Friday, August 7, 2009

Aimless Reading: The D's, Part 16.1 (Gilles Deleuze)


Bergsonism
Originally uploaded by Michael_Kelleher
Deleuze, Gilles
Bergsonism


Purchased at the UB Book Store for the previously mentioned course with Elizabeth Grosz. It's funny -- even though I have very pleasurable memories of reading Bergson, when I glance at the table of contents of this book I feel like everything I remember clearly about Bergson is filtered through Deleuze. His readings of other philosophers are so lucid that they often leave a stronger, more indelible imprint on my mind than the philosophers themselves.

I could sit an ponder the chapter headings all day long:

I Intuition as Method.
II Duration as Immediate Datum (I almost mis-typed Duration as Immediate Dream, which I also like)
III Memory as Virtual Coexistence
IV One or Many Durations?
V Élan Vital as Movement of Differentiation


Maybe that should be everyone's assignment for the day.

Deleuzian Excercises (Bergsonism)

1 Spend 5 minutes outlining a method of intuition.
2. Find one example of duration as immediate datum.
3. Describe a memory not as a the past but as a virtually coexisting present.
4. Look out the window and make a list of as many simultaneous forms of duration as you can see before you.
5. Take a long walk and pay close attention to all emergent life forces within your mind, your body, and your immediate surroundings. Do not write this part down, just pay attention.

from Intuition as Method

We are wrong to believe that the true and the false can only be brought to bear on solutions, that they only begin with solutions. The prejudice is social (for society, and the language that transmits its order-words [mots d'ordre], "set up" [donnent] ready made problems, as if they were drawn out of "the city's administrative filing cabinets," and force us to "solve" them, leaving us only a thin margin of freedom). Moreover, this prejudice goes back to childhood, to the classroom: It is the school teacher who "poses" the problems; the pupil's task is to discover the solutions. In this way we are kept in a kind of slavery. True freedom lies in a power to decide, to constitute problems themselves.

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