5 Nov 2014

Somers-Hall, (Intro.2), Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition, ‘Challenges in Reading Deleuze’, summary

Corry Shores
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[The following is summary. All boldface, underlining, and bracketed commentary are my own.]

Henry Somers-Hall

Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition.
An Edinburgh Philosophical Guide



Intro sect.2
Challenges in Reading Deleuze

Brief summary:

Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition is challenging to read, because he uses difficult terminology, he refers to many various other thinkers, and the structure of the book is unclear. Somers-Hall’s guide will present Difference and Repetition in an accessible way by mitigating these problems as best as possible.




Somers-Hall (SH) identifies a number of difficulties we encounter when reading Gilles Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition (DR):

[1] It contains “neologisms, allusions to other texts, poetic phrasings, and technical vocabulary from a variety of discourses”. This results from Deleuze’s love of taxonomy and from his view that “If philosophy is going to challenge common sense, it has to be written in such a manner as to make us struggle, pause and think.” (2)

[2] Deleuze refers to a staggering amount and variety of other thinkers. He addresses a long and broad philosophical tradition and as well a large alternate tradition of thinkers. “'As such, without a broad acquaintance with the history of philosophy, Difference and Repetition becomes a text governed by jumps, breaks and non-sequiturs, built on a series of arguments from authority.” (2)

[3] The structure of DR is unclear. For example, the purpose of the chapters is not always evident.

SH’s book will mitigate these above difficulties as best as possible while still presenting a useful guide to the philosophical complexities in DR. For the problem of terminology, SH will present the ideas in a manner that is accessible to an audience new to Deleuze’s writing. For the second problem SH will discuss the references in DR. And for the third problem, SH will examine DR section by section. (3)


Somers-Hall, Henry. Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition. An Edinburgh Philosophical Guide. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University, 2013.

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