Study Guide

Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari - Desire Inside Your head or Outside Your Head?

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Desire Inside Your head or Outside Your Head?

Though Félix Guattari had been psychoanalyzed by and had worked with Jacques Lacan, he got tired of talking about the individual's desire toward various family members. After a while, that kind of discussion does get a little old... not to mention a little creepy.

So good old Félix, never one to let things rest in peace, went ahead and wrote Anti-Oedipus, a book that encouraged people to think of desire and a force running through them and not from them—meaning that desire is something bigger than the individual person.

Surprise, surprise—this made Jacques Lacan very, very sad. He banned all mention of Anti-Oedipus among members of the Freudian school, of which he was the leader. By D&G's definition, this act of censorship turned him into a sad French fascist.

D&G argued that Freudian psychoanalysis locked a person into a frozen psychic state, doomed to struggle forever against a personal desire toward mom and dad (according to Freud and Lacan, each individual wants to have sex with one and kill the other). This, in turn makes the family unit the ultimate controlling machine over the individual.

If that's the case, then mom and dad are the scary fascist clowns controlling a Freudian three-ring psycho circus with Lacan as chief clown. No wonder Félix Guattari never slept.

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