The conviction that Gilles Deleuze is doing something radical in his work has been accompanied by a corresponding anxiety as to how to read it. In this rigorous and lucid work, Ian Buchanan takes up the challenge by answering the following questions: How should we read Deleuze? How should we read with
To show us how Deleuze’s philosophy works, Buchanan begins with Melville’s notion that “a great book is always the inverse of another book that could only be written in the soul, with silence and blood.” Buchanan demonstrates that the figure of two books—one written in ink and the other written in blood—lies at the center of Deleuze’s hermeneutics and that a special relation must be established in order to read the second book from the first. This relation is Deleuzism. By explicating elemental concepts in Deleuze—desire, flow, the nomad—Buchanan finds that, despite Deleuze’s self-declared moratorium on dialectics, he was in several important respects a dialectician. In essays that address the “prehistory” of Deleuze’s philosophy, his methodology, and the utopic dimensions of his thought, Buchanan extracts an apparatus of social critique that arises from the philosopher’s utopian impulse. Deleuzism
is a work that will engage all those with an interest in the twentieth-century’s most original philosopher.
“Buchanan’s approach to Deleuze is entirely original. He gets outside of Deleuzianism and gives us a fresh view on his thought—not refuting it but rather seeing it from a different perspective and then using it in a different way.”—Michael Hardt, Duke University
“An engaging and provocative treatment of the principal features of Deleuze’s philosophy and their applicability to cultural studies. Buchanan’s metacommentary should go a long way toward renewing discussions of Deleuze’s status as a radical social and political philosopher.”—Ronald Bogue, University of Georgia
“Buchanan’s book is a ground-breaking, comprehensive examination of the thought of Gilles Deleuze work that ranges widely across Deleuze’s solo and coauthored works as well as popular music, architecture, and film, and raises important new questions about the relations of Deleuzism to dialectics, utopian thought, and cultural studies. It is sure to be an essential point of reference for further Deleuze studies.”—Gene Holland