Deleuze and Schizophrenia

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Deleuze / delirium / God / molecular multiplicity / psychoanalysis / Rimbaud / schizophrenia / Schreber / translation / video

[My translation follows. A particular difficulty of Deleuze’s unique expressions here is that a verbal form of ‘delirium’ is often used in the original French and in its Italian rendition. I have used the word ‘hallucinate’ to translate ‘delire’ and related words, but have tried to keep the word ‘delirium’ and ‘delirious’ whenever possible.’]

Perhaps schizophrenia reveals something that comes to us in pieces, always transforming, constantly enough and everywhere. Don’t stop to be taken, kidnapped, dragged away. But from what?

It is always and only the father, like Schreber’s father. Schreber’s father, the sun and his father, the god and father, etc., etc.

This is what has always impressed me about schizophrenia; that, even in their misery and their pain, there is no shortage of humor.

It feels very dry to have to say this, to hear this spoken. They agree. They have, first of all, a strong desire to be popular, to make you happy [to be ‘cured’ to you.] Or they get angry, and they only want to be left in peace.

There was once a television program on schizophrenia in which a perfect schizophrenic asks for a cigarette. The psychiatrist, I don’t know why, she denied it to him. Understand, when you say things like “you hallucinate a sun, I find the sun and your father,” how you expect a schizophrenic to answer?

And it’s just like when you ask him, as he is called in order, to write his name on the clinical folder of the hospital. It doesn’t disturb him a bit. He says: “Doctor, its the sun and not my father. My sun and only the sun.” If he hallucinates, for example, about the Virgin, like Gerard de Nerval, and if it is said to him, “But you don’t see that it is the Virgin and your mother?” He will respond, “Sure, I have always said that it is the Virgin and my mother.”

Thereupon he resumes his delirium, replaces in action his delirium. I have never seen anyone rave in the familial coordinates. The parents take part in the delirium, sure. The topic of the parents. Why [then]?

Only they can serve as a species of ferrymen, of ports [doors]. Because they put the delirious subject in connection with world-historical coordinates. “My mother and the Virgin.” But what counts is connection with the virgin.

Consider Rimbaud, for example. We must not crush the delirium.

Not all the delirious are Rimbaud. But I believe that delirium has a great power. Delirium itself. Who hallucinates to be reduced to impotence, a stressed delirium enslaved to impotence?

What is the power of delirium?

Rimbaud creates a delirium which is not in relation to his mother. It doesn’t have to exaggerate. And the shameful way in which [delirium is exaggerated]… it is humiliating. And limiting, to always lead delirium back to this aspect.

The Author

mostly noise and glare


  1. thanks for this translation. I have would the video before, but could not make out the detail of the content due to my lack of french.

    On a side note. I just want to say well done on the blog. I am always intrigued by the content but never quite sure how to reply to the topics.

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