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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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Ageing, Perpetual Perishing and the Event as Pure Novelty: Péguy, Whitehead and Deleuze on Time and History

Ageing, Perpetual Perishing and the Event as Pure Novelty: Péguy, Whitehead and Deleuze on Time and History

Chapter:
(p.142) Chapter 7 Ageing, Perpetual Perishing and the Event as Pure Novelty: Péguy, Whitehead and Deleuze on Time and History
Source:
Deleuze and History
Author(s):
Jeffrey A. Bell, Claire Colebrook
Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748636082.003.0008

This chapter evaluates the history in relation to life by Charles Péguy, Alfred North Whitehead and Gilles Deleuze. It is noted that the time and history run on ageing. To age in the past is to become tarnished; to age in the future is lose even the possibility of acquiring lustre. Péguy's argument is sophisticated and knowing, for it addresses the purity sought by Deleuze in the return of difference to show that purity itself is a concept that ages and that depends on ageing its surroundings. Whitehead introduces the concept of perpetual perishing and inflects the role of memory to preserve Deleuze's eternal return of pure novelty from Péguy's historical pessimism. Péguy and Whitehead maintain a direction in time and this characterises their views of time. Apparently, there is never a pure ageing, since the present is a form of novelty that can change what it ages from.

Keywords:   time, history, ageing, Charles Péguy, Alfred North Whitehead, Gilles Deleuze, perpetual perishing, historical pessimism

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