Jacques Rancière | The Red of ‘La Chinoise’: Godard’s Politics

  How should we understand the politics Godard puts into play with his cinematographic practice in La Chinoise? The opinions on the matter have more or less followed the fluxes and refluxes of the left. Accused when first released of being just a caricature, and not a serious representation, of real militant Maoists, the film was later praised as a brilliant anticipation of the events of May 1968, and as a lucid look both at the passing infatuation with Maoism by bourgeois youngsters and at the outcomes of that infatuation: the return to order and terrorism. The question of whether…

‘The Function of Autonomy’: Félix Guattari and New Revolutionary Prospects

by Andrew Ryder Félix Guattari is widely discussed among philosophers, particularly feminists and specialists in ecology and technology. But in the Anglophone world, political organisers tend to ignore him. In part this is due to academic paywalls and university strictures confining his work, but the problem goes further: the stylistic conservatism of so much of the Anglo-American left has impeded the capacity to learn from his insights, because they are presented in an nontraditional and unfamiliar style. This resistance has obscured his continuing activity as a participant and organiser in a variety of international struggles. This is not merely of…

Gilles Deleuze; Desert Islands and Other Texts (1953-1974)

Gilles Deleuze | Desert Islands and Other Texts (1953-1974) (2003, Semiotext(e))/ Full book “One day, perhaps, this century will be Deleuzian,“ Michel Foucault once wrote. This book anthologizes 40 texts and interviews written over 20 years by renowned French philosopher Gilles Deleuze, who died in 1995. The early texts, from 1953-1966 (on Rousseau, Kafka, Jarry, Ponge, Artaud, etc.) belong to literary criticism and announce Deleuze’s last book, Critique and Clinic (1993). But philosophy clearly predominates in the rest of the book, with sharp appraisals of the thinkers he always felt indebted to: Spinoza, Bergson. More surprising is his acknowledgement of Jean-Paul…

Jacques Rancière; Althusser’s Lesson

Jacques Rancière, Althusser’s Lesson (Full book) Jacques Rancière’s first major work, Althusser’s Lesson appeared in 1974, just as the energies of May 68 were losing ground to the calls for a return to order. Rancière’s analysis of Althusserian Marxism unfolds against this background: what is the relationship between the return to order and the enthusiasm which greeted the publication of Althusser’s Reply to John Lewis in 1973? How to explain the rehabilitation of a philosophy that had been declared ‘dead and buried on the barricades of May 68’? What had changed? The answer to this question takes the form of…