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THE COMPAKATIST REVIEW ESSAYS RONALD BOGUE. Deleuze andtheArts. Three Volumes. * Volume I, Deleuze on Cinema, ? + 231 pp. + Volume II, Deleuze on Literature, ? + 213 pp. + Volume III, Deleuze on Music, Painting, and the Arts, xii + 221 pp. New York/London: Routledge, 2003. DELEUZE AND HIS TIME: A PROPHECY FULFILLED Ronald Bogue's "trilogy" on Gilles Deleuze may indicate the fulfillment ofFoucault 's prophecy: "But one day, perhaps, the century will be Deleuzian," as he stated in reviewing Différence et Répétition and Logique du sens, both published in 1969. Deleuze's work is arguably one ofthe few major interdisciplinary projects ofour time and more than deserves Bogue's analysis ofsuch intricate thinking. In his Introduction to Deleuze on Literature, Bogue emphasizes that the specificity thatruns through the French philosopher's entire work resides in atext-generated thinking that deploys the logic ofan aesthetic syncretism rather than that of systemic enclosure. In this light, the publication ofthis comprehensive three-volume investigation ofDeleuze's thinking is meaningful beyond allaying any publisher 's worry about a single, oversized tome. Deleuze imagined a direct and exclusive dialogue with each art, an exchange between the philosophical and the aesthetic investigation that leads to the shaping of separate philosophical idioms for separate art forms. This "glossological" problem is in fact at the core ofDeleuze's thinking in general: for him language is an assemblage in process (see, for instance, the philosophical "dialogue" with Foucault in Désir etplaisir). This is the premise that I find central to Bogue's analysis ofDeleuze's thought. In Deleuze's own words, quoted in Deleuze on Cinema, the task ofthe philosopher is to create "concepts proper to cinema, but which can only be formed philosophically " (2) That is to say that the language ofphilosophy is a motivator [agence] or source ofthe aesthetic, and therefore linguistic, de-territorialization. This consequence is ofno small importance since Bogue's description ofthe pragmatics ofphilosophy and the arts starts from these fundamental premises. His first volume analyzes the impact ofcinematic art on the philosophic investigation of concepts like time, space, and iconic representation. Along with a Bergsonian reading ofsuch fundamental concepts for cinema as time and space, Bogue notes how Deleuze's contribution to the understanding ofcinema lies in his insistence on imagining "other ways ofseeing, ways that make sensible within the visual what common sense regards as invisible" (105). The possible indications ofcorrespondences between categories of movement-image and the inventory of rhetorical devices by Fontanier and others (as well as intriguing responses to Wolfgang Kayser 's studies of the literary work and the grotesque) show again Deleuze's preoccupation with establishing a semiotic ofthe arts based on their specific linguistic component. Not only language itselfexperiences such "dialogic" dynamics but aesthetic categories do so as well. As Bogue observes, when discussing Deleuze's understanding ofBuñuel's cinematic technique, there is often an "unorthodox approach to naturalism that has the advantage ofsuggesting inherent affinity between the naturalistic and the surreal" (210). When this web of associations occurs, we may view films that are both Vole 28 (2004): 151 KEVIEW ESSAYS readable and visible as a combination ofdistinct energies. Bogue points out precisely how this assemblage is meant to transfer the thinking energy to the making energy in Deleuze's theory ofarts, so that philosophical (thinking) force is translated into representational (aesthetic) force. Those attuned to Deleuze's vocabulary know that for him the creation of a style—in art as much as in life—is central. When a novelist develops a philosophy, this situation instantiates Deleuze's theory of creative expression in action. Creation and philosophy are for Deleuze the springboards ofa multiplicity in expression that rejects the reduction to abstraction and universality ofa univocal dimension. Defining himself as an empiricist, Deleuze points to the rhizomatic directionality ofplurality. His favorite example from cinema is Godard, who would like to be "a production studio," in the sense ofgiving ideas the liberty ofbecoming-in-between, ofconfronting other ideas notwithstanding the loneliness ofthe creator (DialoguesIf). With a different formulation, Bogue's analysis of"Deleuze's" Godard emphasizes that "a double reading" ofhis films brings togetherthe gestual (expressive) and the conceptual (161). The gestual is always connected...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-0887
Print ISSN
0195-7678
Pages
pp. 151-153
Launched on MUSE
2012-10-03
Open Access
No
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