Deleuze, Bakhtin, and the 'Clamour of Voices'

Deleuze Studies 2 (2):178-188 (2008)
This paper pursues two goals. The first concerns clarifying the relationship between Deleuze and the Russian linguist and culturologist, Mikhail Bakhtin. Not only does Deleuze refer to Bakhtin as a primary source for his emphasis on voice and indirect discourse, both thinkers valorise heterogeneity and creativity. I argue Deleuze's notions of ‘deterritorialisation’ and ‘reterritorialisation’ parallel Bakhtin's idea of ‘heteroglossia’ and ‘monoglossia’. Clarifying the relationship between Deleuze and Bakhtin leads directly to the second of my two other goals. I will argue that an important difference in their characterisation of voice reveals a strong point in Deleuze's philosophy, one related to the political sphere. At the same time, however, Deleuze's particular way of articulating this point conceals a weakness, one related to the idea of the subject. I will conclude my paper by suggesting a way to address this weakness.
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DOI 10.3366/E1750224108000275
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