and their powers to affect and be affected – rather than static essences. A ‘line of fl ight’ is a path of mutation precipitated through the actualisation of connections among bodies that were previously only implicit (or ‘virtual’) that releases new powers in the capacities of those bodies to act and respond.
Body Without Organs: Attention is refocused away from the subjectivity (a term they feel is too often mistaken for the term ‘consciousness’) traditionally privileged by psychoanalysis as Deleuze and Guattari challenge the world of the articulating, self- defining and enclosed subject. The BwO is the proposed antidote (as well as precedent, antecedent and even correlate) to this articulate and organized organism; indeed, they claim that the BwO has no need for interpretation. The BwO does not exist in opposition to the organism or notions of subjectivity, and it is never completely free of the stratified exigencies of proper language, the State, family, or other institutions. However, it is, despite this, both everywhere and nowhere, disparate and homogeneous. In terms of this, there are two main points to note: firstly, that the BwO exists within stratified fields of organization at the same time as it offers an alternative mode of being or experience (becoming); secondly, the BwO does not equate literally to an organ- less body.
Deleuze was a French philosopher born in 1925. He studied philosophy at Sorbonne and passed his examination in 1949. Deleuze remarks that “we were strangely trapped in the history of philosophy….we threw ourselves like young dogs into a scholasticism worse than that of the Middle Ages” (Bogue2). Moreover he calls the current philosophy of his time as “bastard” philosophy (Leitch1594). As it is clear from his speech, he was against the rationalist philosophy and tended toward the “authors who seemed to form a part of the history of philosophy, but who escaped it on one side or in all directions” (Bogue 21). Before cooperation with Guattari, he wrote several books which Empiricism and Subjectivity: An Essay on Hume’s Theory of Nature (1953) and Bergsonism (1969) bear resemblance to the official philosophy. It was in the books Nietzsche and philosophy(1962), Difference and Repetition(1968), The Logic of Sense(1969) and Spinoza: Practical Philosophy(1970) that he tried his new philosophy of becoming.
He refused the beliefs in foundation, hierarchy, unity, identity and representation and tried to celebrate multiplicity and difference. The culmination of Deleuze and Guattari’s antiestablishment burst with the publication of their book Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrania (1972).
Years later, Guattari’s anarchic inclination allied him with Deleuze. Guattari was born in the suburb of Paris (1930). Being the earliest trainee of Jacques Lacan, he didn’t get any official degree. He gains prominence in collaborating the important books Anti-Oedipus and its sequel Thousand Plateaus with Deleuze. Ronald Bogue rejects his position as being “That of apprentice to master Deleuze” (9) and believes that “Guattari’s years of practical experience in psychiatric hospitals working with psychotics……provide an indispensible grounding for the heady flight of theoretical invention on which he and Deleuze so often embark”(9).
2.2 “Arbre”, “Rhizome”, and “Becoming”
Deleuze and Guattari describes “arborescent” model of thinking which versus the “rhizomatic” one in the introduction of their book A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. “Arbre” is a French term for tree which sets up hierarchies, aims at centers and “operates as a transcendent model and tracing” (20). They explain that Western thought has been a transcendental one as they wanted to posit a being behind everything which in itself leads to binaries like man/woman, mind/body. “The Tree or Root as an image, endlessly develops the law of the one that becomes two, then of the two that become four…..binary logic is the spiritual reality of the root-tree” (5). Moreover, this sort of thinking has dominated all domains and specially philosophy is a case in point. Deleuze believes that philosophy from Plato up to now has been founded upon “representational thought” which “posits the self-identity of the thinking subject” (Leitch1565). But what Deleuze and Guattari focus is the philosophy of difference which is not restricted to representation or identity.
In many aspects, Deleuze’s Difference takes resemblance to Derrida’s Deconstruction (Bogue 3). Both Derrida and Deleuze turned the metaphysical of Western thought on its head and disagree with Structuralism. Of course, they welcomed structuralism’s purpose of removing Descartes’ famous “’cogito’:’ I think, Therefore I am’”. In saying so, Descartes emphasizes a subject who thinks and finally posits subject as a center (qtd.in Colebrook 72). But they are at odds with structuralism’s sign because it is “based on an illusion, on the pious belief in a distinct order of the signifier- the transcendental law, the word of God, the phallus, the castration complex…..” (Colombat 15). Whereas structuralists focus on sign, signifier and signified, Deleuze describes transformations and connections. On the whole, echoing Colebrook, Deleuze and Guattari regard the tradition of Western thought as a kind of “’interpretosis’: a Western disease that traces all becomings back to some origin”(134). As a result, for a solution they propose “rhizomatic way of thinking”. “Deleuze and Guattari draw their metaphor from ‘fungal’—- a network of threads that can send up new growths anywhere along their length, not subject to centralized control or structure” (Leitch 1959). In vegetables the exemplar of “rhizome” can be considered as “mushroom”, “mold” and “crabgrass”. As Deleuze and Guattari aver:
A rhizome as subterranean stem is absolutely different from roots and radicals. Bulbs and tubers are rhizomes. Plants with roots or radicals may be rhizomorphic in other respects altogether: the question is whether plant life in its specificity is not entirely rhizomatic. Even some animals are, in their pack form. Rats are rhizomes. Burrows are too, in all of their functions of shelter, supply, movement, evasion and breakout. The rhizome itself assumes vey diverse forms, from ramified surface extension in all directions to concretion into bulbs and tubers. When rats swarm over each other, the rhizome in clues the best and the worst: potato and couch grass, or the weed. Animal and plant, cough grass is crab grass (Anti-Oedipus 6-7).
Hence “Rhizomatic” thinking is another way of thinking which does not resort to any foundation or representation due to its connection to all parts and its effacing of the centers and points. Deleuze and Gattari count six characteristics of “rhizome”. The first and second ones are “principles of connection and heterogeneity” (7). Unlike the tree which fixes a point, rhizome is linked to every other thing. The third feature is “principle of multiplicity” (8). “A multiplicity has neither subject nor object, only determinations, magnitudes, and dimensions that cannot increase in number without the multiplicity changing in nature” (8). All of the “multiplicities” are even. There is the possibility of being fractures. Perhaps, they are shattered or broken but the point is that they will launch to grow again. This characteristic of rhizome is called “principle of signifying rupture” (9). The same notion can be seen in this play in which Krapp does not have any root and he does not belong to any base thing.
Furthermore, “rhizome” is considered as a map and repeatedly mutates the object. Maps tend to experiment and adapt but “tracing” tries to codify. So, all religions are “tracing”. This feature of rhizome is called “principle of cartography and decalcomania” (12). At the end, Deleuze and Guattari sum up “rhizome” and “arbre” in this way:
A rhizome has no beginning or end; it is always in the middle, between things inter being, intermezzo. The tree is a filiation, but the rhizome is alliance, uniquely alliance. The tree imposes the verb “to be”, but the fabric of the rhizome is the conjunction, “and….and…..and……” this conjunction carries enough force to shake and uproot the verb “to be”. The middle is by no means an average; on the contrary it is where things pick up speed. Between things does not designate a localizable relation going from one thing to the other and back again, but a perpendicular direction, a transversal movement that sweeps on and the other away, a stream without beginning or end that undermines its banks and picks up speed in the middle (25).
What is significant here is that ‘rhizome” paves the way for “becoming”. So that it can be construed in direct relation with becoming. As Mary Bryden acknowledges this issue in Gilles Deleuze Travels in Literature “ A rhizome provides for Deleuze and Guattari a hard-working figure of becomings since rhizomes proliferate through underground, horizontal networks rather than by the vertical, rooted structure associated with tree” (5). Inna Semetskey delineates “becoming” from Deleuze and Guattari’s vantage point as “the subject-in –process, that is, as becoming, is always placed between two multiplicities, yet one term does not become the other; the becoming is something between the two, this something called by Deleuze a pure effect” (6).
In this way, I would like to emphasize that, Deleuze and Guattari’s philosophy is philosophy of “becoming” which turns Platonism on its side (125). Due to his reliance on being Plato declared that everything in the world is indeed the copy of an “ideal” world which in its own turn the work of artists is the copy of the copy. As a result what he does is placing a ground or foundation which is completely at odds with “becoming”. Colebrook asserts that Deleuzean philosophy is “anti-humanism” due to rejecting