An Introduction to Schizoanalysis

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  • Topic: Gilles Deleuze, A Thousand Plateaus, Félix Guattari
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  • Published : March 3, 2013
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Deleuze and Guattari:
An Introduction to Schizoanalysis

Jonathan M. Cook

Mr. Kletzien
10 May 2012
A whole new world/ A new fantastic point of view/ No one to tell us no/ Or where to go/ Or say we're only dreaming… Unbelievable sights/ Indescribable feeling… Through an endless diamond sky… A whole new world/ Every turn a surprise/ With new horizons to pursue… Let me share this whole new world with you.[1] In Disney’s Aladdin, Jasmine begins a journey into a “whole new world” of possibilities the moment she runs away from home.[2] This new world gives her unbelievable sights and feelings that she would have never have saw or felt if she would have stayed within the confines of her palace. In this song, Jasmine began a process of breaking away from her limits, a process that Deleuze and Guattari would call “deterritorialization.”[3] This process is the thesis of the Deleuzoguattarian (otherwise known as schizoanalytic) thought, removing the previous barriers on life and creating a realm of pure possibility.[4] Yet to truly gain an understanding of Deleuzoguattarian thought, an investigation of its foundation and theories are needed. By investigating Deleuze and Guattari’s thought, the flight of the princess will be seen as a dramatic attempt at rhizoming from our world, opening up a possibility of a beautiful, new world.[5] Desire

Tell me, princess, now when did/ You last let your heart decide?[6] Much like in the beginning of “A Whole New World,” Deleuze and Guattari begin their philosophy by looking at desire within everyone.[7] They believed that this desire dictates everyone’s actions and motivations.[8] In fact, they begin A Thousand Plateaus: The two of us wrote Anti-Oedipus together. Since each of us was several, there was already quite a crowd… Why have we kept our own names? Out of habit, purely out of habit… Also because it’s nice to talk like everybody else, to say the sun rises, when everybody knows it’s only a manner of speaking… We are no longer ourselves. Each will know his own. We have been aided, inspired, multiplied.[9] In the first pages of A Thousand Plateaus, Deleuze and Guattari (DnG) begin the breakdown of common sense ideas of “the individual” by stating “each of us [are] several.”[10] They believe that each person has thousands of desires within them, multiplying, coexisting, often contradicting and permuting.[11] Each person is quite literally “several”; each person’s thousands of desires create who they are. The human is an assemblage of desire—a desiring-machine.[12] DnG begin to imagine identity as a large ball. Each desire we have push the ball that is identity in different directions. Eventually the ball moves, not in the direction of one desire, but in the direction of the permutation of desires—the combination of all these forces.[13] DnG believe that people do not have a singular individuality, but that they are a multiplicity of different identities, some showing themselves at times, some at other times; for “[we are] several… [So] why have we kept our own names... because it’s nice to talk like everybody else, to say the sun rises, when everybody knows it’s only a manner of speaking.”[14] Thus, people’s motivations and actions are constructed by these desires, and they guide how we live.[15] Lacan and Deleuze

Aladdin: You're a prisoner? 
Genie: It's all part and parcel, the whole "genie gig"… PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWERS!… Itty-bitty living space! [16] Yet, DnG were not the first to discuss desire in the philosophical world. Freud and Lacan began discussing desire nearly a millennium before DnG, but in quite a different tone.[17] Jeffery Cohen[18] and Todd Ramlow[19] describe: We are used to being told by psychoanalysis that desire is produced through a primal lack, that if desire is related to pleasure, it is only by means of something called “enjoyment”… Deleuze could not stand this...
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