Sunday, August 9, 2009

Aimless Reading: The D's, Part 16.3 (Gilles Deleuze)


The Fold
Originally uploaded by Michael_Kelleher
Deleuze, Gilles
The Fold: Leibniz
And the Baroque

I think I bought this for pleasure and at Talking Leaves Books.

I would say I am slightly on the OCD side of the normality scale. I tend to unconsciously arrange the silverware, the salt and pepper shakers, the napkin, etc., when I sit down to eat. When I listen closely to my thoughts as I walk, I often discover that I am counting my steps, and I tend to semi-consciously attempt to avoid cracks in the sidewalk.

When I was in high school, I thought for a time that I was going crazy because every time someone spoke, a voice inside my head would try to translate their words into Spanish, which I was learning, but did not speak.

I can remember a time in college also, when I became addicted to playing solitaire on my roommate's Apple IIe. I would play for hours and hours. Afterwards, if I were among a group of people, I would find myself visualizing each of them stacked on top of one another as if they were cards in a game of solitaire. I wasn't actually playing the game with them, just arranging them so that they fit the visual pattern. I have at times had the same problem with chess, wherein I play for hours and hours online and then arrange each person I see somewhere along an imaginary chess board.

And so it was when I read The Fold by Gilles Deleuze, in which, as I recall, he describes another kind of infinity, that of organic matter, in which everything that exists is comprised of an infinite number of folds, which get larger and larger moving outward and smaller and smaller moving inward. It's a stunningly poetic vision. I remember that after I read the book, I kept seeing the folds in everything: on the surface of water, on my skin, in the lines of a buildings, etc. I remember wandering around for days noticing how every living thing is folded in upon itself and outward into the universe. After a time, I returned to arranging the salt and paper shakers and the folds disappeared.

from The Pleats of Matter:

The Baroque refers not to an essence but rather to an operative function, to a trait. It endlessly produces folds. It does not invent things: there are all kinds of folds coming from the East, Greek, Roman, Romanesque, Gothic, Classical folds...Yet the Baroque trait twists and turns in its folds, pushing them to infinity, fold over fold, one upon another. The Baroque fold unfurls all the way to infinity.

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