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Gilles Deleuze

I

THE SUICIDE OF PHILOSOPHER Gilles Deleuze at the beginning of November, after he had spent many years suffering from a terrible respiratory illness, was a gesture that struck many in France dumb. Deleuze’s thought, however resistant to summary, was above all an affirmation of the life force, of the will to life: “One’s always writing,” as he put it in Pourparlers (1990 [Negotiations, 1995]), “to bring something to life, to free life from where it’s trapped.” While there is something tragically unbearable about the willful death of a philosopher who always, in the final instance, exalted and summoned the forces of life, it would be a mistake to see a contradiction between Deleuze’s philosophy and his final, parting gesture.

One should not forget that for Deleuze life was in fact synonymous with weakness and fragility. “In life,” he declared in Dialogues (1977 [Dialogues, 1987]), “there is

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