effect landing allez Guattari

Land and Alliez on ‘The Guattari Effect’

I’ve just been reading Éric Alliez‘s contribution to the discussion of ‘transdisciplinarity’ in the French humanities in the latest Radical Philosophy.
[This paper, along with others in this and the previous volume of RP, are reworked versions of papers delivered at a conference I attended in April of last year, held at the French Institute in London, bearing the cumbersome title 'From Structure to Rhizome - Transdisciplinarity in French Thought, 1945 to the Present: Histories, Concepts, Constructions'.  This conference was the pilot for what is now an AHRC-funded project, based at the CRMEP (Kingston), on 'Transdisciplinarity in the Humanities: Problems, Methods, Histories, Concepts', which promises to yield some interesting and valuable work.]

Richard Lindner, 'Boy with Machine' (1954)
The paper, translated by Andrew Goffey, is entitled ‘Rhizome (with no return)’, and discusses the movement in Deleuze’s work – but presumably the movement in this work is taken as symptomatic of a certain more general movement in the French humanities from the 195os to the 1970s and perhaps through to the contemporary scene – from a philosophical ‘re-founding’ of transdisciplinarity, focused aroundstructuralism as a ‘new transcendental philosophy’, to a more genuine and genuinely free transdisciplinarity beyond the ‘reterritorialising’ disciplinary horizons of both structuralism and philosophy, embodied in and driven by the concept of ‘rhizome’ (a concept which, Alliez suggests, unlike the concept of ‘structure’ which came before it, refuses to become a governing, situating concept for a new disciplinarity).

There was plenty of interest in this paper, but one thing that I fancied mentioning in this medium, given that I’ve commented previously here on Nick Land’s recently published collected writings, is the discrepancy between Land’s

 and Alliez’s assessments

 of the impact of Félix Guattari’s interventions on the trajectory of Deleuze’s thought.  

Land, as I’ve notedbefore, claims that Deleuze’s work affirms a ‘reptilian’ time quite out of joint with the Parisian context of its articulation, a context to which Guattari’s anti-/post-Lacanian Lacanianism still finds itself bound.  

As such, it is from Deleuze that the vitality (if we can use this term in the context of Land’s ‘thanatotropism’) of the Deleuze-Guattari coupling comes; it is Deleuze who’s work again and again tries to summon the creative force of ‘deterritorialisation’. 

These accounts of the Deleuze-Guattari complex seem to agree to some extent on the central value of Deleuze and Guattari’s work being its emphasis on experimentation and creative in thinking (with extremely different conceptions of experimentation and creative, however), and yet they disagree in a fairly straightforward fashion regarding the importance of Guattari’s impact.  (Perhaps this disagreement might be related to their different understandings of this creative power of Deleuze and Guattari’s work.)
I don’t want to venture a contribution of my own here, so much as to draw attention to this issue of Guattari’s influence on Deleuze as a still very fertile and, despite frequent cursory mentions, not often thoroughly enough explored aspect of scholarship on these thinkers’ work (both individual and collaborative).  For this reason, I’m looking forward to the forthcoming publication of Alliez and Andrew Goffey’s edited collection, The Guattari Effect (Continuum).  This volume promises to provide further exploration of the impact (widespread but as yet still all too covert) of Guattari’s work.  With any luck this will include a fair bit of discussion of Guattari’s impact on Deleuze.