Iterability and the order-word plateau: 'A politics of the performative' in Derrida and deleuze/guattari

Critical Horizons 4 (2):227-264 (2003)

This paper offers a comparative analysis of the uses and formulations of speech-act theory in Derrida's and Deleuze/Guattari's work. It begins by juxtaposing Derrida's concept/nonconcept of 'iterability' to Deleuze and Guattari's conception of the 'order-word' and then examines these theories of the speech act in terms of their implications and consequences for a politics of resistance. Whereas Deleuze and Guattari generate a detailed material stratum — an order-word plateau — for exploring the performative in socio-political contexts, Derrida attends to the singular, wholly unique acts that occur when a repeatable formula such as a political declaration is uttered or otherwise takes place.The paper then concludes by drawing a tentative link between iterability and Deleuze and Guattari's notion of 'deterritorialisation' via the order-word plateau.
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