The Idolatry of Irony: Deleuze and Guattari

Commentators often point to irony as a defining feature of postmodernity. Oddly enough, however, while, for example, there is much playfulness in a book like A Thousand Plateaus, I can find very little trace of anything one might call ironic. Indeed, in the case of A Thousand Plateaus there is a great deal of polemic directed against the detachment – one might say idolatry – of an ironic posture (even as they also find much that is problematic in what often goes under the heading of “seriousness”). Here’s one good example of this.

[I]t is necessary to ‘saturate every atom,’ and to do that it is necessary to eliminate, to eliminate all that is resemblance and analogy, but also ‘to put everything into it’: eliminate everything that exceeds the moment, but put in everything that it includes – and the moment is not the instantaneous, it is the haecceity into which one slips and that slips into other haecceities by transparency. To be present at the dawn of the world. – Deleuze and Guattari, 280

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