4 Jan 2018

Terence Blake’s ‘IS OLD AGE A CONCEPT?: Notes on Deleuze and Guattari’s “What is Philosophy?” (1)’


by Corry Shores


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Terence Blake


IS OLD AGE A CONCEPT?: Notes on Deleuze and Guattari’s “What is Philosophy?” (1)




In this post Blake continues a discussion of the first lines of Deleuze & Guattari’s What is Philosophy? (See his ON THE INCIPIT TO DELEUZE AND GUATTARI’S “WHAT IS PHILOSOPHY?”; mentioned on this blog here.)


Here is a useful and insightful part:

“It’s a question that one poses in a discreet agitation, at midnight, when one no longer has anything to ask for” (my translation).

cf. the published translation: “It is a question posed in a moment of quiet restlessness, at midnight, when there is no longer anything to ask”. I have already discussed my variant translation in my earlier post, but here I wish to push my analysis a little further.

It is perfectly correct to translate an expression with “on” and a verb in the active voice (“une question qu’on pose”) by a passive form (“a question posed”), but here I maintain the active form because of the ambiguity of “one”, which corresponds to the double use of “on” in French, referring either to an impersonal generic subject and to the personal “we”, or both. The whole of this first paragraph is systematically ambiguous between the two acceptations.

(Terence Blake)












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