Between editing my share of The Speculative Turn, writing The Democracy of Objects, and other obligations things have been pretty hectic for me these days. At the moment I am putting together an article on Deleuze’s ethics of the event as developed in The Logic of Sense. The ethics Deleuze develops there is particularly interesting as it marks a departure from the starkly naturalistic ethics he developed in his earlier work on Nietzsche and Spinoza, but you’ll have to read the article to get that story and what motivated this shift, as brief as it was. At any rate, in investigating his ethics of the event I was drawn back to Deleuze’s 1967 essay, “How Do We Recognize Structuralism?” I had forgotten just how good this essay was. In certain respects it constitutes a cliff-note version of Difference and Repetition and The Logic of Sense, outlined in a mere thirty pages of crisp and clear prose. Not only is the essay remarkable for the manner in which it is able to distill the essence of structuralist thought, but it also amazes with its breadth of profound, sensitive and informed references to structuralist thinkers such as Lacan, Levi-Strauss, Foucault, Althusser and a host of others.

In short, “How Do We Recognize Structuralism?” is a must read for anyone interested in Deleuze’s thought and these thinkers. This essay is even more remarkable for the manner in which it anticipates so many contemporary themes and theses haunting thinkers like Zizek, Badiou, Ranciere, and so on. Fortunately it is now available online. I have some quibbles with the Desert Island translation– it really botches the difference between differenTiation and differenCiation, making what Deleuze is getting at pretty obscure for readers not familiar with Difference and Repetition –but overall it does a terrific job. Some readers will, by now, be familiar with AAAARG.org. From their webpage:

AAAARG is a conversation platform – at different times it performs as a school, or a reading group, or a journal.

AAAARG was created with the intention of developing critical discourse outside of an institutional framework. But rather than thinking of it like a new building, imagine scaffolding that attaches onto existing buildings and creates new architectures between them.

AAARG.org also has a massive library of complete primary texts, including my very first article, “The Politics of the Virtual”. Deleuze’s essay “How Do We Recognize Structuralism?” can be found in Desert Islands and Other Texts which is available in complete form in the “D” section (what a surprise!) of the library. Those interested in the library will have to join, but it is very easy to do so. This is a tremendous resource and a huge contribution to the democratization of ideas. Whoever’s done all this scanning is to be applauded for all their hard work.

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