Will we ever be mature
1. What is Philosophy?, 48.
enough for a Spinozist inspiration? It happened once with
Bergson: the beginning of Matter and Memory marks out a place
that slices through the chaos – both the infinite movement of a
substance that continually propagates itself, and the image of
thought that everywhere continually spreads a pure conscious-
ness in principle (immanence is not immanent ‘to’ conscious-
ness but the other way around).2
There are at least two ways to approach such a text.
The first way – the most natural way – would be to try
to understand by applying oneself to a more in-depth
reading of Deleuze. This would necessitate, for example,
an elucidation of what Deleuze means by ‘plane of
immanence’ or ‘chaos’. It would also mean resituating this
text in the light of Deleuze’s Cinema – and more especially
in the light of the two commentaries in The Movement-Image
dedicated to the first chapter of Matter and Memory.3 But
there is a second way of approaching this text, and it is this
alternative that we shall pursue here. It might at first seem
somewhat artificial, but we hope that its aim and its interest
will rapidly become evident.4
In what, then, does this reading consist? No longer in
trying to understand the text in question on the basis of a
2. Ibid., 48-9. Translation modified.
3. Cinema 1: The Movement-Image, Chapters 1 (3-12) and 4 (58-72).
4. Although this article is concerned with the link between Matter and Memory and
Deleuze’s philosophy, we will make no further reference to the analyses in Cinema of
Bergson’s masterwork, and the reader may, quite rightly, be surprised at this. But our
which is not the same as undertaking an exegesis of those Deleuzian texts expressly
dedicated to Bergson. Our path, as will be seen, is constructive, not exegetical. And