Meaning of DELEUZE, GILLES (1925-95)

Meaning of DELEUZE, GILLES (1925-95):

After a career as a relatively conventional historian of philosophy at the Sorbonne and in Lyon, Deleuze was among the first prominent academics to respond at a conceptual level to the impact of the student and workers’ uprising of May 1968. He moved to the University of Vincennes, Paris in 1969 and took the lead in trying to tie together work in philosophy, politics, psychoanalysis and literature. His most renowned work (the two volumes loosely focused on capitalism and schizophrenia entitled Anti-Oedipus (1984) and A Thousand Plateaus (1988)) were co-written in the years after the 1960s with Felix Guattari (1930-92), a political activist and Lacanian psychoanalyst. Expelled from the French Communist Party in 1956, Guattari had become very active as a Trotskyite and was later pivotal in the formation of the 1960s ultra-left in France. Their works can be seen as reflections on the continuation of capitalism and the apparent willingness of capitalism’s victims to acquiesce in its perpetuation. They regard capitalism as a destructive force that undermines all existing affiliations, groups and communities. None the less, this chaotic force has a joyful kind of energy hence the schizophrenia of life under capitalism. Their works, notably their writings about the rhizome (a metaphor deployed to press for the virtues of non-hierarchical networks), are best approached as experimental reflections on the uneasy experience of living with capitalism. Their publications have been influential in literary studies and, despite neither author being a sociologist and them not conducting sociological investigations in any conventional sense, on sociology.