Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Life and the Writer Again..

It may be that the writer has delicate health, a weak constitution. he is none the less opposite of the neurotic: a sort of great alive (in the manner of Spinoza, Nietzsche or Lawrence) in so far he is only too weak for the life that runs in him or for the affects that pass in him. Deleuze

In this respect artists are like philosophers. What little health they possess is often too fragile, not because of their illnesses or neuroses but because they have seen something in life that is too much for anyone, too much for themselves, and that has put on them the quiet mark of death. Deleuze and Guattarri
This is a typically Deleuzian insight. Just as a flattened fence might be the index of the gale that has knocked it down, so the intermittent or poor health of the writer is here repeceived as the index of a pressing force of life. Only in relation to this force is there fragility; the 'fragility' is indeed a sign of this force, a kind of seismograph or photographic negative.

This is typically Deleuzian in that for him the perceptible world becomes a site where contending forces and relations are made visible through their effects and extrapolations.
But back to the writer:  his ill-health then is a symptom of sorts, not of pathology but rather a tremendous vitality which has become visible only in the body of the writer as a breeze becomes visible on the water's surface. This vitality is visible destructively in the health and creatively in the work. The same vitality that knocks down the health breaks through and flourishes in the work.

The question of whether the work 'compensates' for the failing health is revealed as a false problem, for there is a single Life running through both, a Life of which they are both, in different ways, the signatures. 

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