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In Search of a New Image of ThoughtGilles Deleuze and Philosophical Expressionism$
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Gregg Lambert

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780816678020

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816678020.001.0001

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The Image of Thought in Proust, Or the first Literary Machine (Ca. 1964)

The Image of Thought in Proust, Or the first Literary Machine (Ca. 1964)

(p.25) 1 The Image of Thought in Proust, Or the first Literary Machine (Ca. 1964)
In Search of a New Image of Thought

Gregg Lambert

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter defines the concept of a machine and a narrator in Proustian terms. Simply put, the Proustian narrator is a“Body without Organs”—unlike the Cartesian definition—and it is a being of pure sensation (no eyes, no ears, no memory, and above all, no thought), while the machine of Deleuze and Guattari is anything that interrupts a flow. Therefore the literary machine is a spiderweb—a vast and complicated partly animal and partly herbal web that interrupts the flows of signs and impressions that get caught up in it; and the narrator is the spider that drags its heavy body to the place of the interruption and spins a cocoon around the impression it finds there (i.e., to develop the impression into a sign) in order to finally drink its blood (extract its essence, its spiritual idea).

Keywords:   Proustian narrator, Body without Organs, Deleuze, Guattari, spiderweb, literary machine

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