Thinking Leaving

Branka Arsic

in Deleuze and Space

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print June 2005 | ISBN: 9780748618743
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671762 | DOI:
Thinking Leaving

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This chapter discusses Deleuze's spatial thought with reference to an American author who Deleuze seldom discusses, but who seems to be implicitly located in the frequent meditations of the figure of Melville (and Emerson), namely, Henry David Thoreau. It shows how Melville ‘sketched out and extended the traits of a thinking already posed by Thoreau and Emerson, a thinking that conceives the world as an archipelago (as multiplicity)’. In other words, Thoreau's wandering paths through the woods of Walden of thought are ‘first of all the affirmation of a world in process’. In this light, the chapter includes and extends Deleuze's several meditations on the new configurations of space, territory, and geological memory invented by nineteenth-century American thinkers, and adds Thoreau to the list of those thinkers who saw a future that would be composed of ‘uncemented stones, where every element has a value in itself but also in relation to others: isolated and floating relations, islands and straits, immobile points and sinuous lines’.

Keywords: Deleuze; spatial thought; Henry David Thoreau; Melville; space; territory; geological memory

Chapter.  8523 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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