepts, adequate to a problem. Find the problem, Deleuze says in his Abecedaire, and you leave abstraction for the concrete.