Monday, April 14, 2008

A New Read on Antigone

From The Psychoanalytic Field , a preview of a review of Jampert on Deleuze and Guattairi.

Here are some exerts.

In his most recent book, Jay Lampert leads us back to one of Deleuze and Guattari’s most complex philosophical expositions of time and repetition without fuss or fanfare. He weaves for us an account of history that is both rich and concise. In a wonderfully honest and generous paragraph near the end of the penultimate chapter of Deleuze and Guattari’s Philosophy of History, Lampert asks: “How is someone trained in philosophy supposed to know how to name even one genuine event of ‘today,’ let alone analyse one convincingly as part of his book?

Lampert unpacks a most subtle and challenging set of questions that have preoccupied, if not defined, the long tradition of western philosophy. From Plato to Hegel, the rehabilitation of multiplicity, of difference, and indeed of chaos under the rubric of the One has had to confront the question of repetition and time, time after time, only to relegate it quite often to the status of a seduction. Contra those who have understood repetition as the reproduction in time of an origin or a preceding state of affairs, Deleuze elaborates a repetition “for its own sake” (« une répétition pour elle-même »), a repetition that accounts for that which does not return, for that which is a becoming without origin or destiny. This is a repetition that does not operate in time; it produces time. This is the repetition Lampert deploys to elucidate not one grand “Philosophy of History” but—count them—nine forms of past, of present, and of future, nine forms of succession and simultaneity, and, finally, nine “movements of the name of history.” Lampert braids his concepts, crosses them, stacks them, aligns them, serially, co-extensively, but always deftly and rigorously, in order to argue that “the succession of befores and afters is a triple by-product of there being three simultaneous simultaneities. What takes the place of the classical concept of history is nothing other than these multiple forms of co-existence with their multiple subordinate forms of serial distribution. Once it is proved that an event’s present status and its past status are independent yet simultaneous, it will follow that the succession-effects of the names of history run simultaneously, and that the past is a real place on the body” (9)

Here, the typical questions of a philosophy of history, of a universal history, (“How come?” “Why now? “What next?”) are all questions of contingency. I believe that these questions very quickly extend into the broader concerns around memory, desire, and life. Indeed, repetition does not belong exclusively on the stage of world historical events with their progressions, interruptions, and recapitulations; repetition also pertains to the passage from one affect to the next, from one performance to the next, and from one observation to the next. A philosophy of history that takes the syntheses of time for a point of departure, a philosophy of history as thought by Deleuze and Guattari and subsequently pursued and elaborated by Lampert is hence a philosophy of psychology, of art, and of science as well..

For the rest go HERE

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