John Protevi on ‘How to begin reading Deleuze’

John Protevi offers some good advice at New APPS. He starts with Deleuze’s book Spinoza: Practical Philosophy and then offers suggestions for primary and secondary literature.

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6 Responses to John Protevi on ‘How to begin reading Deleuze’

  1. Reblogged this on My Desiring-Machines and commented:
    My path is much more disjointed and less cohesive, but is, of course, still a work in progress. I read:
    1) “Postscript on Societies of Control” in a class, alongside Part 3 (Discipline) of Discipline and Punish.
    2) Anti-Oedipus in my reading group; we read it in four installations, corresponding to each chapter.
    3) A Thousand Plateaus, both on my own in preparation for my general exam and with the group.
    4) Deleuze’s lecture notes of Spinoza’s concept of affect (from webdeleuze)
    5) Portions of the two Spinoza books while I was taking a seminar on the Ethics.
    6) Portions of Cinema 1 while preparing to write my paper for the Deleuze Studies conference.
    7) Around the same time I also read Guattari’s “Ritornellos and Existential Affects” essay and Massumi’s chapter “The Autonomy of Affect.”

  2. Reblogged this on deleuzianexcursus and commented:
    My path was an early path of fits and starts:
    I read Smooth and Striated out of ATP before I knew anything about anything.
    I revisited that a year or two later, alongside the Introduction to ATP; and again a year or two later still. At some point, it started to really make sense and fit into my brain.

    After that, I jumped into Cinema 1 and 2, which feels incredibly relevant for thinking about my topic, Google Street View
    For my exam reading list, I also read (in addition to C1 and C2, again):
    What is Philosophy
    A-O and ATP (also with our reading group, Becoming Poor)
    What felt like way too many secondary sources at the time:
    Bronta/Protevi: Geophilosphy
    Colebrook: Deleuze
    Flaxman: Brain is the Screen
    Rodowick: Time Machine and After Images
    I also read Bergsonism and Hume for a paper on Duration
    then for fun, I read
    Spinoza: Practical Philosophy (agreed, really helpful)
    a large portion of Nietzsche
    Immanence: A Life essays

    From there, I developed a course proposal which focused on some of the key concepts of Deleuze, which forced me to dig a little deeper, read a little wider, and found a lot of his sources that he references for the topics. That was extremely fruitful.

    This past spring, I took a philosophy class on Spinoza, reading The Ethics. I think this has been one of the most helpful aspects of understanding Deleuze at a completely different level. I wrote a paper about Wonder, using Deleuze’s Expressionism in Philosohpy, and returning to Practical Philosophy, placing the role of wonder alongside the concept of deterritorialization. I’m screwing up the courage to try again to read Difference and Repetition, but the timing isn’t quite right. I have a sense that it will be far easier, after tangling with Spinoza.

    My advice is to read broadly to get a sense of how he talks about things, then focus on something that feels relevant. I think Deleuze’s own advice is that we necessarily start in the middle, and finding something particularly relevant for one’s own research seems like the best way to start. It will resonate, for one, and there are a host of secondary sources/dictionaries that can elaborate on key concepts. I think the key is repeated exposure. There is only so much we can glean from a first read.

  3. Pingback: john protevi’s intro to reading deleuze | being-in-exodus

  4. Pingback: How to Begin Reading Deleuze? A Query, a Challenge, & a Response: Nietzsche and Philosophy ! | ~ S c h i z o s o p h y ~

  5. Misha says:

    Here is a little reading guide for learning all of Deleuze. 3 Stars signifies an absolute must read, 2 Stars signifies a text that will open up an opaque dimension of the book, or that is a target of critique, 1 Star signifies interesting but unnecessary, and 0 Stars signifies a book I like related to the subject.

    Part 1 – The Basics
    Spinoza, Ethics***
    Hume, ‘An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding’***
    Kant, ‘Critique of Pure Reason’***, ‘Critique of Practical Reason’*, ‘Critique of Judgment’*
    Nietzsche, ‘Genealogy of Morals’***, ‘Twilight of the Idols’*, ‘Beyond Good & Evil’***, ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra’**, ‘Untimely Meditations’**
    Bergson, ‘Matter and Memory’***, ‘Creative Evolution’**, ‘Time and Free Will’*

    Part 2 – Taking it in…from behind
    Deleuze, ‘Spinoza Practical Philosophy’***, ‘Spinoza Expressionism in Philosophy’* (Spinoza essay)
    Matheron, ibid**
    Deleuze, Empiricism & Subjectivity **
    Deleuze, ‘Lecture on Kant’** (Kant and Critical Philosophy*)
    Klossowski, ‘Nietzsche and the Vicious Circle’**, ‘The Baphomet’*
    Mallarme, ‘A Throw of the Dice Will Never Abolish Chance’**
    Blanchot, ‘The Book to Come’*
    Deleuze, ‘Nietzsche and Philosophy’*** (Nietzsche essay)
    Heidegger, ‘What is Called Thinking? [Nietzsche Section]*, ‘Nietzsche’ Vol 1-4
    Deleuze, ‘Bergsonism’***, “Cinema 1″**
    Hardt, ‘Gilles Deleuze: An Apprenticeship in Philosophy’

    Part 3 – The Deleuze of Masks and Drives
    Freud, ‘The Interpretation of Dreams’*, ‘The Ego and the Id’**, ‘Beyond the Pleasure Principle’***
    Lacan, ‘Four Concepts of Psychoanalysis’***, ‘Ecrits’**
    Klein**, Reich**, Leclaire*, Ferenczi, Winnicott
    Proust, A Remembrance of Things Past**
    Deleuze, ‘Coldness and Cruelty”**, ‘Two Regimes of Madness’*
    Saussure, ‘Course in General Linguistics’***
    Pierce, ’2 Volume Essential Writings’***
    Hjelmslev, ‘Prolegomena to a Theory of Language’***
    Jakobson, ‘Linguistics and Poetics’**
    Husserl, ‘Cartesian Meditations’***, etc., Heidegger, ‘Being and Time’***, etc.
    Deleuze, ‘The Logic of Sense’***, ‘Cinema 2′**

    Part 4 – Collect an extra brain when you pass go
    Heidegger ‘Identity and Difference**’, etc.
    Hegel, ‘The Phenomenology of Spirit’**, ‘The Science of Logic’**, etc.
    Descartes, ‘Meditations on First Philosophy’**
    Leibniz, ‘Theodicy’**, ‘Monadology’*
    Foucault, “The Order of Things”***, “Archeology of Knowledge”***, ‘Labyrinth: The World of Raymond Roussel’, “Foucault Reader”
    Elders and Peers** – Blanchot, Simondon, Wahl, Hyppolite, Bachelard, Canguilhem, Robbes-Grillet, Sartre, etc.
    Minor voices* – Whitehead, Kierkegaard, Meinong, Maimon, etc.
    Deleuze, ‘Difference & Repetition’***, “The Fold”***, “Foucault”**, ‘Review of Hyppolite’s Logique et Existence

    Part 5 – From 1968 to a minor futurity
    Deleuze and Foucault, ‘Intellectuals and Power’**
    Marx, ‘Theses on Feuerbach’*, ‘Wage, Labor and Capital’**, ‘The 18th Brumaire’, ‘Grundisse’, ‘Capital Vol. 1′***
    Engels, ‘Dialectics’
    Althusser, ‘Ideology and Ideological State Apparatus’*, ‘Reading Capital’**, ‘Philosophy and the Spontaneous Philosophy of the Scientists
    Beckett*, Artaud**, Michaux**, Lawrence, Rimbaud, Borges, Holderlin, etc.
    DG, ‘Anti-Oedipus’**
    Levi-Strauss, ‘Totemism’**
    DG, ‘A Thousand Plateaus’***, ‘What is Philosophy?’**,”Immanence: A Life”***, ‘Kafka: toward a Minor Literature’*
    Alliez, ‘Signature of the World’**
    Grosz ‘Chaos Territory Art’, Protevi ‘Deleuze and Geophilosophy’, DeLanda ‘Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy’*
    Dosse ‘Deleuze and Guattari: Intersecting Lives’

    Oh and the francis bacon thing

    I hope that some of you find this useful, especially those lurkers just entering the territory. I have been reading Deleuze now for 6- years and this is the way I diagram Deleuze and his genealogy, his friends in wisdom.

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