A Metacommentary


Post-Contemporary Interventions

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Book Pages: 269 Illustrations: Published: May 2000

Author: Ian Buchanan

Cultural Studies, Literature and Literary Studies > Literary Criticism, Theory and Philosophy

The conviction that Gilles Deleuze is doing something radical in his work has been accompanied by a corresponding anxiety as to how to read it. In this rigorous and lucid work, Ian Buchanan takes up the challenge by answering the following questions: How should we read Deleuze? How should we read with Deleuze?
To show us how Deleuze’s philosophy works, Buchanan begins with Melville’s notion that “a great book is always the inverse of another book that could only be written in the soul, with silence and blood.” Buchanan demonstrates that the figure of two books—one written in ink and the other written in blood—lies at the center of Deleuze’s hermeneutics and that a special relation must be established in order to read the second book from the first. This relation is Deleuzism. By explicating elemental concepts in Deleuze—desire, flow, the nomad—Buchanan finds that, despite Deleuze’s self-declared moratorium on dialectics, he was in several important respects a dialectician. In essays that address the “prehistory” of Deleuze’s philosophy, his methodology, and the utopic dimensions of his thought, Buchanan extracts an apparatus of social critique that arises from the philosopher’s utopian impulse.
Deleuzism is a work that will engage all those with an interest in the twentieth-century’s most original philosopher.


Deleuzism is not just a piece of standard academic scholarship. Buchanan reads with and through Deleuze.” — Oliver C. Speck , Ephemera

“[A] noteworthy and ambitious project . . . .” — Kalliopi Nikolopoulou , Symploke

“[P]rovides a compelling answer to one of the most difficult questions facing ‘Deleuzians’: ‘how should one read Deleuze?’. . . . [R]ecommend[ed] for its insights into Deleuze and, even, for some of the uses of Deleuze that [Buchanan] offers. . . .” — Post-Structuralism and Radical Politics Newsletter

“The reader of this book will welcome the way that the study, for the most part an extended and exhaustive comparison of the concepts of whole and totality in Deleuze and Fredric Jameson, will find a common space, the movie theater, where the American and French philosopher are likely to meet. Therein begins common speculation on the medium and what we can do with it.” — Tom Conley , Quarterly Review of Film and Video

“With this example, we might locate a new prescription and perhaps a new style of commentary on Deleuze’s philosophy.” — Gregg Lambert , Southern Review

"[A] refreshingly sympathetic treatment. . . . [An] outstanding volume. . . ." — Ronald Bogue , Comparatist

“An engaging and provocative treatment of the principal features of Deleuze’s philosophy and their applicability to cultural studies. Buchanan’s metacommentary should go a long way toward renewing discussions of Deleuze’s status as a radical social and political philosopher.” — Ronald Bogue, University of Georgia

“Buchanan’s approach to Deleuze is entirely original. He gets outside of Deleuzianism and gives us a fresh view on his thought—not refuting it but rather seeing it from a different perspective and then using it in a different way.” — Michael Hardt, Duke University

“Buchanan’s book is a ground-breaking, comprehensive examination of the thought of Gilles Deleuze work that ranges widely across Deleuze’s solo and coauthored works as well as popular music, architecture, and film, and raises important new questions about the relations of Deleuzism to dialectics, utopian thought, and cultural studies. It is sure to be an essential point of reference for further Deleuze studies.” — Gene Holland


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Ian Buchanan is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Tasmania in Australia. He is the editor of A Deleuzian Century? also published by Duke University Press.

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Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-2548-2 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-2511-6
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