Although much has been written about Deleuze’s engagement with the arts, Gilles Deleuze and the Fabulation of Philosophy concerns the art of his philosophy. Gregory Flaxman suggests that Deleuze’s notorious rejection of representation gives rise to a singular task—to create new concepts and invent new means of philosophical expression. Tracing this task throughout Deleuze’s vast oeuvre, Flaxman argues that Deleuze’s ambition to think and write “otherwise” constitutes the fabulation of philosophy itself.
For Flaxman, Deleuze’s philosophy is organized around the notion of the friend (philos). This book dramatizes the practice of friendship in Deleuze’s intimate affairs with philosophers—including Plato, Aristotle, Spinoza, Kant, and Foucault—and close encounters with a range of writers, including Homer, More, Kafka, Woolf, and Borges. Flaxman traces Deleuze’s relationship with Nietzsche, the friend from whom he learned to write “in his own name,” to explain how apprenticeship becomes the initial condition of Deleuze’s philosophical method. Detailing the transformation of Nietzsche’s genealogy into “geophilosophy,” Flaxman goes on to show how Deleuze’s philosophy of the earth precipitates his return to ancient Greece and induces his resolution to overturn Platonism. In this spirit, the book demonstrates Deleuze’s evocation of the “powers of the false” by examining how, in his battle against representation, he makes fiction the basis for a minor philosophy. This first volume draws to a close with a timely elaboration of Deleuze’s avowed, if enigmatic, “style as politics” in an age when capitalism and communication challenge the claims of philosophy as never before.
A stunning and original contribution, Flaxman’s book restores the question of aesthetics to Deleuze’s thinking and writing. Gilles Deleuze and the Fabulation of Philosophy not only revitalizes our sense of the philosopher but revises the sense of his philosophy, provoking critical problems and novel possibilities with which readers will wrestle for years to come.