Three letters from Bergson to Deleuze

At the CIEPFC site, three letters from Bergson to Deleuze (in French), originally published in Critique in 2008 – thanks to John Protevi for the link.

[Update: I should have realised this from the dates, but these are a fabrication – Bergson died when Deleuze was only fifteen – thanks for the comment below in pointing this out]

This entry was posted in Gilles Deleuze, John Protevi and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Three letters from Bergson to Deleuze

  1. Anonymous says:

    It might be worth mentioning here that these letters seem to be original works by Elie During, the “editor”; at least, Zsusza Baross takes them as such here ( ), and that seems like the most plausible reading given Deleuze’s age (15) at the time of Bergson’s death, as well as the letters’ allusions to Deleuze’s mature works.

  2. Naxos says:

    It is clear that these letters are an exercise of Deleuzian ventriloquism, we just need to read them between lines and see how they connect with the concerns that Deleuze manifested about Bergson. John Protevi posted this but he did not seem to notice the experimental and sensible nature of the exchange, neither Nathan Widder, who is an expert in Bergson. Of course the letters were not written by Bergson, but they mean to honor Deleuze as they were exposed as a piece of art at Centre Georges Pompidou. The exercise is rather about how the epistolary format leads friendship to draw a conceptual philosophical portrait as part of the exchange, and this Deleuzian ventriloquism is pretty explainable if we consider Deleuze’s method, i.e, his way to grasp an intensive reading of the authors he treated, admired and loved: for him, it was through love and admiration that his intensive reading led him to give voice and make speak that what the authors he respected could not say -what they were unable to say or did not say regards to their own work-, applying a sort of depersonalization in order to draw their conceptual portrait, but to draw it right from the very unspoken singularities that compose their philosophical landscape and that were already traced in their respective work. That is in fact Deleuze’s method, his method of intensive reading, and it is quite clear for me that the very aim of the writer who wrote these letters was to make Bergson speak through his conceptual personae (just as Deleuze -with his books- made Bergson speak) in the mean to refine some details or perhaps to congratulate his effort. The letters are fantastic if we read them in this way -if we have read Deleuze intensively enough to recreate the dialogue. I have to say that I made this exercise myself a couple of years ago with respect to Zizek’s take on Deleuze: I wrote a ‘letter to a harsh Zizek’ in order to make a harsh Deleuze respond to Zizek’s poisonous assertions. It was an interesting challenge and I enjoyed it to the most. Last February I wrote a special one addressed to Deleuze regards to friendship and Badiou. So far I have discovered that this conceptual epistolary exercise can recreate different voices to make them speak different things with multiple directions and in many senses. So one requires to be rigorous with the content in order to place the right winks for the reader to follow, of course, makes more sense if it is referred to Deleuze, his friends and influences, and to his critics or students, to his detractors and enemies. It can either be an epistolary exchange where one talks to the author that has portrayed the philosophy of someone else, or that this author talks to you or to someone that also portrayed that same philosophy, or that this author wants you to tell someone else what he thinks about a portrait made by him or by someone else, or that the one who talks all this is the one who was philosophically portrayed by you or someone else, or that someone else talks to the portrayed author about you or about the other one who portrayed him etc.

  3. Pingback: Conversation in Progressive Geographies |

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