Please Pass the Salt

fig. 1


“that it was nothing more than a classic illustration of the antinomically [sic] schizoid function of the post-industrial capitalist mechanism,whose logic presented commodity as the escape-from-anxieties-of mortality-which-escape-is-itself-psychologically-fatal” –  David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest (p. 792)

The above quotation, though a parody of the philosophical writing of the late Gilles Deleuze, points to certain circuitous traits found in the brilliantly dynamic, albeit manic, trajectory of Deleuze’s thought process. Let me pose a playfully irreverent question: was Deleuze’s decision to jump from his apartment window in November of 1995 [technically not an act of defenestration], though likely a gesture of self-empowerment in the face of debilitating cancer [but let’s speculate further], symptomatic of the acute mental exhaustion suffered by never allowing his mind to just once grasp onto even a feigned absolute?

Perfectly flawed though the intellect may be in its perceptive ability to create a relative, narrative order as the elastic perimeter of one’s ever-expanding sphere of knowledge; due to the contractual limits of society, the individual makes tacit concessions to facilitate an acquisition of language defined by the communicative needs of said society. One must forever acknowledge and especially in the case of art-making, expand the potential mutability of language, the ether of meaning between the signifier/signified, and in the case of cinema, create/invite the active, intellectual momentum achievable though the illusory powers in between two seemingly dissonant shots in a film. However, sometimes one simply wishes to say “please pass the salt.” That simplicity. That resonance no matter how superfluous, has value in that it is symptomatic of an axiom, a refined ability developed over time to speak and be heard and further, understood. Of course such axioms must be challenged and tired metaphors must be [re]assessed of their value for an active, expressive language to prosper. Though, maybe this is exactly what Deleuze is getting at in his analysis of Hume, that it is this irresolute, circumstantial synthesis between organization and tumult, reason and empiricism that is primary concern of much of philosophy, mythology and art. [fig.1]

Also as an aside, it is interesting to note the degree to which Deleuze, Guatarri and Godard were reading each other and/or channeling similar themes in their exploration[s] of the associative implications of not the question, “To be?” but the planar expansion on contextual relations implicit in the conjunction, “et/and”. [fig 2.]

leif huron

2 Responses to “Please Pass the Salt”

  1. immanentterrainsp11 Says:

    Don’t think Deleuze would deny this. After all, he did live a quite calm, sedentary life himself. The only thing he would object to, I would imagine, is that terrible Wallace quote. It doesn’t sound remotely Deleuzian.


    • immanentterrainsp11 Says:

      Knowing More, I totally agree. Wallace’s parody of intellectual obfuscation does not sound remotely Deleuzian.

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