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The Line of Resistance Author(s): Franoise Proust and Penelope Deutscher Reviewed work(s): Source: Hypatia, Vol. 15, No. 4, Contemporary French Women Philosophers (Autumn, 2000), pp. 23-37 Published by: Blackwell Publishing on behalf of Hypatia, Inc. Stable URL: . Accessed: 09/04/2012 11:37
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The Lineof Resistancel

FRANCOISE PROUST Translated Deutscher by Penelope

Proust GillesDeleuze's notionof resistance in relation todeath as that interrogates whichis "turned death." a She resistance which is "no against questions conceptof morethanimpassivity andindifference." she can we know the How, asks, if forceof is on thesideof deathor life?Characterizing resistance shespeaks lifeas movement, a resistance as on the side for conceptof of life.

affirmation made by Gilles Deleuze Everyoneis familiarwith the surprising in his Foucault(1988): "Resistance comesfirst"(Deleuze 1988, 89). This statement could be saidto summarize the whole work.It is a paradoxicalaffirmation. Eitherresistanceco-exists with poweror it succeedsit, but in no waycan it precede it. Only hamperedand thwartedforces,diminishedand impededpowers, their stubborninsistence-topetrifiedor frozenmovements resist.Furthermore, be can be called resistant if convert their only they "havingbeen denied"(their into if derive their affirmation, negation) only they negation fromaffirmation, and not the reverse. Resistance is like a kind of double negation. The fact of it alone marksa negation or a contrariety of being and attests, by the very fact of its action its own contrariety. But this alone, to the negation of this negation: it counters double negation engendersno affirmation.So one needs to invert the derivation. Becauseits implicit or explicit startingpoint is an affirmation, an "intransitivity,"as Michel Foucaultremarkably expressesthis (Foucault1983, 223), it is able to "counterits own contrariety." In other words,it acts at the same time the conditions of own its against very contrariety.It acts its reaction, and its own shareof reactivity,actively.Resistance in this sense is the provocation of a new action. Resistance is this action, this affirmativeturning aroundof the
Hypatia vol. 15, no. 4 (Fall 2000) by Penelope Deutscher



countering (retourementdu contrer).Or to speak in a still more Foucauldian of force relafashion, it is the reversion or the destabilization (basculement) tions. It is the gesturewith which, and the moment at which, the reversibility (the dissymmetryor the instability) of all force relations is definitely established. To affirmthat "resistance comes first," as Deleuzedoes in a singularmanner, is to propose that resistance is like a line. It escapes the plane or the surface, which would opening it onto a wild and unfetteredsurface,onto an "Outside" haunted and inhabited it in its most intimate This line have interior. always is at once straight and twisted, at once firm and supple. It connects the informalpoints of force throughwhich a curve bends. It initiates retrogressions, sketches out flights, zigzagsand leaps over volcanoes. It is the "line of resiscomesfirst, to tance," the "line of the outside." Deleuze writes, "[R]esistance the extent that power relations operate completely within the diagram,while resistancesnecessarilyoperatein a direct relation with the outside fromwhich the diagrams emerge.This means that a social field offersmore resistancethan and the thought of the outside is a thought of resistance"(Deleuze strategies 1988, 89-90). Better yet: resistanceis the Outside. What is the Outside? We know that Deleuze borrowedthis concept from MauriceBlanchot, just as Foucault did at the same period.2From his earliest works, and under the influence of his reading of Emmanuel Levinas, Blanchot turns around (retourne),and perhaps diverts, Martin Heidegger'sBeing-towards-death.Heideggeriandeath is the possibilitymost properto Dasein,the possibilitywhich it opens onto the impossible,putting an end to the possible.3It is a deliverance of possibleswhich opens them up to their force of decision and responsibility. But in Blanchot's work death becomes the Impossible of the possible, the Indetermination of every determination, the Incertitude of every certitude. This haunting is as insistent as it is elusive, a chance happening as decisive as it is undecidable, a presence as near as it is far,and so on. Death is the name of the impossible,not of the nothingness of being (for it is archipresent),but of the infinite which is never finished and has never begun, the impossible One might name it Law if the as demandingas it is undemanding(passivant). Law passedno judgement. One might name it Presence if Presence were not graspablebeing (etre sous la main). One might name it the Near if the Near weren'tthe proper,and so on. Forall these reasons,it is named the Outside.As such it is the analogue of Levinas's"exterioritymore exterior than all extein other words,every exteriorityis alwaysalreadycomprisedin being. riority"; The Outside designatesthis thinking. It tests those frontierzones which drive away foundational categories and certain major concepts. The three main points are as follows: 1-The Outside is first of all, as Foucault explains, "the Outside of the in other words,of interiority.It is the Subject of certitudeand representation,"

Fran,oise Proust


I which is irremediably fissured4: haunted by its doubtsor the spectersof madness or sickness.This fissureaimsto fill in the striatedspacesof closed mediums ("the great confinement,"on the claustralmodel). As if we didn't know that the more the outside is drawnand enclosed by a within which constitutes itself as such by enclosing itself, the more it is constituted like an interior monad, an empty pocket (an invagination, if you like), an interior "stronghold." It is all the more resistant as it goes unnoticed and unconceived. It is all the more contaminating as it is enclosed upon itself. Thus the "madman" becomes this figureof transgression,this figureof a thought which is all the more alive insofaras it must have elaboratedits apparatusat the interior.As Blanchot writes, "to shut up the outside, that is, to constitute it in an interiority of anticipation or exception, is the exigency that leads society-or momentaryreason-to make madnessexist, that is, to make it possible" (1993, 196).5 For when the brute power of the naked level of sex and language moves through(passeh) the interior,a figure-here madness-is renderedpossible.It is an exceptional figure,because it bears the promise of new subjectivitiesor subjectivations.Forthe outside is not the redoublingof the inside. It is not the exteriorizationof a pre-constituted interiority.The interior is not a primary fact. It is a folding-over,an invagination of the outside. It is the Outside which is primary. This is why lines striaterepresentationin every direction. They are lines of fissure,lines of life-death which, when they fold over and redivide, form at the interior an outside with the power of an entwisted resistance. 2-The Outside is therefore an open exteriority. But if the outside is not it is as Deleuze because, insists, the Outside is battle, Heideggerianopenness, and not serenity. It is war, not peace. It might well be specified, as it is by Maurice Merleau-Ponty,that the Open is the Fold, or the Interlacingof two series (the "toSpeak"and the "toSee," the "Light" and the "Saying" [MerleauEven the so, Ponty 1968]). phenomenological Openness is always a great openness onto a peacefulworld.But s/he who says"Outside" sayswind, breath, violence. Toptempest,sayscoldness, desert,vertigo, sayssavagery, barbarism, ology encounters dynamics.Formsare named as forces. So the "Outside" is an unfettered,unformed,and wild multiplicityofforces. It is a spaceof aleatorydispersionof points of singularity. They arepoints where a force is affected by and affects another. They are pure intensities. These points vibrate and oscillate. They are themselves knots, packets, centers, threads.They never cease to collide and clash. They stabilize, in a provisory fashion only, into figuresor forms. Then they disperse anew according to a networkor rhizome.Then they reconfigure,in a mannerat once regulatedand aleatory.If it is true that a figureis no more than a composition of lines, then one might well say that every point is the inflection point of a curve. Farfrom the curve being a seriesof points, it is the point which is the crossing-pointof



two curves. But there exists, at the same time, "afloating line" (Deleuze 1988, 113). This is a briefline, of incessantvariations.It can never splice the other lines to make a contour. It makes "the two forms in battle communicate"(Deleuze 1988, 113). It is a kind of punctual aggregateof free electrons. They never constitute a series. If they do, it is a provisionalone, divergent or convergent, which always remains at the margins of a zone. It imprints this instability, or this disequilibriumwhich makes for a battle, on the whole diagram.This line." It is non-integrated.It is the line of the "floatingline" is the "transversal is which outside always escaping and alwaysreturns. pure because it is not reappropriable 3-This "line of the outside"is "pure" by a extenot nor even The Outside is a or contradiction. opposition, negation The neutral is not that which is riority. It is, as Blanchot says, the neutral.6 "neitherthe one thing nor the other."If so, one would have to understandit as a kind of mystical One, like that of negative theology. It is more like Stoic indifference. It is the undifferentiatedaffirmationof all that which is, where everything is, in a certain fashion, undifferentiated.(Presence is absent and absence is omnipresent.Death never survivesand is alwaysthere.) It is where everything un-decides itself on the bordersof the sea of sand. It is where, at the same time, every element distinguishes itself, because it is at an infinite distance from the neighboringelement. It is a sort of "networkof which every point, distinct fromevery other, at a distance from those most in proximity,is situated with regardsall those other points, in a space which simultaneously houses and separatesthem" (Foucault 1994, vol. I, 520). This is a kind of Deleuzian Stoicism of the multiple, as Alain Badiouhimself writes of the Platonic multiple. For one needs to be able to affirm,indifferently,all enveloping worlds in divergent series. The work is a kind of inactivity. Either death never comes, or it has alwayscome. It is indefinitely repeated (ressassee)and indefinitely recommences.This is how the Stoicians justifysuicide, incidentally. He who lacks nothing, the wise man, is in a state of beatitude. Empiricaldeath removes something from this. Once one lacks nothing, one should give oneself to death. Nevertheless, as Blanchot and Deleuze will add, there is still an illusion due to insufficiencyof indifference. It is the illusion of masteryover death, or of the covering over by an "active" empiricaldeath of the mortal inactivity that which is "morepassive than all passivity." ForIndifferenceis never indistinction, nor the So the outside is indifference. absence of difference.To the contrary,it is the brute,naked, informalelement: "pureexteriority."It is the transcendental condition of all "formsof exteriority"-those formswhich aredifferentiatedbecause they are exterior to each other in a free (smooth) space or surface.They are forms which bordereach other in a concrete and variable manner.They become, and metamorphose,



at the heart of a "milieu of exteriority."And this is a milieu which, let us reiterate,alwaysincludes"relativelyfree or unboundpoints, points of creativity, change and resistance"(Deleuze 1988, 44). They are faithful to or betray their ordinaryzone of adherence.They cross or are confusedwith lines which pass through their vicinity. In the time of their de-liaison, the informality discussedabove is no less the case, the points in which a force encounters and affects another becoming home to a battle. From the moment there is battle, there are agglomerations, bindings, groups,compositionsof lines and thus of formsor figures.But at the same time there are, necessarily-and because of this battles are not confused with war, nor with peace-zones and unexpected formsof irregular, sniper-likeconfrontation. The battle rendersthem infinite. Each diagram,7 writes Deleuze, "testifies to the twisting line of the outside spoken of by Melville, without beginning or end, an oceanic line that passes through all points of resistance, pitches diagramsagainstone another,and operatesalwaysas the most recent. And what a strangetwist of the line was 1968, the line with a thousandaberrations"(Deleuze 1988, 44). So we can better understandthe figuresof resistance selected by Deleuze, as much as (sometimes) by Foucault. They are not figuresof revolt (heroic or otherwise) against injustice or figuresof combat against oppression.They are figuresof originaryand anonymousexistence, which are brought,despite themselves, to a visible or non-visible confrontation with power. They are restoredor dissolvedby the impersonaland infinite writingof life. Wanting to recount the "Lifeof InfamousMen" and then the "ParallelLives,"8 Foucault aimed to give "infamous" their of gestures component resistanceand eternity. Minor,lowly, and obscuregestures(lacking glory) are illuminatedas immense and brilliantby a visible, gloriouspower.It might be that the fama changes its aspect, or that power is no longer repressivebut inciting, that it doesn't condemn to silence but incites to confession. It might be that PierreRiviere or Herculine Barbinwould today be named RogerKnobelspiess.But this doesn't This does not refer to an individual or change the meaning of "resistance." collective act, or combat. It refers to an "infamous" life which, through its aleatoryencounter with writing, has rejoined the immanent and non-defined line of a simultaneouslydull and brilliant life, which once became legendary and today will be qualifiedas literary. In fact, what could be closer to the Foucauldiannarratives9 than the narrativesof HermanMelville and Samuel Beckett that Deleuze enjoys so much? Bartleby,with his frail,graysilhouette and his modest "Iwould prefernot to," undermines the lawyer'swork organizationand life (Melville 1987, 25). In the end he driveshim mad, and as such is a brotherin resistanceto Herculine Barbin. He is the companion of Lawrence,mad in the desert, or of Molloy, man of indifference, infinite chatter, and perpetualgoing over and over (re-



ssassement).He is the neighbor of Carroll (or of Brisset) who disorderslanguage and drives it awayjust as much by acceleratingpronunciation (infinite speed) as by breakingdown its forms (infinite slowness). We know that, in Differenceand Repetition (1994), Deleuze distinguishes three temporal syntheses, or three repetitions. The first repetition is that of habit (Humeian habit, Bergsonianmemory-habit,Husserlianpassive synthesis), which constitutes the living present. This present is indeed "living"because it organizeslife and the lived. It is at the same time at work in organic life (muscles, heartbeats,alternationsof need and fatigue) and in psychic life (differentrhythms and tempos of thought, differentdegreesof mental vivacity). Gathered up together or contracted with the present of life, past and future only exist as relationshipsto that present of which they are a dimension: "One of the great strengthsof Stoicism lies in having shown that every sign is a sign of the present, from the point of view of the passive synthesis in which past and futurearepreciselyonly dimensionsof the present itself. A scaris the sign not of a past wound but of 'the present fact of having been wounded"' (Deleuze 1994, 77). Foras long as the scaris still present,that of which it is the scar(the wound) is still present. At this level of psychic and organic life, we can see that the game of repetition (of death, in other words) is hidden under habits, whose vulgarmechanismsonly permitminimalvariationand mediocremodification. Beckett demonstrateshis modem Stoic grandeurwhen he nonetheless draws out small differences from a massive repetition: "Molloy'sseries of stones, biscuits, Malon'spossessions"(Deleuze 1994, 79). Murphy's covered up by the first. It is not sufficient to There is a secondrepetition The constitute time as the present. presentpasses,but it passesin time. So, as a ImmanuelKant would have said, synthesis is necessarywhich is no longer empirical(Hume) but transcendental.Forwhat is that time which makestime pass, but which does not itself pass?What is it, if not the "being past" of and which Proustcalls time, that "pastin itself" which Bergsoncalls "virtual" One does not see how the presentwill pass, if it has not alreadypassed "pure?" at that moment where it takes place. No more does one see how a past can return if it is no more than a formerpresent become past, if it wasn't already past at the moment when it was present. Past (but this pure past is neither They are not present nor past; it is time, itself) and present are superimposed. juxtaposed and it is not that they succeed each other. They are simultaneous and not contiguous. When a new present occurs, it awakensits double at the same time. It provokes phenomena of echoes, repetitions (reprises),replies, deja-vus, and ghosts: echoes between organic and inorganic life, echoes between life and death, and so on. This "shadow line" accompanies every Isn't this the line of resistance? present like a ghost, or a haunting which adheresto its back. It is the double of other temporalserieswhich are at once the same and infinitely different.Is



this a kindof reminder, in the wakeof a pastwhichwasneveractualized and whichdemands-to-be, that anotherlife is possible? Forif the virtualredoubles the actual,not only is justa minuscule elementof it actualized, but the of the shadow other"points" resist repression (refoulement) bypressing against the present, this is only an approxidemanding justice.In truth,forDeleuze, mateformof resistance: the line is, effectively, that of destiny. Echoes,remithe univocityof beniscences, resonances, referrals, signs:all this designates ing andtime as destiny: This is what we call destiny.Destinynever consistsin steprelationsbetweenpresentswhich sucby-stepdeterministic of a represented time. ceedone another to the order according it impliesbetweensuccessive non-localizable Rather, presents ofreplay, actions at a distance, connections, resonance, systems andechoes,objectivechances,signs,signals,androleswhich transcend locations andtemporal successions. Wesayof spatial successive which expressa destinythat they always presents butat different levels: playout the samething,the samestory, heremoreor lessrelaxed, theremoreor lesscontracted. (Deleuze1994,83) But in this casea third is (andultimate)repetition (or temporal synthesis) It "this same and A "this same last is necessary. affirms story" play." repetition one which takesup all these "chances" and "non-localizable liainecessary, all these of a "nomadic and chaotic all these sons," distribution," trajectories releases It affirms them as fragments of a uniquerelease (lancers)." "aleatory them it affirms theirextra-temporal (lancer) (chanceor chaos).In repeating in otherwords, timeitself.Certainly thistimeis neitheroriginary nor unicity, creative.It is at once distinctfromand indiscernible fromthat which is effectedin andwith it. It only appears assuchif it is affirmed-inotherwords, andimplicated-bythe eventswhichoccur. the virtual is enveloped Similarly, no morethanthe expression of the actual.This thirdrepetition takesup the ones anew.But it divertsandbetrays fromthem a them,drawing preceding It is something likethe eternal whichonlygleansits return, "superior power." aseternity under the condition of beingrepeated, in otherwords, power being at once affirmed andselected.10 is not the immemorial whichwouldagain (the secondrepetition), Eternity the presentsince it doubles andaccompanies it at a deeplevel. It is suppose the pureinfinitive of time,"thepureandemptyform pure,infiniteemptiness, of time," to theexpressions ofDifference andRepetition. Thisisempty according anddesert-like the infinitewherethe present time,timewhichslipstowards thepast(second andthefuture (first (third repetition), repetition), repetition) arethemselves, all of them, infinite.It is time which is "outof joint,"time andopens,at once andforalways, the doorof which,in someway,broaches



memory (the two Bergsoniantimes). It slips like a stroke or an arrowtowards the diagonal. It is an immobile time because of the mad mobility. (Or to the time through the force of its mad imcontrary,it is a mobile, "Bartlebian" mobility.) It is an eternal time, not because it is fixed and congealed, but because it has neither beginning nor end. It is a neutral, anonymous,impassive, it is, as such, cruel, terrible,merciless,the and indifferenttime. Furthermore, time of "one lives, one dies," the infinitive of death. There life bursts into multiple chaotic and aleatory fragmentsand simultaneouslycoincides with the "one"of impersonality,anonymity, and the absence of a properdomain. This is the time of the infamouslife, of a Bartlebyor a Molloy: the time of a pure state. In The Logicof Sense (1990), contemporaneousin 1969 to Difference and Deleuze does not or three three distinguish Repetition, reptemporalsyntheses etitions, but two times:Chronosand Aion. These two times are at once foreign to each other and strangely close, at once distinct and indiscernible. They envelope each other and mutuallyexpresseach other, as with the virtual and the actual. "The greatnessof Stoic thought, " writes Deleuze in Logicof Sense, "is to show at once the necessity of these two readingsand their reciprocal exclusion" (Deleuze 1990, 61). So there are two times: Chronos,or the eternal present, at once limited because it is present and future, and because it contracts within one single present the past and the future. This is, in fact, the only Stoic time which authorizedcommentarieshave transmittedto us (and here Deleuze collapses the two repetitions, the two Bergsonian times). And there is another time "whichexcludes the other":Aion. Deleuze makesthis coincide with the Stoic It is, he says,an "extra-Being" (Deleuze 1990, 5-7). According "incorporeal." to the Stoics it is "of the place, of the vide, of the unexpressable... and of time." Here, Deleuzefollows and repeats(in other words,redirects)Emile Brehier, des incorporels dansl'ancienstoicisme concludes as follows: whose La theorie Beings themselves, substances,... have an internal life, which is to say, concentrated in itself, far from being objects of contemplation by nature. But this life, without losing anything of itself, spreadsover the surfaceof multiple events. These events suppressnone of the internal force of being. They are pure effects without being in turn causes. These events, with their relations, form the theme of dialectics. In logic, thought does not enter into contact with being, becausebeing rebelsagainst thought; it never attains substance. (1962, 60-61) Deleuze re-routes Br6hier. Events "spreadover the surface of multiple events" because they don't enter into contact with the being of things-in



other words, with bodies-and aren't modified by them (and don't modify them), and are thereforeimpassiveand indifferentto the body.They become, As such, they arethe very for Deleuze,being itself, what he calls "extra-being." object of thought. So if the event is indeed what occurs, and comes, it is the unlimited which constantly separatesthings from themselves. It puts becoming The event is not that which happens. It them, in the strict sense, out of order. is the becoming, or the straight line which will always have carried off or driven awaythings, their acts, or their states fromthe moment they take place and occur: "The event... has no present... being the perpetualobject of a double question: what is going to happen? What has just happened? The agonizing aspect of the pure event is that it is always and at the same time something which has just happened and something about to happen, never something which is happening"(Deleuze 1990, 63). So the event is unlimited becoming, as such, fromthe moment the singular is justified.There is only one sole event, as Deleuze continually repeats:the throw of the dice (chance) which distributesmultiple becomings in aleatory fashion. One can equally name the event destiny or the eternal return,if one understandsthis as affirmation, and not the simple disillusionedfact (second of a distribution of nomad trajectoriesin an all the repetition) unique aleatory more terribleand mercilessdrawn-outbecoming. Now one must maintain stoic exactingness. On the one hand, one must two times.There is successivetime, on the one hand, the time of the distinguish or present, of presents,where the futureand the past are only distinguishedin their more or less great contraction. On the other hand, there is empty time. Aion is impassive, indifferent, impenetrable (the "always," according to the common translation).It is eternaltime, the straightline of the diagonal.These times are absolutelydistinct, the only way to affirmeternity: This is the secret of the event .... It exists on the line of the Aion, and yet it does not fill it. How could an incorporealfill up the incorporealor the impenetrablefill up the impenetrable? Only bodies penetrate each other, only Chronos is filled up with states of affairsand the movements of the objects that it measures.But being an empty and unfolded form of time, the Aion subdividesad infinitumthat which haunts it without ever inhabiting it-the Event for all events. This is why the unity of events or effects among themselves is very different from the unity of corporeal causes among themselves. (Deleuze 1990, 64) So there are two types of causality,two types of time, two types of death. There is empirical death, which modifies the state of the body, which concerns the "I"and which the "I"can either confront (affronter) or endeavor to



rejoin-in suicide, for example, which is always in a present which "makes everythinghappen."And there is impersonaldeath, the death of "one"(on) or the death of nobody, above all not my death. This is what Blanchot sought in works,and Deleuze in the limit-experiencesdiscussedabove. It is the dying of is to the tree. Forthere is no distinction the living, as the "greening" (verdoyer) between the living and the dying. "[N]oone ever dies, but has alwaysjust died or is alwaysgoing to die in the empty present of the Aion, that is, in eternity" (Deleuze 1990, 63). In this way,death and the wound are not events among others. Each event is like death. It is double, and impersonalin its double: "It is the abyssof the present,the time without presentwith which I have no relation, towardwhich I am unable to protect myself. For in it I do not die. I forfeit the power of dying. In this abyssthey (on) die-they never cease to die and they never succeed in dying"(Blanchot 1955, 160)." All of a sudden,we see that these two times are one. Aion is no more than the partof eternity which one can extract sometimes the from the pure event, its power of eternal return.Furthermore, two deaths, the empirical death and the wound, or the fractureof time, are rejoined, as when the fracturerises to the surface of the Open and makes everything explode in the tempest, whirlwind, volcano, etc. Then the event illuminates, in misfortunebut also splendor,its part in the eternal explosion. This event is at once a birth, or a future,and in any case a transmutation.(In 1967, Deleuze saw "the proletariat [which] alreadymakes its way" [Deleuze hered1990, 332] in Emile Zola'salcoholic proletariatof Rougon-Macquart A in La humain or in his [Deleuze 1990, 321-33].) B^te machine, rather, ity, writes: as Deleuze a in battle in which, case, war, any death turnsagainstdeath;wheredying is the negation of death, and the impersonalityof dying no longer indicates only the moment when I disappearoutside of myself, but rather the moment when death loses itself in itself, and also the figure which the most singularlife takeson in orderto substituteitself for me. (Deleuze 1990, 153)12 This is, however, the point which should give us pause. For how, in Deleuze'swork, can death be "turnedagainstdeath"?(Deleuze 1990, 153; italics added). How can the encounter of two deaths, where one is "withoutrelationship"with the other, result in battle? It is certainly the case that death is not my own death, the individual,ipseic death properto me. The terrorof death which can seize someone with a fatal disease is not narcissistic, nor egocentric. It is the panicked fear of not knowing exactly what to do with this death, this terribleand irresistiblepower (puissance) which is coming, so near, and yet so ungraspable. Does it follow, for all this, that it is not destruction,as Deleuze reiterates?'3 In any case, it is clear that Deleuzian war is no more than a "hoveringover."



we are The battle, so much smokescreen,embedsus in fog, and, paradoxically, never there: The battle hoversover its own field being neutral in relation to all of its temporal actualizations,neutral and impassive in relation to the victor and the vanquished,the cowardand the brave;because of this it is all the more terrible.Never present but alwaysyet to come and alreadypast, the battle is graspable only by the will of anonymitywhich it itself inspires.This will, which we must call will "ofindifference"is present in the mortally wounded soldier who is no longer brave or cowardly,no longer victor or vanquished,but ratherso much beyond, at the place where the Event is present, participatingthereforein its terrible impassability.(Deleuze 1990, 100-101) Trulya terriblereversal!It is the woundedsoldier,whoever that is, victor or vanquished,alwaysalreadywounded,indifferentboth to the wound and to the result of the battle, who representsthe battle of being! But how could it be otherwise, given that the battle is just another name for Chaos, or the Throw of the Dice? In Deleuze'swork there is neither contrariety,confrontation, nor rebellion. There are only more or less rapid,mad, traitorousbecomings, those of a uniquedispersion.And certainlythe battle is alwayson the prowlbetween those lines which never cease to nomadize. They zigzagand volcanize. The battle is all the more cruel and terrible for this. But in this case resistance designatesno more than impassivityand indifference.It is the indifferenceof neutraldeath, without anyrelation to empiricaldeath. It is the impenetrability of the eternal wound that has no relation to this actual wound. So it is not a matterof engagingin warwith war,or even of turningdeath backagainst death. Neutral and impassivedying is "deathturnedon itself [which]would be willed against all deaths. We are faced with a volitional intuition and a transmutation" (Deleuze 1990, 149). By means of a Stoic and Nietzschean leap, it is a matter of becoming the of one's own events" (Deleuze 1990, 149), of being invited to "em"offspring body the wound which existed before me" (Deleuze often borrowsthis formula fromJoe Bousquet). It is a matterof demonstratingone's own crackat the surface,and of rejoining it in a straight, impregnableline. Death loses itself in me. My impassivityrenders it destitute of its own heights (the source of ressentiment and oppression). Freedom (or will) would, then, consist of not oneself rendering unworthy of that which, in the exemplaryevent which is death (war or wound), has its component of eternity and impassivity.Thus resistance takes on its true face, a Stoic face: to affirm,to confirm,and to rejoin one's destiny: "Amorfati is one with the struggleof free men" (Deleuze 1990, 149).



But is this really resistance? For resistance is not that traitor line which zigzagsincessantlyand escapesevery gripon it. It is the powerof the countering (contrer),not of nomadization.It is a contrarietystill in act and not a variation. It is a game of actions and reactions between being and its double. This is not "extra-being" as Deleuze would have it. It is "counter-being" (contreetre). Resistance is born from the abutting encounter, in a precariouspoint of the crestline between two types of being, being and non-being, which interrupteach other.Resistance is indeed a line. But this line needs to be tracedout and maintained so that, in it and through it, being and counter-beingare simultaneouslyconnected and kept at distance. To conclude, then, let's sketch out what a line of resistanceis. Of course Deleuze is right. Resistance is another name for the death drive within the distinction between Eros (desire, sexuality) and Thanatos (destruction). For living, as XavierBichat (rediscoveredby Foucault)and SigmundFreud(rediscovered by JacquesLacan and JacquesDerrida)both say in their own way, is no more than thrusting-towards-death The living (n'est que pousse-ed-mort). arewroughtby the drives.The drivesproducethe living, makingthem produce and expend energy, leading them blindly, and without appeal. Every drive pushes the living to death. Everydrive is drive to or of death. In this regard, every drive is destiny. But what, precisely,if death manifestsitself less in destructionthan in conservation (inertia, regression,de-eroticization), if death is an indestructible and irresistibleforce?What if the living runs up against this rock or this reThen a certain mainderbecause it is itself a buttressof force (uneforcebutee)? question remainsundecidable.This is the question of knowing if the force of resistance is death or life. It remains undecidablewhat, in that battle which is disease (a philosophical question in the wake of FriedrichNietzsche and Deleuze), makes for resistance. Is it the disease which refusesthe cure? Is it health which leads a continuous combat against the seductions of disease? It matters little, in the end, what the nature (undecidable in itself) of resistance is. The combat undertakenis the only thing that counts. And death undertakesno combat. It is content to follow its path, to dig its trenches, to undermineand mine those lands it crosses.It is a glacial flow,a steadyriver,a sleeping water. It is terribleand terrifyingin its inertia. Life, itself, does engage in combat. It is combatitself.According to the circumstances, it unravels or weaves, it disconnects or connects, it unmakes or it makes, it associatesor it disassociates.It alone is sensitive to circumstances, to configurations,combinations, variations, metamorphoses.In one sense, then, there is only one drive, and it is the drive of resistance:death. But, it is which continualso the case that there is not one, but two powers(puissances) to thatirresistible powerwhichis ally redouble.Life is death, and lifeis resistance death.Life gleans its energy from death, by turning it against death.14



It is life, not amorfati, which is "the point at which death turs against death" (Deleuze 1990, 153). It is life which is this power of turning and deviating, this game which thwartsdeath by tracingand displacingthousandsof lines, each of them more variableand aberrant.For life is movement, setting in motion: folds of mountains, eddies of rivers,desertsor oases of planes, etc. Life draws out lines. In the company of Deleuze and Guattari one can distinguish two kinds of lines: breaklines (lignes de coupure)(hard or molar segmentations) and cracklines (lignes deflure) (simple or molecularsegmentations) (Deleuze 1987, 200). But the fact of the matter is that this life-death lines. duality is itself traversedby other lines. These arediagonalor transversal They are lines of flight (abstract,non-segmented), as living as they are mortal. For these lines are not discernablefrom those with which they are associated or which they cross.They make all lines move, including those which appear to be "puremovement" (Deleuze 1987, 192-252).15 They come from everywhere, from the outside as from within, from the farthest and nearest, from everything and from nothing, from chance or misfortune.They blur all lines, and, at the same time, they pass between lines. They are themselves bundles, ends, knots of lines. They are lineaments, always interwoven, coupled, douwhich bled, indiscemable, and impossibleto disentangle. They are the "and" is just as much the "or." are as much as For the They disjunctive conjunctive. line is neither the tracednor the trace. It is the tracing,the passingand making pass where the line goes, and whence it comes. Now one can understandwhy resistingis maintaining theline (tenirla ligne). Resistance is at once a mobile and immobile line. It is so mobile that it is renderedimmobile and so immobile that it goes at a crazyspeed. On the one hand, it is entirely mobile. It leaps,bounds,pullsback,hides, then reappears by surprise,in haste. It is clandestine, disguised,ubiquitous, traitorous.On the other hand it is entirely immobile. It is pugnacious,obstinate, stubborn,stuck in its place, firmlykeeping to its positions. In the same way it simultaneously cultivates slowness and speed, prudenceand imprudence,patience and impatience, calculation and the mad wager.It effects these simultaneouslyand out of time (a contretemps). It faltersand limps. It practices at once "the absolute and the relative,"the "whole, immediately and the compromise,""the nonnegotiable and the negotiable,"the "outsideand the within." One must keep to its line all the more because it is oblique and skewed. Resistance is not equivocal, it is duplicitous. It practices a double politics. It is the contemporaryand double of the power it resists,neither primarynor secondaryin relation to it. Resistance constantly accompaniespower.At the same time as it resistsfromwithin the "hardlines"of history,it causesan "outside" to surge up. This contaminates, graftsonto, and displaces the "inside." Neither in the middle nor at the margins,resistanceredoubles,does an aboutface, and, ironically,finds itself confronting its adversary.



NOTES We thank the RueDescartes editors, the College Internationalede France,and Presses Universitairesde Francefor permissionto print a translation of this article. Ed. 1. Firstpublished as Fran;oise Proust. 1998. La Ligne de la resistance. Rue Descartes20: 35-48. Ed. 2. In 1966 Foucault devotes an article in Critiquetitled "The Thought of the Outside" to Blanchot, who alreadyin that period had made an impressionwith The (1982), so frequentlycited by Deleuze. Spaceof Literature 3. See, for example, Blanchot (1982, 150). Trans. 4. Felureis usuallytranslatedas fissurein this chapter,but is translatedin terms of the "crack" in Deleuze'sThe Logicof Sense (1990). Trans. 5. Partlycited in Deleuze (1988, 97). 6. One of Badiou'scrucial arguments is that Deleuzian being is neutral. See Badiou (1996) and Badiou (1998). 7. Proustcites Deleuze as stating that "each point testifies,"but Hand correctly translatesDeleuze as stating that each diagramtestifies. Trans. 8. See the 1977 essay "LaVie des hommes inffmes" in Foucault (1994, 3:24153). As the editors explain, the essay was originally written as the introduction for an anticipated publication of the archives of the Bastille (see note 6). This project converted into a series edited for the publishing house Gallimard, called "LesVies paralleles"(Parallel Lives), in which Foucault published the memoires of Herculine Barbin.Trans. 9. It is well known that Foucault wanted, in the first place, to constitute an anthology of "Livesof InfamousMen" drawingon the seventeenth- and eighteenthcentury archives of general hospital imprisonmentat the Bastille. After this project aborted, he devoted a series to narratives of ParallelLives. These were drawn from "pathetic"or "pathological"reminiscences with which medical literaturein the second half of the nineteenth centurywas infatuated.Again, the projectwas aborted.See Foucault (1994, 3:241). 10. Selected, or perhapsself-selected, so much is it the case that Deleuzian and/ or Nietzschean affirmationgoes beyond the dialectical opposition between position and negation, affirmationand destruction. This is what the idea of "superior power" points of signifies. There is neither negation nor contradiction. There are "superior view"which dissolve, or dryup, without the desireforor will to destruction.The reader will note, furthermore,that all the limit experiences cited by Deleuze-amnesia, acephalia, apathy,catatonia or masochism,perversion,theatre of cruelty,black humor;or drunkenness,travel, desert, ocean-are not experiences of the desire for destruction (they are desexualized).They are dissolution and fissureof the self, "of the subject of certitude and representation." 11. Deleuze often cites Blanchot. For example, see Deleuze (1994, 111-14) and Deleuze (1990, 152-53, 222-23). 12. Note the exact similarityof this 1969 text to Deleuze'sultimate text of 1995, une vie" (Deleuze 1995), which Deleuze wrote, stoically, just before "L'Immanence, suiciding. 13. For example, in Deleuze (1994, 111-13) and Deleuze (1990, 196-201).



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