deleuzian diss writing

The paradox for me as something of a Deleuzian PhD student when writing is that if language fixes multiplicities and argument is the mobilisation of ideas across these multiplcities, then the actual practice of writing produces a constant series of blockages when trying to pay attention to the ‘between’ of the indiscerible dimension of multiplicities.

The blockage is actually produced from too much flow and excess of attention on the ‘between’. It is a felt experience of panic and anxiety when actually in front of the computer, is there an end? One comical dimension of this is that my monitor size has kept increasing. I am literally trying to fit more on the screen.

There is the ‘between’ of empirical data from fieldwork or archival research. Whatever situation is discussed is always a partial account. I am not trying to write a ‘total’ account, rather the paradox is of the infinite partiality (in the sense of the infinite continuum between 0 and 1). This is a version of what Deleuze called the paradox of regress or indefinite proliferation (LoS 28-31). It pertains to the problematic dimension of sense or events.

Using an example from Carroll, when Alice meets the Knight and discuss the name of a song, Deleuze writes, “We must start at the end in order to restore the natural regress” (29). The end in this case is the real name of the song (nor the sense of this name, nor the name of this sense, not the name of this second sense).

The difference of course is that the problematic dimension of dissertation writing is always between points in an argument and the consolidation of examples. There are two things that I now understand about my dissertation writing process that I previously did not.

Examples are derived from elsewhere (fieldwork or archival research in my case). I have so far written my dissertation using the examples as the ‘end’ to the intensive and potentially infinite continuum between points in my argument. Anyone who has read drafts will know that I certainly write on a line to inifinity (lol). Literally this means rather than using examples to exemplify something or explain my argument I have used them to end the infinite proliferation of points between points. I have only just realised this as I have been trying to invert the structure of my argument so it flows in more conventional ways.

There is no point where I suddenly ‘realised’ my ‘findings’ as derived from my empirical work. I have ‘findings’ in the sense I can say certain things about the world with the authority of someone who knows roughly what they don’t know about a subject (and therefore can isolate what they can say about a subject) but I am not sure how I ‘found’ the ‘findings’ because they emerge from the ‘between’ of my thinking.

Secondly, the problem of a ‘problem’ has long been a problem for me. For our confirmation of candidature we were meant to articulate a ‘problem’ which our research would address. I didn’t have one. I still basically don’t have one, rather I have a multiplicity of problematics that have emerged from my research. There is no ‘problem’ which can guide my research. It seems to me that a true problematic is not something one starts with, assembled from previous work in the field or whatever, but it is where someone arrives when they know they have finished research and no other differential repetitions are possible. To isolate the exact coordinates of a problem only comes once the infinite regress comes to an end. The end of the infinite is of course a paradox and quite simply a problem with Deleuze’s philosophy.

Why should certain dimensions of problematics be isolated from the infinite regress of thought over others? Isn’t the true creative act of thought not creating concepts, but limiting creation in such a way to render concepts intelligible? Everyone seems to talk about the problematic basis of Ideas, rather than the process of how Ideas emerge from the problematic chaosmos. This seems to be an obvious problem for me at least — especially after the true post-human or cosmological ramifications of Deleuzian philosophy is taken into account. Every ‘problem’ is the actualisation of multiplicity through the realisation of possibilities that already exist.

Maybe Deleuze already realises this when in The Fold he talks about the ‘screen’ that is always over ‘chaos’. I don’t know. However, it makes writing hard.

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