Friendship, in its nature, purpose, and effects, has been an important concern of philosophy since antiquity. It was of particular significance in the life of Gilles Deleuze, one of the most original and influential philosophers of the late twentieth century. Taking L'Abecedaire de Gilles Deleuze-an eight-hour video interview that was intended to be aired only after Deleuze's death-as a key source, Charles J. Stivale examines the role of friendship as it appears in Deleuze's work and life.
Stivale develops a zigzag methodology practiced by Deleuze himself to explore several concepts as they relate to friendship and to discern how friendship shifts, slips, and creates movement between Deleuze and specific friends. The first section of this study discusses the elements of creativity, pedagogy, and literature that appear implicitly and explicitly in his work. The second section focuses on Deleuze's friendships with Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Claire Parnet, and Felix Guattari and reveals his conception of friendship as an ultimately impersonal form of intensity that goes beyond personal relationships.
Stivale's analysis offers an intimate view into the thought of one of the greatest thinkers of our time.
Charles J. Stivale is Distinguished Professor of French at Wayne State University.