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Deleuze and History$
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Jeffrey Bell and Claire Colebrook

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780748636082

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748636082.001.0001

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Theory of Delay in Balibar, Freud and Deleuze: Décalage, Nachträglichkeit, Retard

Theory of Delay in Balibar, Freud and Deleuze: Décalage, Nachträglichkeit, Retard

(p.72) Chapter 3 Theory of Delay in Balibar, Freud and Deleuze: Décalage, Nachträglichkeit, Retard
Deleuze and History
Jeffrey A. Bell, Claire Colebrook
Edinburgh University Press

This chapter investigates two of Gilles Deleuze's resources for a theory of delay: Balibar and Sigmund Freud. Balibar's concept of delay (décalage) makes delay a consequence of complex synchrony. Freud's concept of delay (Nachträglichkeit) makes synchrony an artifact of delayed reaction. Deleuze's concept of delay (retard) treats synchrony as delay itself. Balibar explains the possibility of transitions without a general theory of transition. Balibar criticises Marx for not seeing the history during late capitalism, namely during the time in which capitalism's dissolution into communism is delayed. Deleuze argues that Freud's theory of delay erroneously depends on a ‘solipsistic unconscious’ rather than an ‘intersubjective unconscious’. The ongoing challenge to Deleuzian philosophy of history is to reveal how concrete assemblages of abstract temporalities can do the work that revolutionary historiography used to do with the succession of modes of material production.

Keywords:   delay, Gilles Deleuze, Balibar, Sigmund Freud, décalage, Nachträglichkeit, retard, capitalism, Deleuzian philosophy of history

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