Deleuze & Guattari

In the Introduction to the Anti-Oedipus, I thought the section on Desire was interesting since we just came out of talking about Foucault and sexuality last week. The repression of desire is discussed in this essay in a very negative way, however. Desire, if repressed, "no matter how small, is capable of calling into question the established order of a society" (xxiii).

Do people think that this contradicts or parallels Foucault's discussion of sexuality? Foucault, however, discussed sexuality in almost a desireless sense with the concepts of scientia sexualis.

Like Foucault's power, D&G see desire as a productive force that has been and shouldn't continue to be characterized/limited by the presence of Freudian lack. Desire is not only wierd sexual, Oedipal, or otherwise "abnormal" fantasies projected onto the subject by a psychoanalyst-- desire does not have to be characterized in mommy-daddy things we repress and pay $ to talk about because the analyst's chair is the only socially approprate space for it. Desire is "not a theatre but a factory". Desire does not mean we lack something, therefore we must consume-- whether it be in the form of talking to a therapist, or having a Naked Lunch. We don't have to experience suffering as sensual pleasure, we don't have to be neurotic, though that's what the capitalist system seems to encourage. Rather, if a man is "in tune with his desires" if he is anchored "like a lotus", his roots exist, serve as a point of origin and stability, but do not limit him. The lotus roots float along the surface, encouraging growth and rebirth ("blossom and give forth fruit"). If a man is a participant in this "endless, eternal process" of growth, it must be because he is a nomad, a schizophrenic out for a walk. He is not Nietzche anchored by his depression and spiraling into madness, but courts solitude and disconnection from the power structure by choice. D&G call for "actions and passions of a collective nature, here and now," and if people were able to harness their desires as a subversive force (power), we could move beyond neuroses, beyond madness beyond disconnect to even more connections.

Anyway, I don't think that desire parallels Foucault's sexuality so much as it is another word for his conception of power.

Where they do mention sexuality, they says something to the effect of making love is not about union, 2 becoming 1, or being 2, but being a hundred thousand all at once. Like Foucault, it's not about having a penis, or vagina, we have these things because we are told we have them. They want us to move beyond the traditional notions of connection, a key fitting a lock, as it were, into realizing that there is no fixed subject, there are no two subjects making love. Rather, what's important is the production of desire, the creation of the real, the connection between the two, the unbecoming and becoming of yourself and someone else. The wasp becomes the orchid, etc. Moving beyond the neurotic fixed subject whose desires are created by a sense of lack (I need this other person to make love so I can complete myself and/or my partner, to experience union, two parts to a whole, etc.) into a multiplicitous schizo-other, we can become disconnected from the attraction-repulsion trap and its operating function-- the organized social production of lack-- and enjoy making love as an expression, a possibility for infinite possibilities, rather than a limited concept based on need, libido, repression and Freudian desire.

D&G's conceptions of desire reminded me of one quote in our Derrida reading. D described the imposition of center onto a structure as "coherence in contradiction" which always "expresses the force of a desire" (279). It seems that this particular desire is one that conceives of desire as lack (AO, 26); the West has consistently viewed noncenter as "loss-of-center" or lack-of-center. Imposing a center is the same as imposing a fixed subject--it is repression. In the way that there are "two interpretations of interpretation, of structure, of sign, of play" (292), there are two interpretations of desire; one that seeks an origin or truth and conceives of desire as a lack, and one that affirms play and desire.

Also, I was wondering how bricolage fits into rhizomic (rhizomatic?) play. There's some description in AO (this staple's come undone and I'm having trouble finding the key page right now) of coding chains in machines. The description was something like a chain of signs that don't signify; one chain is connected to and uses fragments of other chains. D&G think of it as a form of writing, a disjointed form, with signs that reconfigure and coalesce ceaselessly. I associated this machine coding both with bricolage (a system of constant play with signs) and with the rhizome (chains connected with other chains, the outside, meeting and crossing and in motion). It's really irritating that I can't find the page this is on--anyone have the page number?

So, yes, there seem to be connections between D&G and Haraway, but I read a significant amount of Derrida, too, in the play of the machines and the play of the writing.