دوشنبه، آبان ۱۴، ۱۳۸۶

Speculative Reading Through a Publication Anouncement

I found the first volume of Collapse absolutely indigestible and hard to avoid, and am putting the table of content of the newly published Collapse III to use in the speculative reading process (srp), a highly ingenious and imaginative reading process developed in Iran behind the beautiful and intricate but not so overwhelming ice-walls.

Collapse Volume III: ‘Unknown Deleuze’ contains explorations of the work of Gilles Deleuze by pioneering thinkers in the fields of philosophy, aesthetics, music and architecture. In addition, we publish in this volume two previously untranslated texts by Deleuze himself, along with a fascinating piece of vintage science fiction from one of his more obscure influences. Finally, as an annex to Collapse Volume II, we also include a full transcription of the conference on ‘Speculative Realism’ held in London earlier this year.

Whilst books continue to appear at an alarming rate which claim to put Deleuze’s thought ‘to work’ in diverse areas outside of philosophy, we submit, in this volume, that his philosophical thought itself still remains enigmatic, both in its detail and in its major themes. The contributors to this volume aim to clarify, from a variety of perspectives, Deleuze’s contribution to philosophy: in what does his philosophical originality lie; what does he appropriate from other philosophers and how does he transform it? And how can the apparently disparate threads of his work to be ‘integrated’ – what is the precise nature of the constellation of the aesthetic, the conceptual and the political proposed by Gilles Deleuze, and what are the overarching problems in which the numerous philosophical concepts ’signed Deleuze’ converge?

The volume includes two newly-translated articles by Gilles Deleuze along with contributions from Arnaud Villani, Thomas Duzer, Quentin Meillassoux, John Sellars, Éric Alliez & Jean-Claude Bonne, Haswell & Hecker, Robin Mackay, Mehrdad Iravanian, J.-H. Rosny the Elder, Graham Harman, Iain Hamilton Grant and Ray Brassier.

For anyone looking for an alternative to the emerging orthodoxy seemingly bent on broadcasting an ‘image of Deleuzian thought’, Collapse III provides a wide-ranging but uniformly rigorous and innovative survey of Gilles Deleuze’s thought, and an illustration of the fact that, even if it is already fashionable to evoke a ‘post-Deleuzian’ era, we have not yet begun to draw the properly philosophical consequences of this thought.

– Mathesis, Science and Philosophy, has never before appeared in print in English and is published in Collapse in a new translation. Written as an introduction to a 1946 republication of a 19th-century esoteric philosophical work by Dr Johann Malfatti de Montereggio, this text offers a fascinating glimpse, set in an unexpected context, into the themes of Deleuze’s early work, as they emerge, in an already characteristically-dazzling style. Meanwhile, in the brief but illuminating 1981 interview with Arnaud Villani, Answers to a Series of Questions (also appearing here for the first time in English), Deleuze provides some tantalising intimations regarding the enduring concerns of his work over the years.

– In his own contribution to the volume, philosopher-poet Arnaud Villani (whose 1999 The Wasp and the Orchid was one of the first books to be published in France treating Deleuze’s work as a whole) reflects on Deleuze’s affirmation that he considered himself a ‘pure metaphysician’: what, precisely, does metaphysics mean for Deleuze? Through a sophisticated reading utilising the resources of aesthetics, poetics and philosophy, Villani not only defines the object of this metaphysics, but also shows clearly why it cannot be severed from its links with these other realms of thought, or from the question of the political or moral ‘decision’.

– This allusion reminds us that an examination of Deleuze today would be unthinkable without reference to Alain Badiou’s provocative Deleuze: The Clamor of Being, and in his article In Memoriam of Deleuze, Thomas Duzer undertakes, through a survey of the major axes of Deleuze’s philosophy, to locate the precise nature of their now famous ‘nonrelationship’; his defence emphasises that the positive features of Deleuze’s thought cannot be reduced either to a ‘phenomenology’ or to Badiou’s polemical opposite.

– In an exclusive translated extract from their new book Matisse-Thought: Portrait of the Artist as Hyperfauve, philosopher Éric Alliez and art-historian Jean-Claude Bonne analyse the revolution inaugurated in painting by Matisse during his ‘Fauvist’ period of 1905-6, discovering that the rigorous ‘quantitative’ conception of the intensive which Matisse proposes allows not only a new understanding of the significance of Fauvism for his later work, but also clarifies and reaffirms the philosophical pertinence of a Nietzschean-Deleuzian thinking of intensity and extensity, the qualitative and the quantitative.

– On the basis of an examination of a ‘fragment’ from Deleuze and Guattari’s What is Philosophy?, Quentin Meillassoux, in a philosophical tour de force, meticulously reconstructs the nature and the measure of Deleuzian ‘immanence’, proposing finally a ’subtractive’ reading drawing on Bergson’s Matter and Memory, allowing us to understand, step-by-step ‘from the inside’ the construction of that singular network of concepts found in Deleuze’s work.

– Sound artists Russell Haswell and Florian Hecker contribute some strange and beautiful images taken from the electronic ’score’ of their new sound work Blackest Ever Black, an ‘introduction to synaesthesia’ created using composer Iannis Xenakis’s computerised UPIC system to transform contemporary images into sound. An accompanying text by Robin Mackay analyses the affinities between Xenakis’s conception of a musical ‘polyagogy’ and Deleuze’s ‘transcendental empiricism’.

– Examining Deleuze’s famous use of the supposedly Stoic theory of Chronos and Aîon in Logic of Sense, John Sellars (author of The Stoics and The Art of Living) examines just how much it owes to actual stoic theories of time, thus providing both a case-study in the Deleuzian ‘ventriloquism’ in the history of philosophy and an informative example of the ’stratigraphic’ time in which, according to Deleuze, philosophy takes place.

– Iranian architect Mehrdad Iravanian constructs a ‘graphitext’ which, taking as its starting point a page from Deleuze’s The Fold, undertakes a non-interpretative ‘ex-pli-cation’ of its content. Employing a hybrid methodology at once literal, textual and architectural, he brings to light structures secreted within the folds of the text itself.

– One of the many obscure ‘personae’ in the background of Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition, the mysterious figure J.-H. Rosny the Elder not only supplied that work’s repeated formula for the nature of intensity-as-difference, but, as both philosopher and pioneering science fiction author, was also a living embodiment of the notion that ‘philosophy is a kind of science-fiction’: in his astonishing 1895 tale Another World, appearing here in English for the very first time, Rosny evokes an alien world of abstract lifeforms intersecting with our own, and examines with philosophical acuity the process of bringing such unknown beings within the purview of scientific knowledge.

– As if all this were not enough … Following the ‘dossier’ on Speculative Realism in the previous volume of Collapse, Volume III also includes a full transcription of the colloquium of the same name held at Goldsmith’s University of London in April 2007 featuring presentations by Ray Brassier, Iain Hamilton Grant, Graham Harman and Quentin Meillassoux on the problems, and the promise, of this renewal of speculative philosophical thought. Running to well over 100 pages, this is an important and exciting document of contemporary philosophy in the making, proposing new conceptual approaches, exploring the borders between science and philosophy, and mining the history of thought for fresh insights into Nature, objectivity, and the legacy of ‘correlationism’.

In Memoriam: Gilles Deleuze 1925-1995
Responses to a Series of Questions
‘I Feel I Am A Pure Metaphysician’: The Consequences of Deleuze’s Remark
Subtraction and Contraction: Deleuze, Immanence and Matter and Memory
Blackest Ever Black
Mathesis, Science and Philosophy
The Truth about Chronos and Aîon
Matisse-Thought and the Strict Ordering of Fauvism
Unknown Deleuze
Another World
Speculative Realism

The introduction to this volume is also available here (PDF format, ~600 KBs

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