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Revisiting Style in Literary and Cultural Studies

Interdisciplinary Articulations

Edited By Jasmin Herrmann, Moritz Ingwersen, Björn Sonnenberg-Schrank and Olga Ludmila Tarapata

The collected volume brings together leading scholars from a broad range of disciplines in the humanities to interrogate the productivity of style as an element of cultural expression and a parameter of cultural analysis. Despite its ubiquity in examinations of artistic singularity or postulations of epochal patterns, style remains a notoriously elusive concept. Suspicious of monolithic definitions, the contributions assembled in this volume address style from a multiplicity of methodological and conceptual angles, drawing from fields that include literary studies, film and media studies, post-structuralist philosophy, philosophy of science, and American cultural studies.

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3 Coded Curves: Félix Guattari and the Problem of Style

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Abstract: In his writings on art, the later Félix Guattari repeatedly addresses the issue of style. In his discussion of painters and architects such as Roberto Matta, George Condo, and Shin Takamatsu, Guattari explores the ways in which the artistic production of subjectivity depends on specific styles and their relations to continuity and discontinuity. His interest in style is not restricted to the writings on art, however. The link between the issue of style and the production of subjectivity was already established in Guattari’s early work in the psychiatric clinic of La Borde. In particular, the case study of “R.A.” shows his interest in methods that would allow moving from the specific features of signifying chains to the stylistic characteristics of drawings, body movements and other modes of expression. In contrast to Lacan’s orientation on the model of structural linguistics, Guattari develops a kind of “rhythm analysis” that, in turn, refers to and relies on artistic practices. The conclusion is that these early writings should be taken into account when re-evaluating Guattari’s later claims on singularity and style.

Keywords: Félix Guattari, Jacques Lacan, Jean Oury, Psychoanalysis, Schizoanalysis, Semiotics, Surrealism, CurvesWriting, Unconscious, Subjectivity

In his writings on art, the later Félix Guattari repeatedly discusses the problem of style. What he is interested in in the mid-1980s, when he published studies on painters such as Gérard Fromanger and George Condo or interviewed architects such as Shin Takamatsu, is the relation of the...

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