Book Review: Deleuze and Space; Deleuze Dictionary
Deleuze and Space is a further volume in the series ‘Deleuze Connections’, which is published by Edinburgh University Press. Previous volumes have usually been jointly edited by Ian Buchanan and another scholar and contained about ten essays by well-known, mostly Anglo-Saxon, Deleuze specialists on the relationships between a particular area, such as feminist theory, literature or music, and the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze (1925–95). The individual essays are usually very densely and impressively argued, while care has been taken to make sure that each essay covers a slightly different facet of the area under consideration: the overall result is a very slow but ultimately very comprehensive read. The only difference in the case of Deleuze and Space is that there are a few more essays – 13 – and the introductory essay by Ian Buchanan and Gregg Lambert is slightly longer.
Deleuze did not construct a theory of space per se, but his ontology, arguably his most important contribution to philosophy, is very much predicated on a specific conception of space, one that owes a great deal to Riemannian and differential geometry, post-classical thermodynamics and modern theories of genetics. This means that there are many references to space in Différence et Répétition (1968), one of Deleuze’s two main works. The space he explores is not the empty container surrounding physical objects that one normally thinks of as space: it is a virtual plenum of intensities that underpins and literally brings forth actualised, extensive material entities.