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Essays Critical Clinical Deleuze

The final work of this essential thinker.

Essays Critical and Clinical is the final work of the late Gilles Deleuze, one of the most important and vital figures in contemporary philosophy. It includes essays, all newly revised or published here for the first time, on such diverse literary figures as Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, D. H. Lawrence, T. E. Lawrence, Samuel Beckett, Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, Alfred Jarry, and Lewis Carroll, as well as philosophers such as Plato, Spinoza, Kant, Nietzsche, and Heidegger.

For Deleuze, every literary work implies a way of living, a form of life, and must be evaluated not only critically but also clinically. As Proust said, great writers invent a new language within language, but in such a way that language in its entirety is pushed to its limit or its own “outside.” This outside of language is made up of affects and precepts that are not linguistic, but which language alone nonetheless makes possible. In Essays Critical and Clinical, Deleuze is concerned with the delirium-the process of Life-that lies behind this invention, as well as the loss that occurs, the silence that follows, when this delirium becomes a clinical state. Taken together, these eighteen essays present a profoundly new approach to literature by one of the greatest twentieth-century philosophers.

216 pages
Translation rights: Éditions de Minuit

Essays Critical and Clinical
“Authors, if they are great, are more like doctors than patients: they are themselves astonishing diagnosticians or symptomatologists.” So wrote the philosopher Gilles Deleuze, setting himself the task of demonstrating the connections between literature and medicine.

The essays collected here testify to Deleuze’s fundamental conviction that philosophy cannot be undertaken independently of science and art. As so often in his writing, the names of philosophers such as Plato, Spinoza, Kant, Nietzsche and Heidegger appear beside those of literary figures including Melville, Whitman, D.H. Lawrence, Beckett and Artaud. With this book, Deleuze’s life-long ambition to dismantle the barriers between art and its adjacent domains is brilliantly realized.
Paperback
278 pages / August 1998 / 9780860916147

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