Understanding Deleuze  book cover
1st Edition

Understanding Deleuze

ISBN 9781865087979
Published August 1, 2002 by Routledge
240 Pages

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Book Description

A genuine attempt to think differently, Gilles Deleuze's work challenges, provokes and frustrates. Surprisingly practical as well as innovative, it is now being seen as a 'must read' for students and scholars across the humanities and social sciences. Claire Colebrook's Understanding Deleuze offers a comprehensive and very accessible introduction to his work. hink differently. It is built on the notion of an immanent ethics: how can we have a political and ethical theory without some external foundation such as the subject or morality? He argues that the only way we can do this is with a theory of the virtual, and he sees all life (not just cyberculture) as virtual. Deleuze goes further than Foucault or Derrida in questioning the boundaries of the subject and knowledge. For Deleuze perception extends beyond the human, to animals, machines and microorganisms.

Deleuze's writing is challenging and hard to read, and so far there is no introduction to his work. Claire Colebrook's primer offers an accessible introduction to the whole Deleuzian oeuvre, including the work he did with Guattari.

Table of Contents



The impact of Deleuze

A guide to key Deleuzean terms


1. Beyond representation and structure

2. The politics of life and positive difference

3. Style and immanence

4. 'Doing philosophy': Interdisciplinarity

5. History of desire

6. Perception, time, cinema

Conclusion: Virtual freedom



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Claire Colebrook is Reader in the Department of English Literature at the University of Edinburgh. She is author of New Literary Histories, Ethics and Representation, and Gilles Deleuze, and coeditor with Ian Buchanan of Deleuze and Feminism.


'The best introduction to Deleuze, and to the collective writings of Deleuze and Guattari, available yet! Claire Colebrook has produced a truly accessible pathway into the labyrinthine enchantments offered for contemporary thought by Deleuzianism, making concepts clear, showing their political and theoretical complexity, elaborating their social and artistic relevance. A wonderful, lucid opening onto the new worlds of Deleuze.'

Elizabeth Grosz, Rutgers University

'A wonderfully clear introduction to key Deleuzian concepts and to their effectiveness in fields ranging from ethics and politics to cinema, literary and cultural studies. Claire Colebrook provides a series of effortless transitions from Deleuze's philosophical concerns (eg: difference, representation, desire and affect) to concrete problems in a variety of fields. This book is an excellent guide to an important body of critical thought.'

Paul Patton, Professor of Philosophy, University of NSW