A Thousand Plateaus as thriller


The first thought that came to my mind after finishing A Thousand Plateaus for the nth time for my comps is that you could read it as a thriller contemporary thriller novel.

It has all the trappings of a Dan Brown novel: there are many pieces that we know fit together by virtue of their being within the same text. Each has their own story, and sometimes they seem radically unrelated to one another. Then, in the “Conclusion” (the only chapter you are definitively meant to read last), it is all given to us: the synonyms, the way the concepts fit together, and the revelation that each of the plateaus have really been the particularization of a monosystem grounded in different examples. The plateau names and dates were not different concepts, but rather they were markers to understand the differences in particular abstract machines.

Ann Cvetkovich’s Mixed Feelings makes a similar argument about the mystery at the heart of Capital: the mystery of the commodity. The formulation for A Thousand Plateaus might go something like this: the diagram (abstract machine) is around every corner, witnessing and controlling every move, and at the end it is revealed in all of its maniacal control.

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