Sunday, 10 May 2009

Book Review: Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizohrenia by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari

I like an intellectual challenge but this one almost defeated me-a book consisting of a headache inducing melange of (anti) psychoanalytical jargon and post-modernist abstraction. After hacking through the dense thickets of language for nearly four weeks and only reaching the four hundred page mark, I decided to commit a cardinal sin of the serious reader and skip read to the end. I should have known what I was getting into but the succinct preface by Michel Foucault summarising the book as "a manual or guide to everyday life" and listing the attributes of non-fascist living had me intrigued. To summarise what Anti-Oedipus is all about would take up too much time and I'm not sure I'm up to the task anyway-for those who are interested read the Wiki entry. But it's also a book that prioritises desire and imagination, bringing these literally material and productive forces into the heart of radical left-wing ideas and politics.