November 25, 1975
Proust, or rather Swann, says that “there were marvelous ideas” in its development. At first there was the repetition of the little phrase. The rest was a bit blurred and he couldn't really seize it. For the first time he realizes that regarding the rest of the piece: “There were marvelous ideas in it which Swann had not distinguished at the first hearing and that he perceived now, as if they had divested themselves, in the cloakroom of his memory, of the uniform disguise of novelty.” An example of deterritorialization is certain musical signs that don't function in systems of morphemes or phrases or systems of mathematical signs that function in equations, but that refer back to phrases or realities like those we experience in perception.
Deleuze's 1975-1876 seminars were filmed by one of his students, Marielle Burkhalter, as part of her masters project, "Filming Philosophy as it Happens." Enrico Ghezzi acquired the videos for broadcast on the RAI 3 cinema programme "Fuori Orario," after inviting Burkhalter to screen them at a festival he co-curated. Marielle Burkhalter, along with Stavroula Bellos, would eventually become the director of the L’association Siècle Deleuzien, and oversaw the French transcriptions of Deleuze's seminars at the Voix de Gilles Deleuze website at the University of Paris 8.
Links to a number of these recordings that are available on YouTube are provided below, each of which includes subtitles in Italian. We are grateful to those who have uploaded these videos.
We have ordered the video material chronologically and divided it into 3 categories, providing short titles describing the topics covered for general orientation. The first (A) refers to the seminars that were filmed at Paris-8 Vincennes in 1975-76, around the time that Deleuze and Guattari began working on what would become “Mille Plateaux”. The second (B) includes seminars from 1980-87, after the campus of Vincennes had been demolished and relocated to St. Denis. The third category (C) features miscellaneous fragments or short edits of the above material.
A. Deleuze at Paris 8-Vincennes, 1975-76
B. Deleuze at Paris 8-St.Denis, 1980-87
The personal pronoun “I” (1980) (video link only partial), transcript and translation located in the second Anti-Oedipus and Other Reflections Seminar, 3 June 1980. [New translation provided of this segment added to the 3 June 1980 lecture]
Deleuze sur Hegel (3:34), Deleuze on Hegel (1980), follows the preceding clip, transcript and translation located in the second Anti-Oedipus and Other Reflections Seminar, 3 June 1980.
On Leibniz (1986) -- Session 3 (18 Nov 1986), transcript and translation located in the Leibniz and the Baroque seminar, 1986-87
On Harmony (1987) -- Session 20 (2 June 1987), transcript and translation located in the Leibniz and the Baroque seminar
C. Various fragments (in random order, clips that are segments from longer videos included above in A)
Gilles Deleuze - Vincennes 1975-76 (compilation) Although this long cllp seems to begin at 1:28:40, the viewer can back up to the start for the full length. However, the segment begins in progress, with students seeming to debate a burning question. (3:05:57)
Deleuze et le roman (9:35)
Deleuze sur le langage (1:19)
Deleuze sur la musique (1:04)
Deleuze - Boulez - Berg (5:36)
Gilles Deleuze - Morale ed etica (Lezioni a Vincennes, 1975/76) Interview with Richard Pinhas (7:03)
Gilles Deleuze a Vincennes 1/3 (sub ita) (4:00:00)
Gilles Deleuze a Vincennes 2/3 (sub ita) (4:21:40)
The continuing collaboration of Deleuze and Guattari at Vincennes, presenting concepts that they are developing for eventual publication, in 1980, in A Thousand Plateaus.
Deleuze & Guattari at Vincennes, 1975-76
Il Senso in Meno, Part 2 - Proust, Faciality and Power
Translation: Graeme Thomson and Silvia Maglioni
Félix Guattari: He was fleeing from everything. And this backfires on him. He's completely terrorized, but at the same time fascinated because something appears: the little phrase no longer functions as a node of resonance that would fill in the wall of daily life, but begins to live and throb in another way. First of all the musician plays it in its entirety, while traditionally only some elements of the phrase were kept, and a whole part was lost.
Proust, or rather Swann, says that “there were marvellous ideas” in its development. At first there was the repetition of the little phrase. The rest was a bit blurred, and he couldn't really seize it. For the first time he realizes that regarding the rest of the piece: “There were marvellous ideas in it which Swann had not distinguished at the first hearing and that he perceived now, as if they had divested themselves, in the cloakroom of his memory, of the uniform disguise of novelty.”
An example of deterritorialization are certain musical signs that don't function in systems of morphemes or phrases or systems of mathematical signs that function in equations, but that refer back to phrases or realities like those we experience in perception. I won't go into this right now because I don't want to dwell too much on deterritorialization...
Gilles Deleuze: Regarding this question, I'll take up the example that Félix has just quoted of the monocles in the second part of Swann in Love.
Up to then Swann had seen some faces, like the face of Odette. He needed to feed Odette's face with pictorial reminiscences. A face by Botticelli. Then there was a kind of layering of the one on the other. One might say, looking for a logical definition, that the faces were seized in their territoriality. They were understood at first as faces - either faces on a canvas or faces in flesh and blood. This is the state of territorialization of the face, which like everything else has its territorial states.
On the second occasion, at the end of the love story, Swann becomes immersed in something completely different, when he goes to a reception. There what he begins to see are no longer the faces of the valets but an actual defection of those valets' faces that forms a kind of line. And he says this in the text, I remember…
Guattari: I'll read it afterwards.
Deleuze: Yes, you can read the quotation later. What he more or less says is that those faces lost the normal faculty they would have had - it goes without saying this means territorially - of making someone recognizable... “Oh, it's you, how are you?” They were just a system of lines. Let's just say this for the moment. It's a kind of state in which the face becomes deterritorialized. Then Swann enters the salon, and the same thing happens with everyone there. Here you have the series of monocles.
The monocle or a scar or a pair of glasses are normally themselves part of the cycle of ordinary redundancies. Glasses as a redundancy of the eye, monocles as a redundancy of the eye. They're both ways of territorializing the face. Here, on the contrary, a line of deterritorialization is created, in which the whole of art is brought into play, as well as a new comprehension of Odette. It's no longer art that falls back on her face, it's her face that ends up dissolving. So, in this sense, we use the expression line of deterritorialization when this upending of the face occurs. The face is wrenched from its territoriality. It's no longer a face. But as Félix says, it melts into traits of faciality. And that's not all. What will these traits of faciality become?
A student: Aren't you referring here to an act of withdrawal?
Deleuze: No, not at all. There's the same degree of investment in the other.
The student: You mean in Odette. But what about Swann's withdrawal...
Deleuze: That's accompanied by the withdrawal of Odette herself.
The student: But the word “end” of Swann's love for Odette isn't something we can take for granted, after all he marries her, actually after the conclusion of Swann in Love.
Deleuze: Ok, I'm going too fast Thanks…
Guattari: I just want to finish this and then we can pick up again the discussion about investments. Even if Proust sometimes has the temptation to refer to things as entities of a black-hole type - such as memory - here suddenly he's tempted to step into the shoes of the musicologist, as he attempts to make a dichotomous analysis of the little phrase. And he says: perhaps what gives me “this impression of a frigid and withdrawn sweetness” is the “closeness of the intervals between the five notes and the “constant repetition of two of them”. Then he stops and says, no it's a “mysterious entity,” it's something else, a different universe.
There are different universes, species of bodiless entities created by artists like Vinteuil. And he accepts them as such. He says it's an experiment. They're not ineffable beings. He evokes the experiments of Lavoisier and Ampere. Vinteuil has experimented with something quite extraordinary here. Proust says: “Even when he was not thinking of the little phrase, it existed latent in his mind in the same way as did certain other notions without equivalents, like the notion of light, of sound, of perspective, of physical pleasure.”
And here he has a kind of anti-cogito reaction. He recovers, he doesn't fall into the black hole and he says how usually the soul is something we think about as similar to nothing. But then certain composers show us “the theme they have discovered, of showing us what richness, what variety, is hidden unbeknownst to us within that great unpenetrated and disheartening darkness of our soul which we take for emptiness and nothingness.” And at this point he says: “We can't doubt the existence...” - I would say of this machinic bloc - no more than we can “doubt the light of the lamp illuminating the metamorphosed objects.” It's as if he was questioning the reductionist procedure of Descartes. He says that what is at stake here is “an order of supernatural creatures.”
The last point regarding this deterritorialization beginning from the musical phrase is the loss of the subject, the loss of the subject that is already sketched out in the iconic component through the redoublings, the lines, the proliferation of character portraits. Here, all of a sudden, the little phrase becomes the subject of the enunciated. It's the phrase itself that begins to speak and the little phrase looks at the people around it, judges them, has its own opinions about their state of mind. It completely changes position with respect to the previous subject. There's a new assemblage. It's the little phrase that reorganizes the subjectivity of the people gathered in the salon and that of Swann himself… [Tape interrupted]
… He describes a dream and in the dream we see the traits of faciality completely collapse: “Mme Verdurin stared at him with a look of surprise for a long moment” - so he goes back to the Verdurins as if nothing has happened - “during which he saw her face change shape, her nose lengthen, and that she had a large moustache.” Swann is horrified, he turns and sees Odette who is as she was before, tender, loving, her eyes are in tears “eyes full of tenderness that were about to separate from her like teardrops and fall on him.” The eyes are just about to fall on Swann. Everything is replayed in an enormous wave of tenderness. But then Odette says: “ I have to go.” Swann is speaking to Mme Verdurin and Odette leaves without fixing another appointment with him. She leaves together with Napoleon III. The series of monocles continues, the series of generals, of moustached faces. And in that moment the whole of faciality collapses. With Odette it's over and Swann says: “he hated Odette, he would have liked to cut out those eyes of hers that he had loved so much just a moment ago, crush those pallid cheeks.” [Tape interrupted]
Deleuze: How does his life fall into a hole all of a sudden, without him foreseeing anything? Why all at once? It could have been something else and not Odette and Swann. Last Tuesday we spoke about black holes. Let's imagine that there's a moment that functions like a black hole and like subjective redundancy. We will have to go back to the text... If you're interested it's a good chance to reread some passages of Swann. It seems to me that the system of redundancy: Odette-Swann continually reappears… [Tape interrupted]
… What interests Swann above all are paintings. When he sees a maid he thinks of... it's a strange thing, because this really is redundancy, redundancy of resonance. I need it to remind me of something. If it doesn't remind me of anything I'm lost. For him the essential thing is that a thing reminds him of a great painting. Then it works. So what does he do?
In the centre you have... I'm simplifying... in the centre are the two faces. But there's a crisis here. It's not so simple. Once again, let's not forget our method. There's no good or bad. We can't say black holes are no good. It's not easy to make yourself a black hole. It's love-passion. So we have these two faces: Odette and Swann. And it doesn't entirely work. It envelops, following a line of life. Swann resorts to his procedure, surrounding it with another line, the line of art, so as to close it in completely, and to constitute the black hole of love-passion. So we have Odette-Botticelli, Botticelli-Odette. This changes everything. She reminds me of something... Redundancy. The redundancy of Odette's face and Swann's face. The redundancy of the flower given by Odette and the flower given by Swann.
The line of art intervenes to surround and to guarantee the enveloping of the lived line, in such a way that it clearly reminds me of something. Swann is really sucked into the black hole. But then he makes this astonishing encounter, which doesn't form part of his procedure. All this is part of lived experience. Our procedures are always surpassed. We use them to surpass what doesn't work in experience and then they themselves are surpassed by something that is perhaps like a proper name. Swann hears Vinteuil's little phrase. It's a third line, a musical line. Vinteuil's little phrase has moved him. But in which form?
It has moved him because he says to himself: “All this is unexpected. It'll allow me to go right to the end of love-passion. And he uses it as a kind of third line that will bind all the lines. It will assure the love-passion black hole and will have, to go back to my drawing of the other time... I don't know, what was it I did... Swann, Odette, their tumbling towards the black hole of love-passion through the lived line of the two faces, the necessary pictorial line, the musical line - and there has to be a system of perpetual redundancy from one line to another. To the point where, at this level, Vinteuil's little phrase will be ripped from the piece it belongs to. It will have a value, like a signature tune on the radio or TV. Vinteuil's little phrase springs up and Swann looks at Odette. Odette looks at Swann.
The phrase makes redundancy with the pictorial signs; it makes redundancy with the faces to the point where it becomes a sign between the two, to the point that they don't give a shit about the rest of Vinteuil's great sonata. “Ah, my little phrase!”, Odette winks. “Do you remember our little phrase,” and he says: “Yes, the little phrase”. It's the system of subjective redundancies… [Tape interrupted]
Yolande Finkelstein: I'd like to say something.
Deleuze: About the drawing? Ok.
Finkelstein: There's a drawing I'd like to make.
Deleuze: Ah, you have the chalk…
Finkelstein: It goes like this: Odette, Swann and from then on it's the same drawing as the one you did. Meaning that from now on… I can't even say it.
Deleuze: You feel you want to add a vertical line.
Finkelstein: I mean there is a separation…
Deleuze: Ok, ok.
Finkelstein: There's a separation, here's Odette, here's Swann and on each side we can make the drawing you made but there's a moment when...
Deleuze: We'll deal with it like that.
Finkelstein: … when there's a terrible fracture, which isn't of the same order as the relation between art and music.
Deleuze: Indeed, we need that for the second moment. We can add it. Without further commentary. Like that it's perfect.
Finkelstein: Yes, it's perverse.
Deleuze: There you have it. That's the cowardice of women for you.
Another student: Let's suppose that Swann's signs of love for Odette relate only to the signs of the Verdurins' salon. In that case all the signs of love emitted by Swann towards Odette enter not into a deterritoriality, but in a territoriality of the signs of Verdurin. So how come...
Deleuze: Fantastic! I think that suits me perfectly. We need this. As you said, in the first moment it's the system of black holes that belongs to the territoriality of the Verdurins, with some nuances.
The student: But this screws up the possibility of speaking of aesthetics and of Swann's aestheticism. What does Swann's aestheticism mean? For us Beethoven, or Wagner for the Verdurins relate to a single sign of communication. And the same occurs in the case of the Guermantes. That's why we can't speak about deterritoriality.
Deleuze: You're going too fast.
The student: The things is that Swann plays alone while the real refuses to play. Or plays in its own way perhaps. A lot of words like “aesthetics” or “reality” become pointless.
Deleuze: Wait a minute… Why do you think that Swann at this level is always presented as a dilettante and not as an artist? Swann isn't Vinteuil or Vermeer - he's a dilettante. A dilettante is someone who makes a territorializing use of aesthetics or art. He's interested in it only insofar as it reminds him of something. On this point, you're completely right - he's in the territoriality of the Verdurins. But even more so his love for Odette is seized by the Verdurins' territoriality.
What characterizes Swann's aestheticism is that he still makes territorializing use of art. The little phrase – he makes a territorializing use of this phrase – ends up being bound to the perfume of the chrysanthemum… of a flower, so he make a territorializing use of it between himself, Odette and this flower. So you're completely right as far as this moment is concerned. But then there's another moment where we wouldn't say the same thing. What happens in this second moment that Félix described, if I try to connect it to the first? A strange thing happens. For a million reasons beginning with the sorrow or whatever Proust describes at length. And here the line - in this case it happens to be the pictorial line - begins to flow. And it's then that Swann begins...
A student: Can you erase the rest of the blackboard?
Deleuze: It's not worth it. It has one advantage, it's quite clear like that. It wouldn't change anything if... And so… it's at that very moment that Swann begins... not to become an artist, he will never be one, but to understand what an artist is.
The student: Which is to say?
Deleuze: Which is to say that the musical line announces it, more and more. This other line, no longer pictorial but musical, will have a value in itself. It no longer depends on instruments. Instruments may embody it but they don't bring it into being. It starts to flow of its own account, sine materia. Proust, who by the way rarely uses Latin, uses a Latin word here. If he uses a Latin word it's clear he's deterritorializing himself. So it's the instruments that depend on music and not the other way round. Painting begins to fall away, it's not even painting anymore and the faces become deformed. There's a deterritorialization of faces, a deterritorialization of the musical phrase. And also a deterritorialization of the love for Odette, and this deterritorialization of the love for Odette will be expressed in the idea of Odette at the other end of the world.
The problem we posed from the beginning, digressions aside - though I would add that for us they aren't really digressions - the problem we've been dealing with from the very beginning is to try to understand how a particular type of power - the power of the face - is constituted and how it functions: For this reason, I found it opportune to briefly mention earlier how a society doesn't just function through the cop's truncheon. You have to be an idiot if you think that. It also functions through an underlying face, it functions through the face of the teacher. Kids at school say: “Teacher looked at me”.
The student: And what about the blackboard?
Deleuze: Shut up and let me finish. The blackboard isn't me. The teacher, the teacher looked at me, there's a power in that face. It's not a matter of generating power from the face but of saying that the face or faciality is caught up in systems of power. We have to analyze it like... But no one's forcing us, we could speak about something else if you like... We have to analyze it as a cog in certain mechanisms of power… [Tape interrupted]
Deleuze: Incredible. Incredible this reaction… you saying that it's my responsibility to answer. I don't see why I should. Sibony… feel free to speak. Don't let them smother you.
Daniel Sibony: I don't really see the problem. Actually, there is no problem. Let's try to speak about how things really function. Before you were talking about the face of the teacher. This is really new! This is speaking seriously about power. Because that's how power works.
Another student: We're all inside it. That's clear. But how does it work?
Sibony: Let's speak about the face of Giscard d'Estaing. Listen... either ask a question or let me finish my fucking sentence!
Another student: Get him out!
Sibony: Let me finish! I'll be brief. I just wanted to say that we can speak about the face or the voice of Giscard d'Estaing in a way that can be very useful, and it doesn't mean not being interested in what happens on the metro or in the prisons.
Other students: But this is how we roll, my friend.
Sibony: Can't you stand up so we can see your face?
Students: His face.
Deleuze: What Félix and I are proposing are things we have already written… we're reusing old tricks. I think this is defamatory, the way you are behaving… [Tape interrupted]
A student: The inspectors on the metro, people in prison, the CGT [General Confederation of Labor]...
Deleuze: These people don't have faces in your view?
A student: Fascist faces but hidden behind their beards and long hair. And at Vincennes, compared to how it used to be, we just have pointless conversations. I don't know why I came.
- Let him finish!
- Whether the conversations are pointless or not, it's still idle chitchat.
- We all take the metro.
- Yes but in this case it seems to me particularly hard to bear.
Deleuze: It's good someone says... sorry, I'll let you speak in a minute.. .if he says...
Students: Why do we bother closing the door, seeing that they spy on us all the time?
- They're spies. Everybody's spying through their face.
- Everyone judges and then decides!
- It's two years I've been wanting to say that.
- It's been said!
- It's the best demonstration!
Yolande Finkelstein: No but I mean it's the first time I come to this class. I don't know what's going on here. When I say “here” I mean... Deleuze speaks about certain things and when one day something happens, all hell breaks loose. Power relations, stuff like that, the thing is... someone jumps up and starts talking about power relations and says all this ambiguous shit. So, how is that we function?
Deleuze: Is this the question? … [Tape interrupted]
Guattari: What we're trying to do here is to dismantle things and to find tools and modes of orientation different from those of psychoanalysis or Marxism. That's why we sometimes take certain liberties gabbing about Proust without having to take issue with what goes on in the army. Maybe we're even taking the shortest route. I've no idea.
Yolande Finkelstein: I want to say something to him… Considering what you were saying about the street, the metro, the prisons… there are some interesting things happening now. On the bus a few years ago there was a driver and a ticket inspector at the back that you showed your ticket to. Now there's just one person on the bus. And what does he do? He's both driver and cop. And the other day I heard a driver say quite explicitly: “I have eyes everywhere. That's why I'm here!” If you don't show him your bus pass or whatever, he knows. In the same way that when you go to a supermarket, the girls at the till and the assistants don't just sell you merchandise, but they also know why you're there, meaning whether you're going to buy or shoplift. And in relation to this it seems to me that in the Communist party for example... I'm probably talking shit, because I don't really give a fuck about the PC… but in the places where we meet to talk, we don't really talk. Whereas it's important to talk about what happens sometimes, whether it's on a bus or in a supermarket, it's super important to disactivate these mechanisms. After all, what are we living every day?
Deleuze: Actually, what we are living every day is...
A student: You think they can read it on your face?
Yolande Finkelstein: No, I'm not saying that. Otherwise, when I went to the supermarket all the shopgirls would move in on me before I had the time to nick anything.
Deleuze: The faces of the cops are not just the ones behind their truncheons, they're not just in the street. And there doesn't even need to be a teacher. There is a presence. That's why we use this word, faciality. It's not metaphysics, so what is it? It serves to indicate that the face doesn't need to be present in flesh and blood. The teacher can very well leave the school. There will still be something. A cog of power that doesn't need to be embodied in actuality. So we might wonder, does it function as a super-ego? A number of psychoanalysts would say it does. Or you too might think so... But what about us? We think that notions such as super-ego are completely worthless and that cogs of power don't function in this way. So how do they function? And then, some people ask, where does all this lead to? It leads to a choice. To make them function or to make them dysfunctional. To analyze the power relations that are established in a room and not only these. We'll have to wait until the next lesson which will be of an entirely different nature. All that, as they say, is politics… [Tape interrupted]
Georges Comtesse: Considering what you say, what you think, what you think about Proust… in your view what is it, at the moment of the face collapsing, of the rupture of the anchoring point that fixes it to the territory… what is it that in that moment, in that collapse, makes hatred arise?
Guattari: Roughly speaking, it happens when the eyes go blind... At the last moment he tries to reconstruct Odette's face and all the facialities flee with the business of the monocles, the nose that elongates. At that moment he knows he has to reconstruct something else, to recreate a world, and hatred arises out of the fact that he doesn't have the talent to make lines of flight.
Eric Alliez: We are all in ideology! That's the first point. As soon as we engage in culture! First of all we have to consider the question we are posing. And here I'm going to quote a woman. The adolescent, Colette. Naturally… I’m quoting something, the decors, the unrequited dreams, the castles in Bavaria. I'm talking about Colette, because what is Colette? No, no no. I'm taking about that... Panait Istrati, Kazantzakis. Of these three who are not at all... neither left-wing nor... I don't know, nobody talks about Colette… and he talks all the time, I've had it up to here! I've seen The Travelling Players. That's what I'm talking about. It's beautiful and open. But it's true that everything is contaminated by the plague. There's something that has to be said. At the height of fascism, in a musical or something, she started to say: “Long live happiness.” And I oppose Colette to Kafka... Yesterday there was a writer on TV, Didier Decoin on Jacques Chancel's show, who said “It's marvellous being a priest and giving God orders”. So, the left, like Guattari, you want to give orders to God, to the party? What the fuck is that about? Are you priests? That's not the problem, of course. You... you... the thing is... Zorba who dances in front of fascism in Greece! What is that all about? And not at the level of madness, it's the question of elsewhere. It's very important. I pose the question because everyone is... I don't know what we should do... There are two solutions: suicide, which is the bungled act, and resistance, which is the obscure. And between the two, dance! There are no other situations worth speaking about. Because if we talk about the system, it's the fascists who profit… And Pasolini, according to some his films are brilliant, but for me something's wrong. He's in Christ. Opposing Christ to the Church is fantastic, it's pure Dostoyevsky, it goes back to guilt and absolution… Totolki's revolt, the father of the Tzars, it must have been really hard for him!
A student: Sorry but the PC represents half the workers in France.
Eric Alliez: You, you're not in touch with the workers!
Another student: What are you talking about?
Eric Alliez: Absolutely not!
First student: So, I'm a conspirator?
Eric Alliez: No, that's not it... I’m posing a question, the question of war. You, Deleuze, said that Freud got it wrong! He was in ideology and talked about the death drive of war. It's backfiring on us! What is this shit? Today in France there's a war psychosis. We don't even know where the enemy is. Once it was China…
- You're just saying the same thing that they said. They were talking about things backfiring, withdrawal and so on. If you had listened maybe you would...
- Because the gentleman is called Deleuze and therefore he's always right.
Sound recordist: Did you film everything?
Marielle Burkhalter: Yes! Yes!
Sound recordist: The sound isn't great…
Deleuze: Ok, shall we leave it at that?
Marielle: It wasn't bad.
The continuing collaboration of Deleuze and Guattari at Vincennes, presenting concepts that they are developing for eventual publication, in 1980, in A Thousand Plateaus.
En cours de developpement
For archival purposes, the translation was completed in April 2020.