Claire Parnet
Claire Parnet

Gilles Deleuze and Claire Parnet, photograph by Marie-Laure Decker, 1975.

Claire Parnet (b. 1953) is a French journalist known for her collaborations with Gilles Deleuze, her former teacher. She co-authored the book Dialogues with Deleuze in 1977, which is a book of exchanges, interspersed with questions, where each author responds by contributing a block of text.

Eleven years later, in 1988-89, Parnet renewed her collaboration by conducting a eight-hour series of television interviews with Deleuze, produced by Pierre-André Boutang, entitled L’Abécédaire de Gilles Deleuze (“Gilles Deleuze, From A to Z”). Parnet asked Deleuze to speak on twenty-five themes presented in alphabetical order: A for Animal, B for Boisson [Drink], C for Culture, D for Désir [Desire], and so on. The Abécédaire aired on the Arte channel in France in 1996. The transcripts and translations of the interivew, by Charles J. Stivale, are included in the The Deleuze Seminars project website (here).

In 1972, Parnet attended the “Schizoculture” symposium at Columbia University with Deleuze and Guattari, which had been organized by Sylvère Lotringer. After the symposium, the three flew to California with Jean-Jacques Lebel, who would later recall: “We took what they call the ‘red-eye’ flight. Félix and I sat together and Gilles sat with Claire Parnet. Claire fell right asleep, and Gilles and Félix talked nonstop for seven or eight hours about their ideas in Anti-Oedipus and A Thousand Plateaus, which they were working on at the time. It was like an interminable living laboratory, which they left occasionally to live life but to which they quickly returned. I was listening to what they were saying like I might listen to Rimbaud or Nietzsche” (François Dosse, Intersecting Lives, 469).

Parnet was a frequent participant in Deleuze’s seminars at Vincennes and St. Denis, including the lectures listed below.

In the 1980s, Parnet was the editor of the journal L’Autre, and later was the curator of television cultural shows like L’Hebdo (with Michel Field) and L’Appartement (with Ariel Wizman), broadcast on Canal +. She wrote the 2013 documentary La voix en quelques éclats, directed by Pierre Boulay. Parnet has also served as an editorial adviser for literary programs on the French television network France 5. With Richard Pinhas, she selected excerpts from Deleuze’s seminars that were published by Gallimard as three sets of CD: ‘Gilles Deleuze, Spinoza: immortalité et éternité’ (2001), ‘Gilles Deleuze, Leibniz: âme et damnation’ (2003), and ‘Gilles Deleuze, Cinéma’ (2006). [Entry: Smith, Stivale 1 July 2024]