(Via Continental Philosophy) A number of texts on Deleuze and by Deleuze/Deleuze-Guattari are now available online through Fark Yaralari’s blog. Of special interest to me is Christian Kerslake’s Deleuze and the Unconscious. There are so few books delving deeply and in an informed way into Deleuze’s relationship to psychoanalysis that it is nice to see someone doing such work. I am, however, perplexed to see that Kerslakefocuses so much on Jung. On the one hand, this move seems retrograde as Jung, with his collective unconscious and focus on expressivist “interpretive keys” is something of the Plato of psychoanalysis. From one end of his work to the other, Deleuze devoted his thought to overcoming the overdetermination and subordination of matter to form. This is precisely the aim of his intricate analysis of processes of individuation in the last two chapters of Difference and Repetition. Whether we’re speaking of Platonic Ideas, Kantian categories, Hegelian notions, or Jungian archetypes, the force of this critique of form remains the same. However, perhaps this is just a mistaken understanding of Jung and my view will change after reading Kerslake’s book.

On the other hand, it seems to me that Freud and Lacan, under a highly original reading, occupy a far more central place in Deleuze’s philosophical project. Indeed, Deleuze’s critique of Freud’s Oedipus in Anti-Oedipus can actually be read as a way of bearing fidelity to Freud and what he had discovered in his early work about the mechanisms of the early work. As Deleuze and Guattari repeatedly remark in Anti-Oedipus, Freud is the Martin Luther and Adam Smith of psychiatry. Luther deterritorialized religion from the church, but reterritorialized it on scripture. Smith deterritorialized value from pre-existent needs, showing how it is humans that produce value, but reterritorialized it on private property. Freud deterritorializes desire from pre-existent needs and lack, showing how it produces its object, only to reterritorialize it on the Oedipus. Would not Jung reterritorialize the unconscious on culturally invariant archetypes? Or is this a completely spurious reading of Jung?

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