Monstrous Vitality And Writing: An Experiment In Immanence And Transience

Year: 2015

Author: Riddle, Stewart

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The painter does not paint on an empty canvas, and neither does the writer write on a blank page; but the page or canvas is already so covered with pre-existing, pre-established clichés that it is first necessary to erase, to clean, to flatten, even to shred, so as to let in a breath of air from the chaos that brings us the vision (Deleuze & Guattari, 1991, p. 204).
The experiment: to sit under a tree with a glass of wine and to write. The act: to play with words and to attempt to write without purpose beyond the transience of the writing act itself. What would such an event produce? Is there a monstrous vitality made available in the immanence of such an act, or would I simply succumb to my standard writing practice: prepare the abstract, gather the literature, frame the methodology, analyse data, discuss findings, and offer some concluding thoughts? As I grapple with a Deleuzo-onto-epistemology in my theorising and conceptualising of inquiry, I am alarmed to find myself continually returning to the striated and tightly-regulated space of academic writing. How can I make use of radical immanent vitalism on the one hand, yet structure my papers in ways that speak to the humanist project of rationality, stability and order? Is this an impossible task for me as an early career researcher who is looking to build a ‘track’, to publish in ‘quality’ journals, and yet attempt to think and write with Deleuze? This paper is one attempt to bring in the vision of what monstrous writing might offer through such an experiment.
Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1991). What is philosophy? (H. Tomlinson & G. Burchell, Trans.). New York: Columbia University Press.