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Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia
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Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  2,909 ratings  ·  121 reviews
A major work in the development of critical theory in the late 20th century, ANTI-OEDIPUS is an essential text for feminists, literary theorists, social scientists, philosophers, and other interested in the problems of contemporary Western culture. "An important text in the rethinking of sexuality and sexual politics spurred by the feminist and gay liberation movements".--...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published December 15th 1983 by Univ Of Minnesota Press (first published 1972)
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The Republic by PlatoThus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich NietzscheCritique of Pure Reason by Immanuel KantMeditations by Marcus AureliusBeing and Time by Martin Heidegger
Best Philosophy Book
97th out of 562 books — 663 voters
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Community Reviews

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Greg
I could possibly say that this book ruined my life. I have never grappled with a book for as long as this one, for months I read and re-read it. I decided that I had to incorporate it into a paper that ended up taking me over a year to actually write and then edit, and then edit some more and then write some more before I finally decided to mail the stupid thing out to the professor from a mailbox that happened to be in front of some buildings that some planes would crash into about an hour or s...more
Aaron
I think people FEEL like they should give this book five stars -- but, unlike machines, they are not honest with themselves and feel compelled to rate it higher than it deserves. 1968 drivel.
Peter
Apr 06, 2008 Peter added it
When I was in England I joined an informal discussion group about this book. The group included my advisor and his wife. We read the first paragraph and his wife said, "That paragraph is sexist." My advisor swore at his wife, and then the discussion group was done.
KATEtheGREATESTBESTONE
yo capitalism. i have sunbeams coming out of my ass.
James
This book is one giant attack on the traditional liberal-democratic view of the individual as a responsible agent and citizen. It is also a profound materialist critique of old-school Marxism and Freudianism. Since I'm a big fan of both of these schools of thought, this was a tough pill to swallow, but swallow it I did, and to great effect.

One of the big themes that stuck with me from the first chapter on is the idea of paranoia becoming a very real influence in the way that we conceptualize our...more
Jonfaith
Psychoanalysis was from the start, still is, and perhaps always will be a well-constituted church and a form of treatment based on a set of beliefs that only the very faithful could adhere to, i.e., those who believe in a security that amounts to being lost in the herd and defined in terms of common and external goals.

My review from 1994 would be gushing, one near febrile abuzz with the insights revealed in this suicide vest of a book. My 2011 self appreciates the arsenal of metaphors and allusi...more
Vaughn
One of my top few favorite books ever. Wacky prose that hides its dense, educated side with unabashededly mindfucking disregard for mores, academic humility, linearity. It's more or less a critique of the early Lacan's emphasis on the Oedipal complex and the way that emphasis typifies structural analysis in anthropology and psychology, which was trying to edge out philosophy in France at the time. Of course, since it's Deleuze, it also has a vitalist, anti-law, anti-transcendence agenda. Since i...more
Joe
Pre-requisites: Marx, Freud, Levi-Strauss (required); Nietzsche, Lacan, Saussure (suggested)

This book does not need to be read as a whole. The first and last chapters detail the most important and most interesting ideas the book has to offer.

Here's a short summary: Dissolve into the flux you already are. There, now you don't need to read this book. Here's some explication:

The book has two aims: first, a negative critique of psychoanalysis' structuralist doctrine of the Oedipal complex; second,...more
Zulu
Reading this book was an exercise in frustration. Occasionally productive frustration, but frustration nonetheless. While I was reading it, I referred to it as "the book I don't understand." But I think in the end I did get something out of it.

So this is Deleuze and Guattari's big attack on Freud, Lacan, and basically all of psychoanalysis. They suggest that psychoanalysis decides your diagnosis from the start (ie everyone has an Oedipus complex), and proceeds from that point. You can never fini...more
Graham
This is pop philosophy and not serious political thought. If Orwell read this he would have eaten it and then puked it out projectile vomit style. It is the postmodern writing that so terrifies Sokal. All of that being said, it is damned fun to read. Just don't take it too seriously. People who fall deeply into this stuff become pretentious hipster assholes. The introduction by Foucault is important if you want any chance in understanding this mess. It sure could use more footnotes.
Jeff
The introduction by Foucault is certainly a healthy way to view this book. As a guide to leading a non-fascist life, this work condenses a great number of ideas, and attempts to dismantle/discourse on the hang-ups of would-be revolutionary groups.

I would describe the writing style as delirious. At times it is very lucid, hitting hard at ideas standing in the way of the non-fascist life and free thought. At others, the prose descends, or rather extends (explodes?) down lines of escape, off in a m...more
my name is corey irl
oedipus?? i hardly knew me mother [seraphs descend from the heavens to highfive the wickedest analysand of all]
Geoff
I've actually had a copy of this book for several months, but, honestly, it keeps tossing me out around page 7 or so. Like my mind shatters after about 7 pages of this. I can't tell whether or not it is bullshit. It seems like something is going on here that maybe I am not equipped to understand, almost like when I am trying to read a book in an antiquated form of French (because my modern French isn't even very good). This book is a little vortex, a little black hole that keeps pulling me back...more
Count Duckula
to me this was the philosophical equivalent of thinking you know what jazz is (smoky, midnight, bar) and then hearing bitches brew ... challenging but in yr face liberating. i especially admired the strategic use of dull old Kant to mess with heads.
Kyle
more like de-loser and gua-farty
Ryan
Before A Thousand Plateaus, Deleuze and Guattari penned this sprawling critical analysis of modernity. Essentially a synthesis of Freudian psychology and Marxist theory, this is one of the weirdest and most interesting books I've ever read. The reader must be prepared to confront an idiosyncratic (and obfuscating, according to the critics) sort of jargon: "desiring machines" plug into one another to form "assemblages" that constitute the social order, or "socius inscribed upon the body without o...more
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
Jan 13, 2013 Nathan "N.R." Gaddis marked it as to-read
Shelves: philosophy
Some day I will read some Deleuze. Meanwhile, my first attempt at this volume two years ago has left the following passage haunting me, that phrase, "A schizophrenic out for a walk. . ."
. . .is a better model than a neurotic lying on the analyst's couch. A breath of fresh air, a relationship with the outside world. Lenz's stroll, for example, as reconstructed by Büchner. This walk outdoors is different from the moments when Lenz finds himself closeted with his pastor, who forces him to situate
...more
Sachin
Jan 14, 2008 Sachin rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Trying to philosophize and critique culture and capitalism from the point of view of a schizhoprenic is in some sense trying to go beyond Freud, Marx, Foucault, Derrida and Lacan. You find some interesting alternatives to the ideas like `roots'(hierarchically structured , `logocentric thought') in the metaphor of `rhizomes' ( spreading horizontally and connecting randomly at tips), and the terms like `desiring machines' and `body without organs' seem to be alternatives for Freudian `eros' and `...more
Brett Green
Intentionally confusing, but only because that's the point. Which renders the affair all the more confusing because, ostensibly, they're trying to actually tell you something. And isn't that the irony after all, arch post-modernists trying to communicate...at all! At least even Foucault had a concept of POWER lying behind everything...but a body without organs appears to be nothing but a new fangled deux ex machina, and a poorly articulated one at that. Indeed, these f0ckers are more Hegelian th...more
James R
Nov 08, 2007 James R added it
Recommends it for: lunatics of skeptical temperament
Controversial literary project that pigeonholed Deleuze for many scholars, a bizarre synthesis of an eclectic range of texts. There is a spontaneity of thought that many find inspiring, (particularly artists) while it tends to repel a reading grounded in analytic philosophy. The criticism of this style of discourse helps orient the text just as much as its interpretations do.
Jana
Jan 20, 2008 Jana rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: theory
This is one of those theory books that I find so much meaning in that I can just open a page and read anything into it. In fact, Frank & I came up with a game called "The Anti-Oedipus 8-Ball" where we walk around with the book and let people ask us questions... then we open a page (any page) and read. Try it; it's like magic or something.
ifjuly
in my top 5 theory books of all time, and one of my favorite books across genre/divides, period. the style makes me smile every time i read it, and the point is one of the most important to me as well.
Kassy
Read it just for this line on page 5 or 6, "The neurotic on the analysts couch we find alot less relevent then the schizophrenic out for a walk" -signed A schizophrenic out for a walk --Kassy
Pawson Ed
Deleuze along with Guattari debunk with aplomb one of the main tenets in psychoanalytic theory. It's a terrific read.
Janne Toivoniemi
One of the most important philosophical books in 20th century. Not for the beginners.
M.moore
Nice word play by cowardly thinkers.
Liam Donovan
"I said my mothers dead
Well I don't care about it
I said my father's dead
Well I don't care about it
It happens anyway
It happens anyway
On the edge of Burma
We're on the edge of Burma..."

When I first read this I didn't fully understand it; it only really made sense after reading Difference and Repetition. This is one of the weirdest books I've ever read. The central thesis is that society has become "Oedipalized." The very myth of the Oedipus complex is producing neurotics instead of helping people b...more
Vanessa
Other reviewers are better at describing the content. I can say that it messes with my head in a good way every time I pick it up. It took me two tries to finish it, which I've done twice. I have partially read it several more times (it bogs down in the middle and it's hard to push through all the anthropological stuff about "filiation".) I love the way it rips Freud a new one, condemning Oedipus as a fascist mechanism. But there's so much more here. It will change the way you think. I also cann...more
Grig O'
In his foreword, M Foucault interprets Anti-Oedipus as a book of ethics. This isn't evident from the text itself, as the authors are (almost) never explicit about how one should live. Instead they invent and combine neologisms like desiring-production, body without organs and deterritorialization to build their philosophy, making for a confounding couple hundred pages before you get a handle on the terminology. And the translators into English don't help - I'm sure they tried their best, but som...more
John Kemp
Sep 07, 2012 John Kemp rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: avoid
I struggled with this for a year, more or less. The language is often baffling but if you let it wash over you, certain threads start to cohere in an intelligible way. D/G's "schizo-analysis" has suffered as a result of the debunking of anti-psychiatry (Laing,et al.) and anyone seriously concerned with their programme will have to junk the outdated, laboured and wilfully impenetrable argot in which it is couched. This is vintage '68 stuff after all so excess and hyperbole are inevitable. A groun...more
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Deleuze is a key figure in postmodern French philosophy. Considering himself an empiricist and a vitalist, his body of work, which rests upon concepts such as multiplicity, constructivism, difference and desire, stands at a substantial remove from the main traditions of 20th century Continental thought. His thought locates him as an influential figure in present-day considerations of society, crea...more
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“It is not the slumber of reason that engenders monsters, but vigilant and insomniac rationality.” 49 likes
“Shit on your whole mortifying, imaginary, and symbolic theater!” 48 likes
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