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Desert earth: Geophilosophy and the Anthropocene

Tynan, Aidan 2016. Desert earth: Geophilosophy and the Anthropocene. Deleuze Studies 10 (4) , pp. 479-495. 10.3366/dls.2016.0240

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The figure of the desert features extensively throughout the two volumes of Capitalism and Schizophrenia and is a recurring motif in Deleuze’s sole-authored works. While recent book-length studies place geophilosophy at the forefront of Deleuze and Guattari’s thought (Flaxman 2012; Woodard 2013; Gasché 2014), the theme of the desert is mentioned in these studies only in passing, if at all. Understanding the role of the desert in the evolution of Deleuze and Guattari’s collaborative enterprise is, however, important for a number of reasons: firstly, it allows us to track the relationship between schizoanalysis and the wider project of geophilosophy and why the one necessary implies the other. Secondly, it helps us to position Deleuze and Guattari’s work relative to other key figures such as Nietzsche and Heidegger who employ images of deserts and wastelands in their critique of modernity. Thirdly, and most importantly, it gives us a framework for theorising the Anthropocene – and the forms of capitalist spatiality that dominate it – as an epoch of both physical and metaphysical desertification in which the relationship between life and its material ground becomes ever more uncertain. The article concludes by relating Deleuze’s remarks on desert islands to our contemporary environmental condition.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
ISSN: 1750-2241
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 5 September 2016
Date of Acceptance: 13 April 2016
Last Modified: 15 May 2020 03:55

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