Wednesday, January 31, 2007

"Deleuze, philosopher, son of Diogenes and Hypatia"

A eulogy (?) for the always-multiplicitous Gilles Deleuze, sourced from this difficult-to-navigate (because mostly French) Deleuze archive. May it bring a smile to your face. This really doesn't require anything much like thought.

Suidas in Philosophie 47 par André Bernold - 01/09/

Deleuze, philosopher, son of Diogenes and Hypatia, sojourned at Lyon. Nothing is known of his life. He lived to be very old, even though he was often very ill. This illustrated what he himself had said: there are lives in which the difficulties verge on the prodigious. He defined as active any force that goes to the end of its power. This, he said, is the opposite of a law. Thus he lived, always going further than he had believed he could. Even though he had explicated Chrysippus, it is above all his steadfastness that earned him the name of Stoic.

He was one of the most remarkable orators of his time, and the greatest of those who made a profession of teaching philosophy. He was only understood by a small number. He was persecuted, the object of a jealousy that never abated. He disdained these miseries because of the joy of his life, which was philosophizing.

Possessed of a lofty temperament, he merely endured people. But formidable was his irony. His voice was most extraordinary. Athenea compares it to a rasp, then to a torrent of pebbles. His elocution was of an extreme distinction, a bit weary, the diction slow and sweet. Apollodorus compares his voice to that of a sorcerer. He was a man of perfect nobility, who detested everything that diminished.

He wrote much, perhaps more than anyone else, if one considers the density of his works. Even though he addressed logic and morality at length, he must be placed in the ranks of the physicists, indeed in the first rank. He left a text Of Nature that Stobea ranks with those of Heraclitus and Lucretius, and relates an oracle: in a very distant future, nothing as great as it will have appeared, except a certain Ethics that is not Aristotle‚s.

He said that three anecdotes were sufficient: the place, the hour and the element. His own place was to be found in the east. As for the hour, it was the hour of profound darkness; for there is much dread in his books. Even the sky suffered from its cardinal points and its constellations, he said. Regarding the element, much hesitating is permitted, for he speaks of everything with a rare splendor. He passionately loves the earth; Aratos says that he was a troglodyte. He celebrates the serried lines of the waters, and fire, according to him, is soluble. His element nevertheless is aerial˜overhang, suspension, and profound fall.

He was also a doctor, the last to treat medicine as an art. We cite two books on monsters, two on wounds and the most famous, on the oedema of the feet.

We read in Aristoxenes of his Treatise on the Refrain, the daring of which is extreme. One further finds Of the Line, and Of Sublime Images.

Proclus recopies a very obscure passage on, the virgin, the one who never lived, beyond the lover and beyond the mother, who coexists with the one and is contemporaneous with the other. In the same spot, he says that every reminiscence is erotic. Strabo insists that he was an astonishing geologist. With Félix he composed, aside from Against Oedema, which also contains a Politics and a Geography which are assuredly never lived madly enough: On Strata, that similarly includes a Strategy. That work seems never to have been understood by anyone among philosophical folk.

In geometry, he discovered the pulsation of spirals. He declared that the love of children for their mother repeats other adult loves for other women.

There was a multitude of other Deleuzes.

Here is the list of his works: Of the Event, in 34 books. Of the Constellations that Pierce Us. Of the Impassability of Incorporeals. Of Paradox and Fate. On the Wounds that are Received While Sleeping. Symptoms. On the Demons‚ Leap. Of Tubercules. Of the Noble Man. On the Ugliness of the Human Face. Of Idiots. Of Invisible Witnesses. The Prince of Philosophers. On Degrees. Of the Three Testaments. The Galician, or Of Coldness, or Of Cruelty. Of Larvae. Of the Idea that Watches Us. Misosophy. Of the Egg. Of the Clear and the Obscure. Of the Universal Spider. That Every Intensity is Agonizing. Of the Sardine. On the Question „Who? Of the Orgy. Of Nobody. On Universal Collapse. In Praise of Lucretius. Of the Viscera. Of Complication. Handbook of Torsions. That It Is Agreeable Not to Explain Oneself Too Much. Of the Singularities that Unsettle Us. Of the Cloaca. Of the Triumph of Slaves. The Cloak. What Belongs to Us Under a More Subtle Solicitation. Of Absolute Depth. Of Unknown Joy.


Blogger Scantron said...

Kushakov, thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my shallow, classicist heart.

2:29 AM  

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