Deleuze and Guattari 1988

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Deleuze, Gilles and Felix Guattari. A Thousand Plateaus. Trans. Brian Massumi. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 1988.

Rhizome (Introduction)

1914: One or Several Wolves?

10,000 B.C.: The Geology of Morals (Who Does the Earth Think It Is?)

November 20, 1923: Postulates of Linguistics

587 B.C.-A.D. 70: On Several Regimes of Signs

November 28, 1947: How Do You Make Yourself a Body Without Organs?

Year Zero: Faciality

1874: Three Novellas, or "What Happened?"

1933: Micropolitics and Segmentarity

1730: Becoming-Intense, Becoming-Animal, Becoming-Imperceptible...

"Natural history can think only in terms of relationships (between A and B), not in terms of production (from A to x)." (234)


  • series (analogy of proportion) -- "resemblances that differ from one another in a single series, and between series" (234)
  • structure (analogy of proportionality) -- "differences that resemble each other within a single structure, and between structures" (234)
"The history of ideas should never be continuous; it should be wary of resemblances, but also of descents or filiations; it should be content to mark the thresholds through which an idea passes, the journeys it takes that change its nature or object." (235)
"A becoming is not a correspondence between relations. But neither is it a resemblance, an imitation, or, at the limit, an identification." (237)
"Becoming produces nothing other than itself. We fall into a false alternative if we say tha tyou either imitate or you are. What is real si the becoming itself, the block of becoming, not the supposedly fixed terms through which that which becomes passes. Becoming can and should be qualified as becoming-animal even in the absence of a term that would be the animal become. the becoming-animal of the human being is real, even if the animal the human being becomes is not; and the becoming-other of the animal is real, even if that something other it becomes is not. This is the point to clarify: that a becoming lacks a subject distinct from itself; but also that it has no term, since its term in turn exists only as taken up in another becoming of which it is the subject, and which coexists, forms a block, with the first." (238)

involution: a form of evolution between heterogeneous terms; not filiation or the movement from less differentiation to more; "becoming is involutionary, involution is creative" (238)

"Becoming is a rhizome, not a classificatory or genealogical tree. Becoming is certainly not imitating, or identifying with something; neither is it regressing-progressing; neither is it corresponding, establishing corresponding relations; neither is it producing, producing a filiation or producing through filiation. Becoming ia verb with consistency all its own; it does not reduce to, or lead back to, "appearing," "being," "equaling," or "producing."" (239)

all animals as packs, as multiplicities (239-240)

affect -- "not a personal feeling, nor is it a characteristic; it is the effectuation of a power of the pack that throws the self into upheaval and makes it reel." (140)

"Who has not known the violence of these animal sequences, which uproot one from humanity, if only for an instant, making one scrape at one's bread like a rodent or giving one the yellow eyes of a feline? A fearsome involution calling us toward unheard-of becomings." (240)

contagion -- "We oppose epidemic to filiation, contagion to heredity, peopling by contagion to sexual reproduction, sexual production. Bands, human or animal, proliferate by contagion, epidemics, battlefields, and catastrophes." (241)

"We know that many beings pass between a man and a woman; they come from different worlds, are borne on the wind, form rhizomes around roots; they cannot be understood in terms of production, only in terms of becoming. The Universe does not function by filiation. All we are saying is that animals are packs, and that packs form, develop, and are transformed by contagion." (242)
"These multiplicities with heterogeneous terms, cofunctioning by contagion, enter certain assemblages; it is there that human beings effect their becomings-animal." (242)

packs are not families or States or any other ordering institutions

the Anomalous, the Loner in the pack creates space for a relationship of becoming -- is a phenomenon (245)

"The anomalous, the preferential element in the pack, has nothing to do with the preferred, domestic, and psychoanalytic individual. Nor is the anomalous the bearer of a species presenting specific or generic characteristics in their purest state; nor is it a model or unique specimen; nor is it the perfection of a type incarnate; nor is it the eminent term of a series; nor is it the basis of an absolutely harmonious correspondence. The anomalous is neither an individual nor a species; it has only affects, it has neither familiar or subjectified feelings, nor specific or significant characteristics." (244)
"This is our hypothesis: a multiplicity is defined not by the elements that compose it in extension, not by the characteristics that compose it in comprehension, but by the lines and dimensions it encompasses in 'intension'. If you change dimensions, if you add or subtract one, you change multiplicity." (245)

"The relation with the anomalous is one of alliance." (246)

"Alliance or the pact is the form of expression for an infection or epidemic constituting the form of content." (247)
"becoming and multiplicity are the same thing. a multiplicity is defined not by its selements, nor by a center of unification or comprehension. It is defined by the number of dimensions it has; it is not divisible, it cannot lose or gain a dimension without changing its nature. Since its variations and dimensions are immanent to it, it amounts to the same thing to say that each multiplicity is already composed of heterogeneous terms in symbiosis, and that a multiplicity is continually transforming itself into a string of other multiplicities, according to its thresholds and doors." (249)

"In fact, the self is only a threshold, a door, a becoming between two multiplicities." (249)

borderlines, fibers, thresholds -- "a fiber stretches from a human to an animal, from a human or an animal to molecules, from molecules to particles, and so on to the imperceptible. Every fiber is a Universe fiber. a fiber strung across borderlines constitutes a line of flight or of deterritorialization." (249)

  • c.f. [Leibniz, Monadologie]

resist logical ordering; "Each multiplicity is symbiotic; its becoming ties together animals, plants, microorganisms, mad particles, a whole galaxy." (250)

"Make a rhizome. But you don't know what you can make a rhizome with, you don't know which subterranean stem is effectively going to make a rhizome, or enter a becoming, people your desert. So experiment." (251)

plane of consistency: "the intersection of all concrete forms. Therefor all becomings are written like sorcerers' drawings on this plane of consistency, which 8is the ultimate Door providing a way out for them." (251)

"The plane of consistency of nature is like an immense Abstract machine, abstract yet real and individual; its pieces are the various assemblages and individuals, each of which groups together an infinity of particles entering into an infinity of more or less interconnected relations. there is therefore a unity to the plane of nature, which applies equally to the inanimate and the animate, the artificial and the natural." (254)

animal worlds defined not by species of genus characteristics, but by affects

  • Tick: 3 affects; attacted to light, sensitive to smell of mammals, digs into mammal skin (257)
  • "We know nthing about a body until we know what it can do, in other words, what its affects are, how they can or cannot enter into composition with other affects, with the affects of another body, either to destroy that body or to be destroyed by it, either to exchange actions and passions with it or to join with it in composing a more powerful body." (257)
"This is not an analogy, or a product of the imagination, but a composition of speeds and affects on the plane of consistency: a plan(e), a program, or rather a diagram, a problem, a question-machine." (258)

"On the plain of consistency, a body is defined only by a longitude and a latitude" (260)

mode of individuation different from that of a person, subject, thing, or substance: haecceity (261)

  • you are nothing but a haecceity; "you are longitude and latitude, a set of speeds and slownesses between unformed particles, a set of nonsubjectified affects." (262)
  • "Climate, wind, season, hour are not of another nature than the things, animals, or people that populate them, follow them, sleep and awaken within them." (263)
  • "spatiotemporal relations, determinations, are not predicates of the thing but dimensions of multiplicities." (263)
  • "A haecceity has neither beginning nor end, origin nor destination; it is always in the middle. It is not made of points, only of lines. It is a rhizome." (263)

plane of consistency or composition == plane of immanence and univocality == plane of Nature (266)

"It is as though an immense plane of consistency of variable speed were forever sweeping up forms and functions, forms and subjects, extracting from them particles and affects. A clock keeping a whole assortment of times." (271)

molecular: "all becomings are already molecular," not a relation to the molar form of another thing but a molecular reconfiguration of particles in relation to that thing (272)

"Starting from the forms one has, the subject one is, the organs one has, or the functions one fulfills, becoming is to extract particles between which one establishes the relations of movement and rest, speed and slowness that are closest to what one is becoming, and through which one becomes. This is the sense in which becoming is the process of desire." (272)

zone of proximity

  • "Becoming is to emit particles that take on certain relations of movement and rest because they enter a particular zone of proximity. Or, it is to emit particles that enter that zone because they take on those relations." (273)

women and becoming (276-8)

"Becoming everybody/everything (tout le monde) is to world (faire monde), to make a world (faire un monde)." (280)
"becoming-everybody/everything, making the world a becoming, is to world, to make a world or worlds, in other words, to find one's proximities and zones of indiscernibility. The Cosmos as an abstract machine, and each world as an assemblage effectuating it." (280)

movement -- Kierkegaard -- faith -- drugs -- race -- deterritorialization (283) -- Unconscious (284) -- drug addicts (285) -- secret (286-9) -- women and secrets (289)

"Some people can talk, hide nothing, not lie: they are secret by transparency, as impenetrable as water, in truth incomprehensible. Whereas the others have a secret that is always breached, even though they surround it with a thick wall or elevate it to an infinite form." (290)

minoritarian: "becmonigs are minoritarian; all becoming is a becoming-minoritarian" (291)

  • "It is important not to confuse 'minoritarian,' as a becoming or process, with a 'minority,' as an aggregate or a state. Jews, Gypsies, etc., may constitute minorities under certain conditions, but that in itself does not make them becomings. One reterritorializes, or allows oneself to be reterritorialized, on a minority as a state; but in a becoming, one is deterritorialized." (291)
  • "Majority implies a state of domination, not the reverse. It is not a question of knowing whether there are more mosquitoes or flies than men, but of knowing how 'man' constituted a standard in the universe in relation to which men necessarily (analytically) form a majority." (291)
"What constitutes arborescence is the submission of the line to the point." (293)
"A line of becoming is not defined by points that it connects, or by points that compose it; on the contrary, it passes between points, it comes up through the middle, it runs perpendicular to the poitns first perceived, transversally to the localizable relation to distant or contiguous points." (293)

punctual systems: horizontal and vertical lines that serve as moving coordinates for assigning points (295); they are "arborescent, mnemonic, molar, structural; they are systems of territorialization and reterritorialization" (295)

multilinear systems: "free the line, free the diagonal" (295)

1837: Of the Refrain

1227: Treatise on Nomadology; The War Machine

7000 B.C.: Apparatus of the Capture

1440: The Smooth and the Striated