Meaning Behind A Thousand Plateaus by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari

Mario SavioniA friend has asked what the title of the book A Thousand Plateaus by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari meant.

According to forward writer Brian Massumi, A Thousand Plateaus is intended to be an “effort to construct a smooth space of thought, nomadic thought, likened to Spinoza’s ‘ethics,’ Nietzche’s ‘gay science,’ Artaud’s ‘crowned anarchy,’ Maurice Blanchot’s ‘space of literature,’ Foucault’s ‘outside thought,’ Deleuze and Guattari’s ‘pragmatics’ and ‘schizoanalysis.'”

It has been said by Deleuze and Guattari that there was a rhizome network strangling the roots of the infamous tree, whereas rhizome is a “Mass of roots,… a modified subterranean stem that sends out roots from notes developing axillary buds that grow perpendicular to the force of gravity.” – Wikipedia.

The point, I think the authors want to make is that we should question long-standing views and move nomadically in our thoughts and experiences. They say to explore potential mediums and break from beaten paths, use mathematics and music that create the smoothest of smooth spaces. Philosophy, Massumi said, is music with content.

The experience of philosophy should be affirmative, involve an open system that one weaves into everyday life and take concepts you like and jump around. One should incarnate philosophy into foreign mediums, like painting, be challenged by the book, pry open the vacant spaces that would enable you to build your life and this can affect others positively with new sensations and perceptions, as an act of creation, and to blaze a new trail.


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