Friday, April 06, 2007

Deleuze and Guattari on Drugs . . .

“It is our belief that the issue of drugs can be understood only at the level where desire directly invests perception, and perception becomes molecular at the same time as the imperceptible is perceived.”

“Drug addicts continually fall back into what they wanted to escape: a segmentarity all the more rigid for being marginal, a territorialization all the more artificial for being based on chemical substances, hallucinatory forms, and phantasy subjectifications. Drug addicts may be considered as precursors or experimenters who tirelessly blaze new paths of life, but their cautiousness lacks the foundation for caution. So they either join the legions of false heroes . . . . Or, what is worse, all they will have done is make an attempt only nonusers or former users can resume and benefit from . . . discovering through drugs what drugs lack. . . . Is the mistake drug users make always to start over again from ground zero, either going on the drug again or quitting, when what they should do is make it a stopover, to start from the ‘middle,’ bifurcate from the middle?”

“To reach the point where ‘to get high or not to get high’ is no longer the question, but rather whether drugs have sufficiently changed the general conditions of space and time perception so that nonusers can succeed in passing through the holes in the world and following the lines of flight at the very place where means other than drugs become necessary. Drugs do not guarantee immanence; rather, the immanence of drugs allows one to forgo them.”

“Drugs are too unwieldy to grasp the imperceptible and the becomings-imperceptible; drug users believed that drugs would grant them the plane, when in fact the plane must distill its own drugs, remaining master . . . .”

(Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus. Trans. Brian Massumi.)

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