Gilles Deleuze once, in a letter, described reading in the following way: “It's like plugging in to an electric circuit.” This powerful statement together with the ”zone of indiscernibility” that readers of Deleuze often experience, as well as the insufficient scholarly engagement with Deleuze’s practice of reading philosophy constitute the starting points to study the metaphysical conditions of Deleuze’s act of reading. The purpose of the dissertation is thus to enquire into what we read when we read philosophy and how reading happens as an event. To further these aims, first, I will study Deleuze’s way of writing philosophy. His search for a “new means of philosophical expression,” is seen as a means to transform what the text is and how characters and concepts function through different textual strategies that are made to speak with a voice of their own in Deleuze’s texts. In this way, I argue, Deleuze changes what philosophy does from writing about its history to enacting or performing it. As Deleuze and Félix Guattari famously stated, what philosophy does in this enactment is, “forming, inventing, and fabricating concepts.” Thus reading philosophy means exposing oneself to this creation of concepts. As such, I argue that it is possible to understand the concept as a sensation of a sign in the encounter that is the act of reading. Before turning to investigate this act of reading, that is, the event of reading, I survey Deleuze’s critique of hermeneutics and interpretation to further explore the context and practices against which he formulates his own reading. In the final chapter I explicate the encounter with the sign, or in the act of reading, the concept, through three moments extracted from the third chapter of Difference and Repetition titled ”The Image of Thought”. In this way I aim to show how the practice of reading philosophy is an event where the textual materiality, the statement, and the concept are encountered as signs, which force the senses of the reader to perceive the sign as a problem. In this intensive encounter the sign-concept is sensed rather than understood: it is a “something” that opposes recognition, which “moves the soul, ‘perplexes’ it”, paving the way for the genesis of a radically new critical and creative thought. This mechanism is key to what can be seen as Deleuze’s art and metaphysics of reading, which, I argue, is a radically different method of relating to texts to how reading is conventionally understood.
2016. , 32 p.