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While remaining on the shore: Ethics in Deleuze’s encounter with Antonin Artaud

Cull, LK (2011) While remaining on the shore: Ethics in Deleuze’s encounter with Antonin Artaud In: Deleuze and Ethics. Deleuze Connections . Edinburgh University Press, pp. 44-62. ISBN 0748641165

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Abstract

This chapter explores the relation between Deleuze and ethics by way of an examination of his encounter with Antonin Artaud. In the first instance, it examines the differences between Deleuze’s Nietzschean, immanent ethics as articulated in his late essay on Artaud, ‘To have done with judgement’ with conventional approaches which equate ethics with obligation and duty, virtues such as charity, or a utilitarian subordination of the few to the benefit of the majority. In this text, as in Artaud’s censored radio broadcast To have done with the judgement of god, ‘God’ is the enemy of an ethics of creation - whether he takes the form of the imposition of bodily organisation, the invocation of a transcendent realm to be infinitely awaited, or the measure of plenitude in relation to which life’s differential presence will always be found wanting. The chapter then goes on to discuss how Artaud’s broadcast attempts to perform an ethics of creation with respect to its listeners, by affirming differential presence in performance as the forcing of thought rather than the communication of a message; as the making of a ‘theatre without organs’ based on the primacy of force over form. Finally, the chapter addresses some of the ethical questions that arise with regard to the relationship between Deleuzian schizo-analysis and actual schizophrenics, between the affirmation of destratification and its undeniable risks – questions that Deleuze himself raises on a number of occasions, and to which he provides a series of different responses. In The Logic of Sense, for instance, Deleuze discusses Fitzgerald’s alcoholism and Artaud’s madness and questions the ‘ridiculousness’ of the thinker or ‘abstract speaker’ who positions herself outside these dangerous experiments: ‘Each one risked something and went as far as possible in taking this risk; each one drew from it an irrepressible right. What is left for the abstract speaker once she has given advice of wisdom and distinction? Well then, are we to speak always about… Fitzgerald and Lowry’s alcoholism, Nietzsche and Artaud’s madness, while remaining on the shore? Are we to become the professionals who give talks on these topics?’. Likewise, in A Thousand Plateaus, Deleuze and Guattari ask: ‘Is it cowardice or exploitation to wait until others have taken the risks’, to wait until others – whether they are drug users, artists or schizophrenics (or all three) – have reached the plane of immanence, before constructing one’s own experiment? But by this stage, the authors feel more confident to answer ‘no’ to their own question and to affirm getting drunk on water – emphasising process over content, the line of flight over any one model. As such, this chapter seeks to examine Deleuze’s changing relationship to these ethical questions of the responsibility of a philosophy that validates experiences of extreme intensity, acute affect and becoming or what Deleuze calls ‘pure lived experience’.

Item Type: Book Section
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Cull, LKUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : 12 July 2011
Uncontrolled Keywords : deleuze, artaud, ethics, schizophrenia, theatre
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 28 Mar 2017 15:52
Last Modified : 31 Oct 2017 16:44
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/804716

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