2017 - 2018

  Literature and Life: Gilles Deleuze On Literature  
Nir KedemGilman-humanities497 Tue1000-1400 Sem  2
University credit hours:  4.0

Course description

Literature and writing play a key role Gilles Deleuze’s philosophy: from his early books on Sacher-Masoch and Proust; to his fascination with Anglo-American writers and the book on Kafka co-authored with Guattari; to his last book—Essays Critical and Clinical—whereby even the most philosophical texts are discussed in a broad literary context. Yet unlike Derrida, Deleuze is not interested in the question of the boundary (or its lack thereof) between literature and philosophy, nor does he subject the literary text to the work of philosophy, as if philosophy was primary and superior in relation to literature. For Deleuze, both philosophy and literature are creative modes of thinking which are traversed by the inorganic, impersonal life powers that engender the world. Each of them gives life a determined form in historically particular—yet changing—geopolitical milieus, and each expresses life with its own means: philosophy by way of concepts, literature (and the arts) by way of affects and percepts. Deleuze approaches literature as a philosopher, but he insists that the philosophical concepts he constructs belong to literature and are inseparable from the encounter between literature and philosophy; it is this encounter that opens up new and radical ways of thinking for both philosophy and literature. Is it possible, then, to deduce general principles from Deleuze’s work —a Deleuzian literary theory of sorts—to account for such a singular encounter, and to offer literary scholars practical means for interpreting literary texts? This seminar studies Deleuze’s challenge to literary scholarship, and offers a pragmatic response to the double problem that will underlie the discussion throughout the semester: how does Deleuze read literature? And how to read literature with Deleuze? Alongside select texts by Deleuze, we’ll be reading works by Melville, Kafka, Darrieussecq, Burroughs, And David Grossman.  

accessibility declaration

tel aviv university