In Essays: Critical and Clinical Deleuze makes a very interesting move towards making a diagnosis of delirium within literature. He explains the task and function of literature is a social and political activity, but also as a measure of health. “Literature is a collective assemblage of enunciation”. He says that literature is both the disease of delirium as well as the measure of health. It is the means of diagnosing and treating the disease of man and the world. “Literature appears as an enterprise of health”. This reading of literature as a philosophical understanding of its roles and functions is characteristic of the ways Deleuze has tried to understand the arts. In the introduction to the book Daniel W. Smith says that Deleuze incorporates philosophical thinking with the fields of art, science and medicine. He says that for Deleuze great artists are also great thinkers.
Over the course of the class I’ve come in contact with many works by Deleuze covering a variety of topics in which he makes the relation between the arts and other fields such as health, science and philosophy. Though it got confusing keeping track of the lines of connections between these different fields, and the different approaches to understanding art and philosophy in terms of each other, I saw a much more profound theme emerge. Deleuze’s philosophy has been concerned with the revising, re-imagining and re-inscribing art works with a new meaning. He opens up the way for understanding deeper social, political and philosophical role in paintings, drawings, writings and films. He deconstructs the work to get to the heart of how it functions for the artist and the audience. For example in the realm of literature, he opens up the way to understand the collective, the social and the political function of writing. In Essays: Critical and Clinical he takes it even a step further by approaching the process of writing in a very philosophical way; by describing the type of world there is and how writing is a way of both becoming as well as overcoming the disease of delirium. He relates literature to both the external world as well as the levels of consciousness within the individual. He speaks of delirium, neurosis and psychosis to explain the function of writing as an enterprise in health. Deleuze always finds a way to find deeper connections and meanings, and therefore invites others to think more creatively and originally.

Aejin Hwang

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