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6 - Postcolonial Haecceities

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 September 2012

Réda Bensmaïa
Affiliation:
Brown University
Simone Bignall
Affiliation:
University of New South Wales
Paul Patton
Affiliation:
University of New South Wales
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Summary

If philosophy of the future exists, it must be born outside of Europe or equally born in consequence of meetings and impacts between Europe and non-Europe.

(Foucault 1999: 113)

It is impossible to understand how they have got as far as the capital: however, they are there, and every morning their numbers seem to grow.

(Kafka, from a draft of The Great Wall of China)

Arnaud Bouaniche has recently drawn attention to the curious way in which Gilles Deleuze opens his Spinoza: Practical Philosophy (1988) with a dialogue excerpted from Bernard Malamud's novel The Fixer (1966), a dialogue which Bouaniche (2006: 131) describes as ‘a perfect mise en abyme of the change in perspective’ that, in his opinion, occurred in Deleuze's work after May 1968, and which points to the position that Spinoza occupied in Deleuze's thought. What Bouaniche emphasises, and what is of particular interest for us as we try to understand the nature of the relations between Deleuze and his ‘mediators’, is that when one character in the dialogue is ordered by the other, a judge, to explain what brought him to read Spinoza and what meaning he took from this encounter, the character in question

emphasises not the speculative content or the theoretical propositions in Spinoza's thought, but thepractical effectsthat they have had not only on him as a reader and an individual (‘After that I wasn't the same man’), but also on their author (‘[Spinoza] was out to make a free man of himself’), having decided, in the words of the judge, to approach the problem ‘through the man rather than the work’.

(Bouaniche 2006: 131; emphasis added)
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Chapter
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Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Print publication year: 2010

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