image of eclipse


Key Theorists: Deleuze and Guattari Definition: A biological term denoting a horizontal stem of a plant such as a tuber, potato, moss or ginger. Used as a metaphor by Deleuze and Guattari for non-treelike structure of order.

'Most modern methods for making series proliferate or a multiplicity grow are perfectly valid in one direction, for example, a linear direction, whereas a unity of totalisation asserts itself even more firmly in another, circular or cyclic dimension. Whenever a multiplicity is taken up in a structure, its growth is offset by a reduction in its laws of combination. The abortionists of unity are indeed angel makers, doctores angelici, because they affirm a properly angelic and superior unity. Joyce�s words accurately described as having �multiple roots�, shatter the linear unity of the word, even of language, only to posit a cyclic unity of the sentence, text, or knowledge. Nietzsche�s aphorisms shatter the linear unity of knowledge, only to invoke the cyclic unity of eternal return, present as the nonknown in thought. This is as much to say that the facicular system does not really break with dualism, with the complementarity between a subject and an object, a natural reality and a spiritual reality: unity is consistently thwarted and obstructed in the object, while a new type of unity triumphs in the subject. The world has lost its pivot; the subject can no longer even dichotomise but accedes to a higher unity, of ambivalence or overdetermination, in an always supplementary dimension to that of its object. The world has become chaos, but the book remains the image of the world: radical- chaosmos rather than root-cosmos. A strange mystification: a book all the more total for being fragmented. At any rate, what a vapid idea, the book as the image of the world. In truth, it is not enough to say, �long live the multiple�, difficult as it is to raise that cry. No typographical, lexical, or even syntactical cleverness is enough to make it heard. The multiple must be made not by always adding a higher dimension, but rather in the simplest of ways, but dint of sobriety, with the number of dimensions one already has available � always n-1 (the only way the one belongs to the multiple always subtracted). Subtract the unique from the multiplicity to be constituted; write at n-1 dimensions. A system of this kind could be called a rhizome. A rhizome as subterranean stem is absolutely different from roots and radicals. Bulbs and tubers are rhizomes. Plants with roots or radicals may be rhizomorphic in other respects all together: the question is whether plant life in its specificity is not entirely rhizomatic. Even some animals are, in their pack form. Rats are rhizomes. Burrows are too, in all of their functions of shelter, supply, movement, evasion and breakout. The rhizome itself assumes very diverse forms, from ramified surface extension in all directions to concretion into bulbs and tubers. When rats swarm over each other. The rhizome includes the best and the worst: potato and couch grass, or the weed. Animal and plant, couch grass is crab grass. We get the distinct feeling that we will convince no one unless we enumerate certain approximate characteristics of the rhizome�

The multiple must be made not by always adding a higher dimension��

From A thousand Plateaus, Capitalism and Schizophrenia by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. Translated by Brian Massumi. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis. 1987


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