and Felix Guattari
wrote four major works together:Anti-Oedipus: capitalism and schizophrenia, A Thousand Plateaus, Kafka: towards a minor literature, and What is Philosophy?
The first two volumes present a feisty and sustained critique of Freudian psychoanalytic conventions, consumer capitalism, and the philosophy of identity
In Anti-Oedipus, they write that "lack is the art of a dominant class", and that social production is engineered, in concert with psychic repression, to produce scarcity. For Deleuze and Guattari, the subconscious was a factory, not a theatre or a home, like it is in Freud. Desire cannot stop being productive, even if social conditions force it to produce its own repression, it's anti-production. Both activists in the may 1968 uprising in Paris, they wanted to know why it was that revolutions fail and continue to fail. Why, they asked, do people actively pursue their own repression?
Their answer was that there was a cop, a judge and a shrink in all of our heads, each of which must be executed in turn. Down with the holy family of psychoanalysis! Away with the church, and its musty dead gods! Our deliriums, they wrote, are not merely about boring old motherfucking; our subconscious, phantasmatic lives are world-historical, are matters of geopolitics and territory. They embraced an affirmative programme of what they called schizoanalysis
at the end of Anti-Oedipus, and A Thousand Plateaus
consists of schizoanalytic case studies: how to make yourself a body without organs
, how to escape the repression of overcoding
, how the war machine
Their reading of Kafka
is in the same vein, inasmuch as they dispute the psychoanalytic reading of Kafka as a mama's boy, fearing his horrible father. Instead, Kafka is the poet of bureaucratic horror. Kafka learned to "stutter in his own language", which, for Deleuze and Guattari, was the mark of literature.
Their last book, What is Philosophy?, clearly outlines their view on the relationship between art, science, and philosophy at the fin de siecle. For them, philosophy was about creating new concepts--a term kidnapped by horror of horrors, advertising.
Gilles Deleuze taught history of philosophy at various universities in France, and is the author of numerous works on great thinkers. Some of these include Nietzsche, Spinoza, Kant, Bergson, and Leibniz. These thinkers were Deleuze's favorites, as they had escaped the shackles of the philosophy of identity
. Deleuze is also the author of the Logic of Sense, Difference and Repetition, and two books on film, Cinema 1: the time-image and Cinema 2: the movement image.
Felix Guattari was a radical psychoanalyst at the La Borde clinic in Paris.
Both regarded their joint work as a way of getting outside of the strictures of the subject and identity, a way of creating a genuinely multiple authorship. Both proclaimed themselves empiricists, pluralists, friends of the concept, tearers-down of abstract systems of subjugation and value assignation. Don't think with OR, think with AND. Most importantly, "you should not try to find whether an idea is just or correct. You should look for a completely different idea, elsewhere in another area, so that something passes between the two, which is neither in one nor the other."
(Deleuze, Dialogues, p. 10)