PRINT May 2008


’68 is an intrusion of becoming. People have sometimes wanted to view it as the reign of the imaginary, but it’s absolutely not imaginary; it’s a gust of the real in its pure state. . . . It’s inevitable that historians do not understand it properly. I really believe in the difference between history and becoming. [May ’68] was a becoming-revolutionary without a revolutionary future. After the fact, people can always make fun of it.

—Gilles Deleuze

WITH THESE WORDS, spoken in 1988 in the only authorized film documentation of the French philosopher’s simultaneously stumbling and streaming thought process, Gilles Deleuze turned against the two primary, if contradictory, ways of interpreting 1968. He rejected the idea of the great revolutionary break, the Leninist rupture that functions as a separating element between a bleak existence in capitalist society and the paradisiacal land of

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